Thursday, April 7, 2016

One Pot Baked Ziti

My life has been so chaotic lately, I barely have time to cook or post recipes any more.  My 4 year old never stops chattering, and my 18 month old's idea of fun is trying to climb furniture or turn the oven on.  So when I make dinner these days, I need it to be relatively easy, and with little clean up.  Also ideal?  A meal that everyone in my family will actually eat.  I'm trying to eat lower calorie meals in order to lose the last few pounds of baby weight, my husband wants to feel full, my daughter hates anything with vegetables, and my son doesn't like most meat.  

This Baked Ziti was pretty much a miracle.  First of all, it all bakes in one pot!  Just make sure you use something that can go in the oven, like an enamel dutch oven.  Otherwise, you'll need to transfer the food into a baking dish, which will give you two dishes to clean up (the horror!).  It only takes about 30-40 minutes to cook, which is super necessary in my life right now.  I held my breath when I served it to my family, praying that the meal wouldn't be filled with tears and gagging (like most meals these days...toddlers are so much fun!).  To my immense relief, everyone ate it happily!  Sweet success!  And to my own happiness, this dish is under 400 calories a serving, so I can eat it guilt-free.  WOO!

One Pot Baked Ziti
Serves 6-8

1 tsp Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Italian Sausage (could use ground beef or turkey instead)
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 - 1/2 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
15 oz Tomato Sauce
14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups of Spinach, chopped finely (optional)
1/2 tsp White Sugar
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 Cups Water
12 oz Ziti Pasta (Note: not the full 16 oz)
4 oz of Cream Cheese, cubed
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
1 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella


1.  Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add in oil and then sausage, and cook until browned.  Scoop out any excess grease.  Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for an additional minute.

2.  Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spinach, sugar, and Italian seasoning.   Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  Stir in the water and the ziti.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a low boil.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

4.  Mix in the cubed cream cheese and parmesan.  Stir until all melted.  Top with mozzarella cheese.

5.  Turn the oven to broil, and once preheated, broil the pasta (uncovered) for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has melted and starting to brown.

Serving Size:  1/8th of Dish
Calories:  391
Fat:  17
Carbs:  37
Protein:  21

No comments:

Post a Comment