Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage
- 8 Servings
- 20 MIN Prep Time
- 1 HR Total Time
- 1 package Hot Italian Turkey Sausage
- Or, 1 package Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage
- Or, 1 package Ground Turkey
- 1 lb. cooked ziti pasta, or your favorite tube pasta
- 1 (24 oz.) jar of tomato and basil pasta sauce
- 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
|Serving Size||1 cup|
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories from Fat|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||30%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrates 38g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
Vitamin D 0%
Iron 3 15%
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. This is a representation of the nutrition label. The actual nutrition label on the product may vary slightly.|
Step 1Preheat oven to 350° F.
Step 2Cook pasta and turkey sausage according to package instructions. (Slice turkey sausage links into 1/4 inch pieces before cooking).
Step 3In a medium saucepan, combine turkey sausage and pasta sauce. Heat thoroughly. Set aside 1 cup for preparation.
Step 4While sauce and turkey are cooking, combine Ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, egg, dried basil, salt and garlic salt in a bowl. Mix well.
Step 5Gently fold in the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture.
Step 6Spread the reserved 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread pasta mixture over the top of the sauce.
Step 7Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Step 8Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage FAQs
If our Hot Italian Turkey Sausage is not available in your area, here’s how you can spice up ground turkey:
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground sage
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of thyme
- 1/2 of ground fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
The above seasoning mixture is enough to make one pound of ground turkey taste and smell like sausage.
The winner in the turkey sausage vs. ground turkey contest boils down to preference. Ground turkey is simply ground turkey meat without any added seasoning. Turkey sausage, which is often available in sausage links or ground form, is ground turkey meat with seasonings added. If you’re cooking from a recipe that requires turkey sausage, but only have ground turkey, you can substitute one for the other.
You can store leftover baked ziti in your fridge or freezer. If your fridge is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your ziti will stay fresh for five to seven days.
If you want to keep your baked ziti fresh for up to two to three months, store it in a below zero-degree Fahrenheit freezer. Always place baked ziti in a freezer-safe dish before storing it in the fridge or freezer. If the freezer-safe container does not have a lid, you can seal it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
If your ziti is frozen, thaw it in your fridge before heating. Slowly defrosting the ziti in the fridge will prevent it from losing flavor and will allow it to cook evenly.
Thawing frozen ziti in the fridge can take several hours, so plan ahead! After your ziti has thawed, you can store it in your fridge for three to four days before cooking. Alternatively, and as a best practice, cook it immediately after thawing.
Cooking defrosted ziti is simple and should take 30 to 40 minutes to cook. All you have to do is:
- Transfer the defrosted ziti into a clean baking pan and cover it with foil
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Put the pan in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes
- Take the foil off for the last 10 minutes of cooking
- Serve and enjoy
You can make this baked ziti recipe less spicy by replacing the Hot Italian Turkey Sausage with sweet sausage or ground turkey . Both sweet sausage and ground turkey are great substitutes because they have the same texture as the hot Italian turkey sausage, but are more palatable for sensitive tastebuds.
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