This Italian Sausage Pasta Bake is my equivalent to wearing sweatpants and watching Netflix all day on a rainy Saturday. It's sometimes just what the body needs as a comforting recharge. Luckily, this recipe comes together in a snap and it's perfect for a meal prep meal or making it and enjoying the previously stated sweatpants and Netflix.
Green: 12 points Blue: 11 points Purple: 7 points (with whole wheat pasta)
Sometimes you just need a big ol' bowl of pasta
This recipe is the recipe I go for when I'm anticipating a stressful week; the stress hasn't happened yet, but I know it is coming, so I plan on sweatpants and a giant bowl of pasta. That's a thing, right? During the school year, this usually falls on a Tuesday night. Luckily, this Italian Sausage Pasta Bake is a rockstar of a meal prep dish and can be made ahead. Both the sauce and zero point turkey sausage can be made in advance.
There's very few things more comforting than a big bowl of pasta. If you agree, I've got you covered:
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake
- One Pot Alfredo
- One Pot Sundried Tomato Alfredo
- Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet
- Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls
Yes, this pasta is a one pound serving.
This recipe is hefty. It's got 2 pounds of turkey sausage, both links and ground. I like the texture of both. Can't find Italian chicken/turkey sausage you like? Use two pounds of my zero point Italian sausage. Unfortunately, my daughters and wife will revolt if I add spinach or kale directly into this, but it accommodates added veggies beautifully.
- 1.5 Lb raw turkey sausage (I've got a zero point version on my blog)
- 8 cups pasta sauce (I've got a crock pot version on my blog)
- 1 package fully cooked chicken sausage (I use the Wegmans Italian Sausage)
- 1 box of penne (I prefer whole wheat on purple and ProteinPlus Barilla on blue and green)
- 12 oz. part skim mozzarella
1. Boil pasta in a well salted pot of water. Undercook pasta by 2 minutes according to the packaging.
2. Spray a large pot with your preferred cooking spray, and pan fry the fully cooked sausages to crisp the outside. Once browned, set aside.
3. Give your pan another quick spray, and cook the Italian sausage until cooked through.
4. If your kids eat vegetables, you can saute spinach, kale, mushrooms, or even artichokes here to bulk this up even more. Alas, my kids don't eat many green things these days.
5. Ladle in 8 cups of sauce into the pan if using an oven safe pan. When adding the sauce, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits of flavor. If not, pour sauce and turkey sausage into a 9"x13" oven safe dish.
6. Slice the precooked sausage and mix into the dish.
7. When the pasta is ready, add pasta into the dish and mix to evenly coat everything.
8. Mix in 2/3 of the cheese directly into the pasta. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
9. If you are prepping this for later in the week, wrap tightly and store in your fridge for up to three days. Bake at 350, covered for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, and cook for another 10. Broil at the end to get the bubbly cheese (it's optional, but makes it even better).
If you are cooking it now, cook at 350 until all the cheese is melty (about 10-15 minutes). Finish with the broil on high to get that golden brown cheese bubbles; if you’ve never used a broiler before, keep a close eye on it and check it every 20-30 seconds. Mine was done in about 1-2 minutes, but burnt cheese can happen fast (speaking from personal experience).
Bonus points (garnish): Top with some fresh basil, oregano, or a few dashes of Italian seasoning.
Green: 12 points
Blue: 11 points
Purple: 7 points (with whole wheat pasta)
Serving Size:1 lb.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 24ggSaturated Fat: 9.5ggTrans Fat: 0.1ggCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 1,839mgCarbohydrates: 58.5gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 49g
As always, I love hearing from you guys on social media. If you make this, post it on Instagram and tag me or use the #dwardcooks hasthag, or DM me a picture and I'll feature you on my Instagram. I am so grateful for all of the support from you guys and the weight watchers community.