Cooking Corner: Extra Cheesy Baked Ziti

Writer: Katie Mancino





6 oz dry penne pasta

1 1/4 cup tomato garlic sauce

1 cup fat free ricotta cheese

1 cup reduced fat Italian Cheese Blend

1/2 medium eggplant, cubed

1 large zucchini, cubed



1. Prepare pasta according to directions on package. You can also use the microwave (cover it with water and cook on high uncovered for 9-10 minutes). Cube vegetables.
2. Combine cooked pasta with tomato sauce, ricotta, 1/2 cup shredded cheese and the vegetables.
3. Load everything into a 9×9 baking pan and pack it down.
4. Cover the top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
5. Bake at 375* for about 30 minutes until cheese begins to brown.

Makes 4 servings

310 calories, 46 carbs, 6g fat, 21g protein

“With 2 cups of cheese in just 4 servings this baked ziti dish comes out creamy and delicious. It’s loaded with chunks of eggplant and zucchini for a truly enormous portion size! Healthy food doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or flavor, it just means getting creative!”



Extra Hearty Minestrone


1 white onion, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, cubed

1 cup celery, cubed

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 small tomatoes, diced

1 medium potato, cut into small cubes

1 can red kidney beans

1 can white beans

1 small head escarole, chopped

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 round slices

3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 package baby bella mushrooms

5 oz spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces

4 Tbsp parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp oregano



1. Cook onions, carrots, celery and garlic with 1 cup water for 5-8 minutes on medium heat until soft.

2. Add potato, tomato (fresh) and escarole; cook another 3-5 minutes, add another 1 cup water.

3. Add mushrooms, zucchini, beans, canned tomato and vegetable broth; cook 8-10 minutes.

4. Add about 6 cups of water and spices, cook another 10 minutes.

5. Add pasta, cook for 10 minutes then top off with more water.

6. Add parmesan, cook another 3-5 minutes, season to taste and enjoy!

Makes 9 servings (2.25 cups each)

201 calories, 43 carbs, 1g fat, 10g protein

“This is by far the best soup I’ve ever made! You can eat a full serving as part of a meal or have it as a half serving (pictured) as a snack! It takes about 1-1.5 hours but is honestly worth all the work and the recipe makes 9 full sized servings so your hard work WILL be rewarded! It’s super hearty & filling, with chunks of veggies like zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, celery, onion, tomato, there’s even a bit of potato in there!”

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