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Turkey Meatball Pasta Casserole

First off – apologies for the terrible photo… It was too tasty not to share, and not too photogenic. Sorry!

Sometimes you just need pasta. And while it’s not the healthiest thing out there, this version isn’t too bad for you, especially if you go for more conservative servings. I’m giving you the calorie breakdown for 5 servings below, but it could easily serve 6. Plus, it’s great for any fellow pregos, it’s high in vitamin c and has a decent bit of calcium and iron in there too. Plus, if you’re anything like me and starving all the time – this will fill you up and stick with you.

It’s a creamy, cheesy, tomato, veggie filled awesomeness. I don’t know what else to say other then you should probably make it – soon. You won’t regret it!

Turkey Meatball Pasta Casserole
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
6 oz button mushrooms, sliced
6 c fresh baby spinach
5-7 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz Whole Wheat Fusilli
15 oz low fat Ricotta
4 oz parmesan
6 oz part skim mozzarella, shredded
1 can tomato sauce
1 lb ground turkey
Hardy dash Italian seasoning, rosemary, black pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes
Tiny dash all spice
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
¼ c garlic bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 425ᵒ.

Cook pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Add a little olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. In a large bowl mix the cooked pasta and the veggies, mix to combine.

Pour ½ of the pasta mixture into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with 2/3 of the mozzarella and half of the pasta sauce. Spread the ricotta over top. Add remaining pasta, top with the remaining mozzarella.

Thoroughly mix the ground turkey, spices, olive oil, vinegar and bread crumbs. Form into meat balls and place on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the parmesan over top of everything. Pour the tomato sauce over the casserole.

Bake for 35 -40 minutes until the entire casserole is bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through.

5-6 servings – 1 serving (estimated) – 638 Calories, 20g Fat, 72g Carbs, 10g Fiber, 43g Protein (Vitamin A 72%, Vitamin C 121%, Calcium 55%, Iron 40%)