The perfect weeknight dinner is Easy Baked Ziti with savory ground turkey in a pool of zesty tomato-based marinara sauce.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 lbs ground turkey (ground chicken or ground beef)
- 2 cloves minced garlic (optional )
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 teaspoon salt (add more or less to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 24 oz pasta sauce (your favorite store brand marinara or tomato based pasta sauce)
- ¼ cup red wine (optional)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (more or less)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (more or less)
- 1.5 cups uncooked penne pasta (or your preferred shape of pasta noodle)
- chopped parsley (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- To prevent sticking, rub a small amount of butter around the inside of a baking dish. Shred the cheese. Place aside.
- Bring water to a boil and cook pasta noodles according to package directions, or until al dente. When finished, drain the pasta. IMPORTANT: Set aside 12 cup pasta water. Set aside some time.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive olive. When the oil is hot, add the ground turkey. As the turkey browns, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and continue to brown it until it is no longer pink.
- Add browned turkey to a jar of your favorite pasta or marinara sauce. Taste the sauce to ensure it is seasoned to your liking; if not, season with salt and Italian seasoning to taste. Cook until the alcohol has burned off, then taste again.
- If the sauce is too thick for you, add a little pasta water to loosen it up. Stir pasta into sauce until combined (pay attention to the pasta/sauce ratio). Pour into the baking dish that has been prepared. Grated cheese should be layered on top. Cover the baked ziti with foil and bake until the cheese is melted, gooey, and bubbly.
- If you want the top to be slightly browned, remove the foil and bake for a few minutes longer, or until the top is slightly browned. Top with parmesan and chopped parsley (optional).
- Serve right away and enjoy.
Keep the sauce-to-pasta ratio in mind; you don’t want your pasta to absorb all of the tomato-based sauce, which could result in a dry pasta dish, which you definitely don’t want.I
f the sauce is too thick, set aside about 1 cup of pasta water.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 6 servings
- Calories: 767kcal
- Sugar: 9g
- Sodium: 1721mg
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 67g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 67g
- Cholesterol: 142mg
Keywords: Baked ziti with ground turkey recipe, baked ziti recipe, main dish recipe, baked ziti with ground turkey, baked dish