Hidden Veggie Baked Ziti

Makes 6 servings


This super fun pasta dish is a great weekend indulgence that has a little bit of vegetables hidden inside – perfect to hide from picky eaters in your household! The cheese helps make this a comforting, warming dish for these chilly winter evenings!


12 ounces penne pasta

1 pound ground Italian sausage (chicken, pork or turkey)

2 cups chopped broccoli

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup water

1 cup diced mushrooms

1 (24-ounce) jar tomato sauce

½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese

½ cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese



Preheat oven to 375°


In a large saucepan, fill with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots and water, stir until combined and cover. Cook for 3 minutes or until broccoli and carrots are softened.


Uncover and allow water to evaporate, about 2 minutes more. Add mushrooms and stir, cooking until softened and lightly browned. Add tomato sauce and stir until combined. Add pasta and toss to coat. Spoon mixture into a 9×9 baking dish.


Make small wells in the pasta and spoon the ricotta in small dollops into the wells. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Bake for 15 minutes until hot and bubbling. Change oven to hi broil and broil until cheese is lightly browned on top, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes and then serve.