Want your picky kids to eat their veggies? Hide them in this delicious baked ziti with spinach. They’ll never have to know that you tricked them into eating their spinach (and zucchini too).
It’s not always easy to get kids to eat their veggies. I’ve even been known to be a little sneaky about it, like making zucchini noodles or turkey meatloaf with spinach and mushrooms. The kids tend not to notice as much when you bake them right into the recipe!
That’s why my girls go crazy for this baked ziti with spinach. I fill it with veggies and they’ve never once complained. What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?
Baked Ziti With Spinach, Zucchini & Mushrooms
There are a gazillion different ways to make this easy baked ziti recipe. Originally I was just going to use spinach but I figured why not throw in some zucchini too. The more veggies the better. We also add ground turkey but you can always leave that out if you prefer a vegetarian baked ziti.
Start by boiling the pasta, then chop zucchini, spinach, mushrooms and a little parsley for garnish. The smaller you chop the vegetables, the more likely they are to go undetected! Set the parsley aside for later.
Saute the zucchini for three minutes, then add the spinach and mushrooms and saute for another two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Brown the ground turkey. Once it’s thoroughly cooked, mix it with the sauteed veggie mixture, chopped parsley and two jars of pasta sauce.
Take a couple of spoonfuls and cover the bottom of a 9×13 glass pan (or casserole dish). Add 1/2 of your ziti, 1/2 of the remaining meat sauce, 1/2 of the ricotta and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Repeat this step with the remaining ingredients and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes and let stand for five minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
This recipe is so good and my family always wants seconds. The best part is that you’ll probably have leftovers so you’re off dinner duty the next night. You’re welcome!
I will admit that I did make one big mistake. My youngest was super excited to eat this until I garnished her baked ziti with the parsley. Once I picked the “gross” parsley off hers, she was happy again!
- 1 box, 1 lb ziti
- 2 24 oz jars pasta sauce
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 cups spinach
- 4 oz mushrooms
- 3 tblsp parsley, 1 for garnish
- 8 oz part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 cups part skim mozzarella shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cook ziti according to package
- Chop zucchini, spinach, mushrooms and parsley.
- Set parsley aside.
- Sautee zucchini in olive oil for three minutes. Add spinach and mushrooms and sautee for two additional minutes.
- Cook ground turkey and pour into large bowl.
- Add sauteed mixture, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic and pasta sauce. Stir.
- Cover the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan (or casserole dish) with the meat & veggie mixture.
- Add 1/2 of the cooked ziti.
- Next, add 1/2 of the remaining meat & veggie mixture.
- Add 1/2 of the ricotta.
- Add 1/2 of the mozzarella.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
- Garnish with extra parsley.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 160 Saturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 554mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Protein: 18g
I first made this easy baked ziti three years ago and it’s been a hit ever since! What tips to you have for getting the kids to eat their veggies?
If you liked this recipe, you can find more delicious main courses here or check out the recipes below…