We've all had baked ziti before, right? It's a cheesy and hearty but not something I would consider a light option. Which is totally fine here and there but I'm a big fan of delicious meals that are satisfying AND support my goals. Pasta is one of those things a lot of people think they have to give up if they are trying to lose weight or clean up their diet. I'm here to tell you, you can have your pasta, and eat it too-with this recipe! I hope you love it as much as we do in this house!
Unlike a lot of pasta dishes, this one is VERY simple and comes together in no time-gotta love the instant pot!! 7 minutes to cook in the instant pot once it's thrown together and it's done! It doesn't get much easier than that. This one is a great hearty dinner or can be divided up for meal prep. We usually serve it along side of a big green salad or a roasted veggie. If you've got a big appetite and need more carbs, try serving it along side of a piece of homemade garlic bread-YUM! It doesn't get much better!
1 pound lean ground beef (90% or above)
1 batch Erin’s sausage seasoning
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
3 packed cups (about 4oz) chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp sea salt
10oz whole grain ziti (higher protein than traditional pasta)
1 jar no sugar added marinara sauce (50-60cal per serving)
1/2 cup low fat ricotta
1 cup (4oz) part skim mozzarella
Shredded or grated parmesan or pecorino Romano for topping (optional)
Fresh chopped basil for garnish (optional)
Turn the IP on to sauté mode.
Add the ground beef, minced garlic, and sausage seasoning and cook until done.
Turn the IP off and add the water to deglaze.
Add ziti, sea salt, and spinach.
Stir until everything is combined.
Add marinara sauce to the top and ensure all pasta is covered. Do not stir.
Turn the IP on high pressure for 7 minutes.
When it’s done cooking, quick release.
Quickly add the ricotta in dollops and sprinkle mozzarella on top and place lid back on to melt cheese (you want as much heat to stay in as possible.)
Leave the lid on for a few minutes then remove to ensure cheese has melted. Stir to combine.
Serve with a sprinkle of grated parm or Romano and chopped basil.
I typically serve this with a large green salad and sometimes a small piece of garlic bread for a super hearty meal.
NUTRITION: Makes 5-6 servings
6 servings: (about 335g per serving) 438kcal-12F/45C/33P (9g fiber!)
5 servings: (about 400g per serving) 525kcal-14g/55c/40P (11g fiber!)