Better-For-You Baked Ziti

Baked ziti is a comfort food staple. But with loads of full-fat ricotta, mozzarella and sometimes even sour cream too, one serving can rack up the calories and saturated fat.

Flavor soars in this slimmed-down version made with part-skim cheeses, oregano, thyme, garlic and onion. The baked pasta is a great choice for a make-ahead meal or a potluck dinner.

 Better-For-You Baked Ziti

Serves 8
1 pound ziti
15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups pasta or marinara sauce, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the ziti according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, oregano, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange half of the ziti over the sauce. Top with the ricotta mixture and spread out in an even layer. Top the cheese layer with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Top with remaining ziti, remaining cup of sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 371
Total Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 5.5 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 51 grams
Sugars: 7 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Sodium: 426 milligrams
Cholesterol: 28 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams

Robin Miller is host of Quick Fix Meals, a nutritionist and author of 10 cookbooks, including “Robin Takes 5” and “Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families.” She is the busy mom of two active boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinmillercooks.com.

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