BAKED GROUND TURKEY PASTA CASSEROLE

Ahhhh……Fall. It’s a great time to cook and eat meals with a little more substance. Still, this one is a Weight Watchers recipe coming in at 4 Smart Points. It has a total of 12 servings. I turned it into 8 servings. I have no problem with 6 points for a larger serving. Well worth it in my opinion.

I wanted to use items that I already had. I always keep a good stash of Italian spices. My pantry is always stocked with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. What self-respecting Italian wife would I be?? I mean c’mon….haha!!

I use ground turkey all the time in place of ground beef. Not that there is a thing wrong with ground beef. You could totally use ground beef in this recipe. I don’t think you will be disappointed with either choice here.

It has a great flavor from the baby bella mushrooms and fresh basil.  I would definitely serve this to guests with a salad and some crusty bread. It is good comfort food that is packed with flavor.

I made a few small changes to the ingredients. I recently discovered roasted piquillo peppers. They are a sweet pepper grown in Spain. I also love cavatappi because it has a cool shape and really holds sauces well. The increased amount of basil, really pushed it to flavor town.  I always manage to have fresh basil on hand too. I still have some from my last summer planting.

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So, without further adieu here are all the details.

BAKED GROUND TURKEY PASTA CASSEROLE

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, pre-sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz package of roasted piquillo peppers, drain and chop
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 C fresh basil, packed tightly (about 20 nice sized leaves) rough chopped
  • 12 oz cavatappi, cooked for 8 minutes
  • 1 C part skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divide in half
  • 1/4 C grated fresh Parmigiano/Reggiano cheese, remove 2 Tbsp and set aside

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×14 casserole dish with non-stick spray (I use Pam with olive oil)
  3. In a large skillet, brown the turkey, onion, and mushrooms on med high heat. Continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add salt to the water and drop the pasta in and bring back to the boil. Boil for 8 minutes. Remove, drain, and set aside.
  5. To the meat mixture, add the salt, garlic, piquillo peppers, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and basil. Stir well to combine.
  6. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes so flavors can combine.
  7. Stir in the drained pasta, 1/2 C of mozzarella, and the 2 Tbsp of Parm/Reg cheese. Stir until is all combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into your prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the dish is heated through and bubbly hot.

**For 12 servings = 4 SP per serving     For 8 servings = 6 SP per serving

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

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Viki D

I'm a wife, mother, and a nurse. I love to cook, craft, and create. I am a Christmas fanatic and love entertaining and cooking for my friends and family. Follow me on Pinterest at Around the Butcher Block / VikiD

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