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Pepperoni Ziti Casserole

I took a traditional family recipe and put my own nutritious spin on it to create this casserole. The chopped spinach and turkey pepperoni add color and flair. —Andrea Abrahamsen, Brentwood, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 package (1 pound) uncooked ziti or small tube pasta
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 cans (one 29 ounces, one 8 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 ounces sliced turkey pepperoni


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the 29-oz. can tomato sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, garlic powder, pepper flakes and pepper. Drain pasta; fold into turkey mixture.
  • Transfer to a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine the water and remaining tomato sauce; pour over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 306 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 795mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 4g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable.
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Average Rating:
  • lurky27
    Jul 13, 2015

    No need for the ground turkey. I doubled spinach. I substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta. Delicious!- Theresa

  • Sarjosha
    May 28, 2015

    The whole family really enjoyed this and I love casseroles, win-win. A lot of flavor in this simple ingredient recipe. Perfect amount of sauce to noodle ratio. Since shredded mozzarella comes in 2 cup bags I used the 2 cups. Thanks for the recipe.

  • mamaknowsbest
    Jan 24, 2015

    Perfect! I must admit when I usually make a baked ziti dish I do not follow a recipe. Not now! This is our new go-to recipe. As a volunteer food editor for Taste of Home I appreciate recipes that are easy to assemble and provide lots of flavor. Not to mention lots of food for a family of five. With or without the pepperoni this is a great dish!

  • Joscy
    Jun 21, 2014

    saving recipe! thanky ou for sharing TOH. J.

  • mnonemacher
    Apr 16, 2014

    Really please with the way this turned out. Prep took a bit longer than I expected, but overall I was happy with it! Definitely feels healthier than eating a traditional ziti...there is a lot less cheese. If you want more - just add it in!

  • Morgan_ja9
    Mar 20, 2013

    I changed it up by not adding the spinach and garlic (since my family wouldn't eat it anyway) and it still came out delicious!! My kids and nieces all had seconds. It was completely devoured. I call that a success! Definitely making this one again!

  • aayres1022
    Jul 23, 2012

    This recipe has way too much garlic. The garlic overpowers all the other flavors. For that reason it tasted terrible. I'm still tasting garlic. Won't make this one again even with recipe altered.

  • mc21207
    Mar 14, 2012

    this is a great tasting dish!

  • nesta85way
    Feb 23, 2011

    I put in a whole ten ounce package of chopped spinach, and it turned out great! I think if I fix it again, I might add some green onions. It could have used some. Otherwise, it was great.

  • mam2388
    Jan 2, 2011

    I left out the ground meat and just used pepperoni - didn't miss it! I also fudged the sauce requirements and used more spinach, etc. Everything is just in a weird amount that you can't buy at the store - throw it all together with what you can find and it turns out fine.