This is one of my family's favorite and easiest bulk meal prep meals. I cook once and have at least 2 family dinners out of it, sometimes 3 or 4. I made sure to have a couple of batches of this in the freezer for when baby arrived too. It's also an incredibly easy recipe to modify. You can use whole wheat pasta, gluten free pasta and swap in ground beef for the turkey. You could also use nutritional yeast as a substitute for the cheese if you want to make it dairy free.
I like to use a cast iron skillet when I stir fry the meat and veggies together because then I can just slide that same skillet into the oven for the batch that I'm going to use for dinner that same night once I add in the pasta and cheese. Less dishes are always a win!
Here's what you'll need for this simple family crowd pleaser!
-2 x 1 lb boxes of pasta
-1 package of frozen, chopped spinach or 2-3 cups fresh spinach
-1-1 1/2 lb of lean ground turkey
-2 x 28 oz cans tomato sauce plus 1-2 cups additional sauce for topping when baking - each dish
-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese plus additional for topping when baking each dish
-2 tsp garlic powder
-2 tsp oregano
Prepare the pasta according to the package directions While the pasta is cooking, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray, heat on medium heat and add the ground turkey to the heated skillet. Pan fry the turkey until fully cooked and there is no pink meat throughout. Drain the turkey of any excess water. Prepare the frozen spinach in the microwave or on the stove top based on the directions on the package. Once the spinach is cooked, drain of any excess water and use a fork to separate all of the spinach and ensure it is not frozen anywhere in the middle. If using fresh spinach, add it to the turkey and stir fry until cooked and significantly reduced in volume.
Once the pasta is cooked, strain to remove the water and return the pasta to the large pot. Add in the turkey, spinach, 2 large cans of tomato sauce, the garlic powder and oregano. Stir until well combined. Add in 2 cups of shredded cheese and stir again. Prepare 2 casserole dishes by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and pour half of the pasta into each prepared dish. For the dish you are cooking now, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, spread an additional 1-2 cups of sauce on top and sprinkle some extra cheese on top. Cover & bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and dish heated throughout.
For the dish you are placing in the freezer, allow to cool, cover, label and store in the freezer. When ready to use the freezer dish, transfer to the fridge approx. 2 days ahead of time. Top with additional sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes until heated all the way through.
Enjoy a night off of cooking!
New England wife and mom. Faith, fitness, yoga, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.