Thursday, September 13, 2012

Creamy Turkey Spinach Pasta Bake (Recipe, Pics)

I don't use a lot of turkey.  I don't know why.  I love it at Thanksgiving time, and have a field day with all the leftovers.  But it seems that's the only time of year I ever make it.  I should have it more often.  I came across this recipe on Diabetic Living Online, and it looked and sounded really tasty.  I was a little skeptical of making it because it has quite a few ingredients, and I was afraid it wouldn't be simple.  It really wasn't bad, though.

Here's what you need:

4 ounces dry whole wheat angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti
1 8 ounce package of reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
3/4 cup refrigerated egg substitute (or you can use 3 eggs)
1/2 C light dairy sour cream
1/4 C snipped fresh basil or 1 Tbsp dried, crushed basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
10 oz chopped cooked turkey breast (I bought packaged pre-cooked)
1 10oz package frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze-drained and shredded apart.
1 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 C bottled roasted red sweet peppers, chopped
Measure out your dry pasta first.

Here's what you do next:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Coat a 9 inch deep pie plate or a 2 quart square baking dish (I used a 9x13 glass pan) with cooking spray, set aside.
2.  Cook pasta according to package.  Drain well, set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth.
4.  Gradually beat in eggs and sour cream.
5.  Stir in basil, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper.
6.  Stir in spinach until evenly mixed throughout.
7.  Stir in cooked pasta, turkey, cheese and roasted red pepper.
8.  Spread mixture evenly in baking dish.

9.  Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until edges are slightly puffed and golden and center is heated through.
10.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Cut into 6 portions and serve.

Matthew and I dipped a finger in the sauce before we cooked it, and he thought it tasted like one of the pasta sauces on the buffet line at Souper Salad.  It tasted pretty dang good.  He wanted to eat it just like it was. lol  But we waited for the cooked version.  Matthew and I thought Sara was a little weird because she thought it tasted like spaghetti and meatballs.  We were confused, because it doesn't taste anything like spaghetti and meatballs.  The sauce is all creams and tomatoes whatsover.  But, whatever, she ate it.  We all thought it was very tasty.  It was filling, too.  Jeff stopped himself with only 2 servings instead of his normal 3 or 4 lol.  Wait, now that I think about it, he came into the kitchen just a little while later and had another serving made into a sandwich.  So, yeah, he still had 3 servings.  hehehe

Tonight Sami was sick and she was alseep during dinner, so I didn't have to worry about adapting hers to vegetarian.  However, next time it will be super simple.  All I have to do is scoop a little out for her into another little baking dish without the turkey, and then mix the turkey in for the rest of us.

Here are the nutritional stats for this dish (serves 6):  335.6 calories, 37.6g fat, 11.7g saturated fat, 77.5mg cholesterol, the sodium was out the roof, and it mostly came from the fact that I used pre-packaged turkey.  Use freshly cooked turkey (ground turkey would work, too) and the sodium will be much lower, 171.6mg potassium, 22.7g carb, 2.25g fiber, 22g protein. (14 Points Plus)

Considering how many ingredients there are in this recipe, it went together fairly easily.  It was a nice change from regular pasta.  There was only 4 oz in the whole thing, but it seemed like plenty per serving to cure a pasta craving.  It was deceiving, I think, because of how filling the rest of the dish was.  It was super creamy, but had a lightness to it...not too heavy.  Overall it was very good, and we will be having this at our house again.  I hope you try this for your family...I think you'll like it!

I made this for dinner with the Mock Baklava for dessert.  Dinner and dessert BOTH only came to 48.7g carbs...pretty good!


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  1. Lisa this sounds absolutely delicious!! It is a must try for me. I think this weekend as hubby is hunting. I couldnt pull it off with him because of the spinach and cream cheese. Cant wait to try it. Thanks! off to look at the dessert recipe. Thanks for all you do in sharing your discoveries. Hugs my dear!!

  2. it is absolutely delicious! and really, the spinach is not a strong flavor in the dish, even though there is 10 oz of it. i know some people are really picky, though. i hope you do try it while he is away. maybe have a friend over or something, and then keep the leftovers for quick and tasty lunches. i'm so glad that you are enjoying my blog. i have been loving trying all the new things, and so has my family. i just hope i can keep it going for a long time and don't run out of ideas or places to look for good and healthy recipes. hugs back to you!


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