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Extra Meaty Baked Ziti

August 22, 2012

I love baked ziti.   My very favorite is rich and decadent and has no meat.  Hubby likes it, but in deference to his carnivorous nature and in an effort to lighten things up (yes, this has 2 pounds of meat and is LIGHTER than the meatless ziti I prefer–I wasn’t kidding when I said the other version is decadent), I created this extra meaty ziti (which is also loaded with veggies–that’s the light portion).  Hubby WIPED IT OUT, declaring it must be added to the favorites list.  Makes 6 servings at 779.45 calories and 43.2 grams of fat per serving.


  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage cooked
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 4 ounces sliced black olives, drained
  • 30 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers,diced
  • 8 ounces gluten free pasta
  • 1 cup light cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 3 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, less 2-3 minutes.  It’s going to cook more in the casserole itself.

3. Brown the ground beef.

4. Drain and rinse.

5. Brown the sausage.

6. As the sausage is cooking, add the chopped mushrooms and cook until softened.

7. Add the ground beef back in.

8. Turn off the heat.

9. Add the olives, both cans of tomatoes (undrained), the roasted red peppers, tomato paste, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and cottage cheese, and fresh mozzarella and mix thoroughly.

10. Add the pasta and mix until well incorporated.

11. Pour into greased 9×13 casserole dish and cover with foil.

12. Bake for 30 minutes.

13. Remove the foil and top with the shredded mozzarella and bake for another 15 minutes, until cheese is melty.

Printable version.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2012 8:19 am

    Kait this looks really, really good. (Or I’m really, really hungry because I haven’t eat breakfast yet.) Wish my family would eat stuff like this with veggies in it.

  2. laurakcurtis permalink
    August 22, 2012 8:23 am

    I LOVE baked ziti and make a killer version myself. We don’t eat meat, but I do use the veggie meatless crumbles, which–by the time you’ve added a bunch of sauce and cheese and spices–are completely indistinguishable from ground beef and make me feel a LITTLE healthier! LOL!


  1. Creamy, Meaty Baked Ziti « Pots and Plots

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