Butternut Squash & Turkey Sausage Baked Ziti

Saturday, March 02, 2013

From our skinny table to yours...

Do you love butternut squash as much as we do?  We just want to use them all up before the seasons over, and in every way possible!  This one is going to knock your socks off!  We made a delicious butternut puree and used this as our sauce to the baked ziti.  This puree gives this meal such an elegant flavor and is incredibly light and nutritious.  The puree consists of only butternut squash, garlic, leeks, chicken stock, fresh parsley, fresh basil and a tablespoon of part skim ricotta cheese!  Simply place these sauteed ingredients into the food processor and blend away until you have a beautiful sauce like this...

Look at that bright color!  This is a sweet and savory sauce so we thought a little hot turkey sausage would complement this perfectly.  We sauteed up a bit of hot sausage with an entire bag of fresh spinach, we love our veggies, and of course some more garlic!  This was such a healthy puree we opted to go for the carbs tonight, because it's the weekend and all ;)  Of course if you would rather skip the carbs, a spaghetti squash would be a wonderful option!  We however mixed in whole wheat pasta tonight, which we always do if we're going to splurge on pasta to keep it as healthy as possible.

We then simply poured our fragrant puree over top and let it soak into every last noodle.  This is a great recipe re-do to the typical fattening baked ziti dish.  We packed this one with veggies and use minimal cheese to keep the calorie count down and pack in nutrition!  

One thing about us for sure is that we are certainly believers of everything in moderation!  Tonight we're having a healthy, hearty carb dish, so lunch consisted of a light salad.  You know the drill ;) mix it up to stay happy and healthy!  Now back to our dinner, it is of course a spin on baked ziti so we do need to melt some cheese on top.  We used 3 tablespoons of part skim mozarella cheese on top, which made for the perfect bubbly topping and still keeps us looking good!

Be sure to use portion control tonight because trust us when we say this was so good we could eat the whole tray!  Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but be sure to portion out one piece per person and then get to eating this healthy dish!  Hope you like this one as much as we did :)

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Serves 6
Calories: 397 per serving
Fat: 9.9 grams
Carbs: 52.2 grams
Dietary Fiber: 6.7 grams
Protein: 22.5 grams

Butternut Squash & Turkey Sausage Baked Ziti
Olive oil
1 Butternut squash
1 pound hot lean turkey sausage
1 box whole wheat pasta (13.25 oz) or spaghetti squash, your choice!
4 cups chicken stock
6 cloves garlic
2 leeks (or use a small yellow onion)
1  bag spinach
1 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp part skim mozarella cheese
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh basil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Let's get cooking!
1.  To make puree - remove skin off of squash and cut into small chunks.  Boil squash in chicken stock for approx 25 minutes or until soft and mashable.  Meanwhile saute 4 garlic and leeks in one tbsp olive oil.  In food processor blend the cooked squash, one cup chicken stock (use what you have left after boiling squash), garlic, leeks, and both chopped parsley and basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste
2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mince remaining 2 cloves garlic and saute in one tbps olive oil.  Add turkey sausage.  Use knife and make a slit down sausage link.  Remove covering and add all sausage to pan.  Mash up sausage into small bits and saute until pan until browned - approx ten minutes
3.  Add spinach to pan with sausage when two minute remains.  Cook spinach until fully wilted, which doesn't take long
4.  Cook pasta to al dente - according to package directions
4.  Spray baking dish with non-stick spray and add pasta and the spinach and sausage mixture to tray.  Top this with one tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
5.  Pour butternut puree over pasta mixture (should be about 2 cups - give or take a little)!
6.  Top entire dish with 3 tbsp moz cheese.  Bake dish in oven approx 20 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly

Serves 6 healthy portions!  Enjoy :)

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  1. OoommGGGG! Garlic, Cheese, and Pasta. Yes Please!

  2. Thanks ladies! This was SO good! Let us know if you try it :)

  3. this looks amazing! i'm new to your blog- do you ever have calorie counts for your recipes?

  4. Thanks Stephanie! Yes, we actually plan to add this in the near future so check back :) Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  5. Was wondering if nutritional info is same when using spaghetti squash vs pasta?


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