Archive | October 1, 2011

Spinach Pasta Bake

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. My Saturday was full of fall activities with the family. I can’t believe I haven’t been back to Pennsylvania to visit since Christmas! I definitely need to make a point of coming home more often. It’s a long trip for just a two-day weekend, but it’s so nice to be in the house I grew up in surrounded by my loved ones. Today was exhausting. We just went from one activity to the next and I loved every minute. Get ready for an update post when I get home. Be warned that there will be lots of apple pictures! In the meantime I am going to soak up as much family time as possible. And maybe get a few hours of sleep.

I wanted to share the “morphing” meal that I mentioned in my Thankful Thursday post. I made one versatile filling that got added to lasagna and macaroni. It’s weird that even though the filling was the same, it seemed like a whole new meal when you ate it in a different form!

Spinach Pasta Bake

I love taking traditional dishes and making them “healthier.” This pasta bake uses 1 % cottage cheese instead of ricotta to cut down on the fat and calories. I added spinach for some extra nutrients… and for color! The filling for this pasta dish can also be layered with lasagna noodles and sauce for a whole new spin.

Serves: 6-8

Prep Time: 20 minutes (Can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight or frozen)

Bake Time:25 minutes


1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp olive oil

1.25 lbs 90% lean ground beef

1 10 oz package spinach, thawed

1 lb 1% cottage cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 lb box elbow macaroni

1 16 oz jar tomato sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

2. Add ground beer and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink.

3. While the beef is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

4. Combine the meat and onions, spinach, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.


5. Add the tomato sauce and macaroni.

6.  Spoon picture into baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese.

7. Bake for 20 minutes covered in foil.

8. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes.

9. Dig in!

This is the perfect comfort food. My favorite part is the gooey cheese on top. I love the burned crispy parts near the edges.


This meal is easy to prep the night before and stick in the oven right when you get home from work.

20111001-112858.jpgQuestion: What is your favorite pasta dish? I love pasta with shrimp and marinara. My favorite part of making pasta at home is switching up the different shapes of noodles:)