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Easy Eggplant Italian Sausage Skillet Baked Ziti

easy skillet eggplant baked ziti

This easy eggplant and Italian sausage skillet baked ziti is a healthier, comforting pasta dinner loaded with vegetables, Italian sausage and ricotta that only takes one skillet a pot to boil noodles. Perfect for date night in or weeknight family dinners!

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat pene pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 lb turkey or chicken Italian sausage
  • 1/2 eggplant, cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • about 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare penne according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, brown the Italian sausage in a large oven-safe skillet and cook through.
  4. Add eggplant, onion and garlic. continue cooking over medium heat and cook while stirring until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in cooked penne and pasta sauce.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together basil and ricotta.
  7. Drop ricotta by small spoonfuls onto the pasta and press down lightly into the pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top.
  8. Bake about 25 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.

Notes

  • For gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free noodles.
  • If you are not using homemade spaghetti sauce, look for sauce without any added sugar.
  • This recipe is easily doubled. Just bake it in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • To make ahead, make the recipe up until the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. You may need to extend the baking time by a few minutes.

Keywords: eggplant baked ziti, Italian sausage baked ziti, skillet baked ziti

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