Healthy Baked Penne Pasta

Recipe posted in: Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners, Main Courses
penne pasta bake with ground turkey and swiss chard

Hello healthy pasta lovers! Welcome back to our Nutrisystem culinary corner, where we transform classic comfort food into nutritious, guilt-free delights. Today, we’re putting a healthy twist on an all-time favorite: Baked Penne Pasta. But this isn’t just any pasta dish; we’re baking it to perfection with wholesome ingredients that pack a flavorful punch.

Our Healthy Baked Penne Pasta is a revamped version of the traditional Italian dish. It’s a testament to the fact that healthy eating doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. We’ve swapped regular pasta for whole grain penne, introducing more fiber and nutrients to the dish. The star protein in our recipe is lean ground turkey, a wonderful alternative to heavier meats that still lends itself to a hearty and satisfying meal.

The heart of our pasta bake lies in the rich, homemade tomato sauce. We’ve combined a no-salt-added tomato sauce with tomato paste, Italian seasoning and a hint of black pepper to create a robust and well-rounded flavor base. To this, we add sautéed onion and minced garlic, infusing the sauce with a depth of flavor that will make your taste buds dance.

But what truly sets our recipe apart is the addition of Swiss chard. This leafy green not only adds a pop of color to the dish but also brings a wealth of vitamins and antioxidants to the table. It’s a subtle way to sneak in some greens and enhance the nutritional profile of the meal.

We bind all these flavors together with part-skim mozzarella and ricotta cheese, adding a creamy texture without the extra calories. Finally, an egg is used to hold everything together during baking, ensuring each bite is as delicious as the last.

While the ingredient list may seem long, don’t be intimidated. We promise the process is straightforward, and the result is worth every minute spent in the kitchen. So, roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and get ready to create a pasta bake that’s as nutritious as it is delicious. Keep reading below for detailed instructions and tips on how to perfect this Healthy Baked Penne Pasta with ricotta. Bon Appétit!

On a Nutrisystem weight loss plan? You can log each serving of this penne pasta bake as one SmartCarb, two PowerFuels and two Extras in the NuMi app.

If you enjoyed this delicious pasta meal, you’ll love our Veggie Feta Pasta Bake recipe!

Looking for more easy dinners? Explore the Nutrisystem menu and stock up!

Servings: 14

Calories per Serving: 289

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels and 2 Extras


  • 16 oz. whole grain penne pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey, raw
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese, part skim
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, part skim, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 28 oz. can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse well. Return pasta to the pot and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add ground turkey to the pan and break up the meat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until turkey is fully cooked.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella and the egg. Add the mixture to the cooked pasta and stir.
  6. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Stir to combine. Fold in the Swiss chard.
  7. Fold in the ground turkey mixture.
  8. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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