Baked ziti with Italian turkey sausage

A comforting pasta for any night of the week

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The best dishes are the ones that keep on giving. By that, we're talking about leftovers that taste just as delicious as your dinner the night before.

This recipe for baked ziti with Italian turkey sausage by Ashley Fehr–also known as The Recipe Rebel–is the perfect thing to make on a cold winter evening and any leftovers can be quickly reheated and enjoyed for lunch the following day. If you can't find ziti at your local grocery store, a pasta noodle like rigatoni or penne will work just fine.

Baked ziti with Italian turkey sausage

1 lb Italian turkey sausage, with casings removed
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups Marinara sauce, or tomato-based pasta sauce of choice
4-5 cups dry ziti pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese

In a medium saucepan, crumble and cook turkey sausage over medium heat until just cooked.

Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt and cook, stirring often, until onion has softened - about 5 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, removing from the heat 1-2 minutes before the cooking time is up so pasta still has a slight bite to it. Drain and toss with oil to prevent sticking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Top with half of the pasta, half of the sauce, half of the ricotta (dollop it and swirl into the sauce if you desire), half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Repeat layers one more time to use the remaining ingredients.

Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly. Remove lid and broil for a couple minutes to allow top to brown.

Let cool slightly before serving.

Meal prepping tip

A great meal prep idea is to cook up a bunch of Italian turkey sausage when you bring it home from the grocery store, then freeze in small-medium freezer containers or bags so you can pull them out for a quick meal. Having a great protein cooked and ready to throw in makes dinnertime so much simpler!

How to freeze this baked ziti with Italian turkey sausage

Prepare the Baked Ziti up until the point of baking it. Wrap tightly (with plastic wrap and foil, or a lid if your container has one, although I still recommend lining with plastic or beeswax wrap to prevent freezer burn) and freeze on a flat shelf up to 3 months.

To bake, remove any plastic wrap and cover once more with foil or a lid. Bake according to recipe directions, but add 20-30 minutes, until heated through. If you want to cut down on bake time, remove the casserole 24-48 hours in advance and let thaw in the refrigerator, then continue on with the original baking instructions.

Serves 6
Prep Time:
5 minutes
Cook Time:
45 minutes