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Mar 07
7

Italian Sausage Spinach Pasta Bake

Pasta bakes aren’t generally thought of as a “light” dish, but this one combines whole wheat pasta, vitamin-rich spinach, juicy tomatoes, turkey sausage and reduced fat cheese to create a hearty, satisfying and delicious meal that’s also healthy! I lightened this dish up from the original recipe, but you won’t miss any of the calories once you taste your first bite of cheesy, meaty pasta goodness. I used hot Italian sausage for the added flavor but if you prefer, mild would work just as well. One serving of this is very filling and you could definitely serve this to guests without them realizing it’s been lightened up. Definitely recommended!

Italian Sausage Spinach Pasta Bake

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz whole wheat pasta (I used spirals)
  • 1 lb Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed (I used Gianelli hot Italian turkey sausage)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 c fat free half-and-half cream
  • 1 c reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions on box, then drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta cooks, in a large sauté pan, cook the sausage and onion over medium heat, breaking up sausage until it is browned. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano and black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add pasta, spinach and half-and-half to the sausage mixture and stir to combine. Heat through and then pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella and then Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
8 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Adapted from Taste of Home

 

 

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7 Responses to “Italian Sausage Spinach Pasta Bake”

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    1
    ScrapinShana — March 7, 2011 @ 3:18 am

    This looks so yummy! I really want to try it…wondering how much a serving is for 8 points? A cup or more? Less? I’m always unsure about that!

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    2
    emilybites — March 7, 2011 @ 3:20 am

    I just cut into into 10 pieces (once down the middle lengthwise and then 4 cuts horizontally) in the pan and serve!

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    3
    Anonymous — March 27, 2011 @ 4:20 am

    I am leary of frozen, chopped spinach – last time I used it, there were some hard stems throughout my casserole… Suggestions on how to work with the frozen, chopped spinach – or could fresh be used instead? And, how would I do that?

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    4
    emilybites — March 28, 2011 @ 4:33 am

    Oh strange, I’ve never had that problem with frozen chopped spinach! Perhaps you could buy a different brand? If you use fresh I would just recommend you wilt it first in a saute pan with some oil or cooking spray to get it to the same texture/consistency as packaged chopped spinach before using it. Good luck!

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    5
    Anonymous — June 5, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

    I used my store brand spinach and it turned out great! I would definitely make this one again, but half the size. Thanks Emily!

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    6
    emilybites — June 6, 2011 @ 1:07 am

    Glad it turned out well!

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    Fat Cat. — March 15, 2013 @ 12:03 am

    Emily! Delicious as always. I made mine with half Johnsonville Chicken and pork mild Italian sausage (not a fan of spice) and half MorningStar veggie sausage as I had family visiting that do not eat meat. Needless to say the meat half was a lot tastier than the veggie half and it took a little longer to make. I also steamed/wilted my own spinach as I find frozen spinach has an after taste. Everybody loved it! Will put this into the rotation. <3

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