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Ground turkey baked rigatoni covered in melted cheese

Ground Turkey Baked Rigatoni

5 from 12 votes
This baked rigatoni is full of ground turkey, veggies and - most importantly - cheesy goodness!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound ground turkey, can substitute ground beef or Italian sausage
  • ½ cup onion, chopped (add more, if you prefer)
  • 4- ounce can mushroom stems and pieces, can substitute fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1-24 ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, or your favorite homemade sauce recipe
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet or Italian basil, chopped
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, shredded and divided
  • Fresh parsley, optional, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cook pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente, and drain. Coat in 1 tablespoon butter while it's still hot, and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan. Crumble the ground turkey into the pan and cook on medium heat until it’s no longer pink. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add onion and garlic, cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to low. Add the sauce and basil, stir, and cover. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally if you see the sauce start to bubble, otherwise keep it covered.
  • In a 9×13 glass baking dish (sprayed generously with cooking spray), pour in half the pasta, then all of your sauce and meat mix. Stir to mix, and then add the rest of the pasta and stir some more.
  • Once you feel like it’s all adequately combined, top with the cheese, cover with foil, and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes on the top rack. For the last 5 minutes, uncover and broil (on low, if you have a setting for it) to brown the cheese on top.
  • Remove carefully, top with parsley (if desired), grab a serving spoon and dish it out. Enjoy!

Notes

Freeze: Cover the unbaked dish with foil and plastic wrap (make sure it's tightly sealed) and keep it in the freezer. When you're ready to bake, you can either let it come to room temperature or bake from frozen. If baking from frozen, add up to 30 minutes to the cook time.
If you have the time and patience, shred the cheese yourself. It melts easier than the bagged, pre-shredded stuff.
Want more veggies? Go for it! I love adding spinach, kale, artichoke hearts, or zucchini. If you're leaving out the meat, adding more veggies is a great way to beef it up (pun totally intended).
Want to add some spice? Add some red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little heat.
You can assemble the dish ahead of time. If you want to prep ahead of time so all you have to do is pop it in the oven for dinner, you totally can. Prep everything in the baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it stored in the fridge until you're ready to bake it.

Nutrition

Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 956mg | Potassium: 847mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 859IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 3mg
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian
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