Baked Penne With Kale

Superfoods in a casserole? Don't mind if we do!

Instead of the usual spinach, we slipped in kale, which has double the vitamin C plus more easily absorbed forms of calcium and iron. Turkey links add hearty flavor with less saturated fat than pork or beef.

No need to precook the pasta and kale. Just toss 'em together with the sauce, then bake.

Total Time:
Level: Easy
Serves: 8-10


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 links hot Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
  • 1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 2 (25-oz.) jars marinara sauce (no sugar added), preferably roasted garlic flavor
  • 1 lb. whole wheat penne, ziti, or rigatoni
  • 2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • pepper
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 8 oz. fresh unsalted mozzarella cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 c. Grated Parmesan cheese
  • vegetable oil cooking spray


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally to break up large pieces, until no traces of pink remain, 8 to 10 min. Add rosemary; cook, stirring, 1 min more. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Cook both jars of marinara with 1 1/2 cups water in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot, 5 to 6 min. Reduce heat to low; add cooked sausage, the dry pasta, ricotta, and a few grinds of pepper. Add kale, and stir to coat.
  3. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish. Scatter mozzarella and Parmesan over top. Spray foil with cooking spray, and cover dish tightly. Bake, 45 minutes. Uncover; bake until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbling, about 15 min more. Let cool 10 min before serving.

525 cal, 20 g fat (8 g saturated), 31 g protein, 60 g carb, 9 g sugar, 8 g fiber, 850 mg sodium, 56 mg cholesterol per serving

This recipe originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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