Tag Archives: meatless

Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

Happy Friday everyone! Wow did this week go flying by, or is it just me? I’ve been so busy with back to school stuff that it just seems like it flew by! Can you believe it’s time for back to school already?! I managed to get all of the school supplies, sports physicals are done, we’re working on clothes, and more paperwork for the schools. It hardly leaves time for anything else it would seem.

However, if you are a planner like I am, you probably plan ahead your meals. Or at least your dinners. One thing I have been doing lately is planning budget friendly meals, mostly because of the expenses of back to school. With budget friendly meals, it always helps to have at least 1 meatless dish a week, and lets not forget to keep it healthy! Budget friendly doesn’t have to mean “bad for you”.

So, I’ve got a great meatless casserole for you today! Originally I found this casserole over on Krystin’s blog, Lil Luna. Her recipe is phenomenal! Don’t get me wrong! In fact I love it so much, I really wanted to make it a bit healthier so I can enjoy it more often. Plus I made a few other minor changes to make it more of a meal. By the way, if you don’t want this to be a meatless dish, you can always add some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham to it as well.

So here’s what I came up with to lighten it up, and twist it a smidge. First of all, you want to get your ziti pasta cooking. Cook that according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. While that’s boiling away, heat your broccoli cuts according to package directions. Now I bought frozen steamable broccoli cuts, so I just had to plop the package down in the microwave and nuke it according to what the package said. Drain  your pasta, put it back in the same pot, add your broccoli.

Now, take your Alfredo sauce and sour cream and mix that together real good.

Then dump that sauce into the pot with your ziti and broccoli. Toss that together until it’s all evenly coated.

Spread half of the noodle mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 dish.

Now combine together your ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt & pepper.

Spread that evenly over the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the ricotta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake it at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Just look at that cheese! Using light roasted garlic Alfredo sauce, light sour cream, ricotta cheese made with part skim, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese, you’re still left with a rich, creamy, delicious pasta casserole. By the way, no one in this house had a clue I used light or reduced fat anything in this recipe. Now I can enjoy this casserole more often with reduced guilt!

One last note, to make it a bit more healthier, and if you wish, you can replace regular ziti pasta with whole grain or whole wheat ziti. We are just not fans of whole wheat pasta, but that doesn’t mean  you aren’t! Enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare ziti according to package directions until al dente; drain and return to pot.
  2. While ziti is cooking, heat broccoli cuts according to package directions. I used steamable, so just used my microwave.
  3. Once ziti is drained and returned to the pot, add the broccoli
  4. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti and broccoli until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  5. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to add meat to this dish if you want! Just throw in some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham with your pasta and broccoli.

Substitute whole grain or whole wheat pasta if you like.

Adapted from lilluna.com

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Meatless Chili Pasta Bake

Hello everyone!

It’s a beautiful Tuesday afternoon here in my little corner of the world in the southern half of Indiana. A bit humid though. I love the sunshine, but the humidity I can do without. I am very grateful for my air conditioning. My kids, however, are enjoying playing in the sprinkler. When they are done, they like to towel off and dry in the sun while eating a Fun Pop. Once spring hits, I always make sure I have a package of those in the freezer.

Enough about my day, lets talk about menu planning for just a minute. Do any of you menu plan? I always work out a menu plan before I make my shopping list, and I work by the week. I also only do dinners. I don’t plan breakfast and lunch. Each individual is on their own for that one. I always have everyone’s favorite things on hand though, so it’s easy for them to find breakfast and lunch.

Do any of you do themed menu planning? I absolutely love doing my planning that way, because I get so bored doing it. I mean lets face it, menu planning and grocery shopping are not really the most enjoyable thing to do. They are tasks and they must be done. But why not have fun with it? If I start getting bored I just change up my theme. I do have some constants though that always seem to make it into the plan somewhere. One of those is a meatless night.

I have discovered that lots of people do “Meatless Monday”. My meatless meal may not fall on a Monday, but it’s the same concept. I’ve also discovered that having at least one meatless meal a week, will save money in groceries. One last thing I’ve noticed, when I make a meatless dish, no one seems to notice or even miss it. How cool is that?!

So that’s what I have for you today, a meatless dish that you’re going to want to add to your menu to try. It’s incredibly budget friendly, and so yummy! My son wolfed it down, and then the kids polished off what was left of it the next day for lunch. I served it alongside some corn bread and a tossed crisp green salad. Easy, quick, cheap, and yummy! What could be better?! Let me show you how easy this is…

First you’re going to cook the pasta according to the package directions. Then drain it, and add it back to the pot. Then mix in your chili, salsa and corn.

Transfer that to a 13×9 casserole dish.

Now sprinkle on the cheese.

All that’s left is to pop it in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s bubbly and the cheese is melted.

I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious dish together! We sure did!

A few of my favorite things in this recipe:

  • Pyrex glass 13×9 baking dish – Mine’s blue, and also probably older, but these Pyrex dishes are perfect for just about anything. They don’t absorb food smells or stains, they are dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave & oven safe, and the lid makes taking a dish to a potluck a lot easier!
  • Oxo Good Grips nylon spoon – These are safe for non-stick cookware and also heat resistant up to 400 degrees.
  • Paula Deen cookware – I absolutely love my cookware set. I have had these for quite awhile and still don’t need to replace them. They are very reasonably priced for great cookware.


Print Recipe
Meatless Chili Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to pot and add in the chili, salsa and corn. Mix well to combine.
  3. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

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