Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

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Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach. Perfect to feed a hungry family!

Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach (but don't worry, no one will care about the green stuff). Perfect to feed a hungry family!
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

If you don’t want to make such a large amount, you can easily halve this recipe. Italian turkey or chicken sausage works great, use whichever is available near you. For a meatless version, try this Baked Ziti with Spinach recipe.

Pasta in a bowl with Sausage and Spinach

This is also easy to make ahead, then pop it in the oven when you are ready to eat. If you like to freeze meals ahead for the month, this freezes well after baking. To freeze, I like to cut it in portions when it’s cold, then wrap them in plastic and freeze individually. When frozen you can put them in large freezer bags and label them so you can take out as many or few pieces as you want at a time.

sauce with sausage and spinachbaked ziti

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Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach (but don't worry, no one will care about the green stuff). Perfect to feed a hungry family!
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5 from 23 votes
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Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

398 Cals 27.5 Protein 44 Carbs 12.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach (but don't worry, no one will care about the green stuff). Perfect to feed a hungry family!


  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 8 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 14 oz uncooked sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
  • 12 oz rigatoni pasta, wheat or gluten-free
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic, roughly chopped
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 4 cups Quick Marinara Sauce, or jarred


  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a 9- x13-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 6 tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese.
  • Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, brown the sausage breaking up into small bits until cooked through; set aside.
  • Add the oil to the skillet and sauté garlic about a minute, careful not to burn. Add spinach and season with a little salt and pepper and cook another minute.
  • Return the sausage to the skillet and add the marinara sauce; cook on low about 2-3 minutes.
  • When the pasta water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions for al dente, but undercook them by 4 minutes less; drain and return to pot.
  • Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the meat sauce. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.


Serving: 13/4 cups, Calories: 398kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 27.5g, Fat: 12.5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 636mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 1.5g
WW Points Plus: 10
Keywords: Baked Pasta, Baked Pasta with Sausage, Cheesy baked pasta, healthy pasta dishes, italian pasta recipes



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  1. My adult niece wants a baked vegetable pasta dinner for her b-day dinner, She much prefers pesto, what do people think, who’ve made this, sub pesto for marinara, or 1/2? Any thoughts? Thank you!!!!!!11

  2. Made this last night – eyeballed ingredients (vegan sausage from lightlife cooked with onions and garlic separately, TRader Joe’s garlic pasta sauce and frozen spinach with some cream and shredded parm, plus fresh mozz and some white cheddar on top) but kept the times you mentioned for baking. Honestly, great idea and great hit at home! My fiance loved it. Plus it made tons of leftovers.

  3. Could not find fat free ricotta so I used part skim it was delicious 

  4. Definitely a hit at our place. Used fresh spinach instead of frozen and deglazed with a bit of white wine before adding the marinara sauce. A keeper!

  5. My husband and I both loved this! The only change I’ll make next time is to use fresh spinach instead of frozen. I won’t precook it as it will wilt enough in the oven.

  6. Love this – this meal quickly became a family favorite! I start the quick marinara first and let that simmer while I get everything else going and it takes almost no extra time at all. It’s easy and so delicious!

  7. Wow! This turned out so much better than I expected and my husband and two teen sons loved it. This is a keeper!

  8. I made this last night and it was outstanding! I added baby bella mushrooms and used fresh baby spinach. Delicious!

  9. A really delicious main dish! I made the recipe using the last harvest of malabar spinach. I accidentally bought a 15 ounce jar of ricotta and used it all. I added chopped parsley to the marinara sauce too. I made the dish a week in advance and put it in the freezer. Everyone loved it!

  10. my family doesn’t love ricotta cheese – what could I substitute? increase Mozzarella, or ?? Thank  you
    I would like to sub., fresh baby spinach – should I use the same amount – 10 oz.

  11. Made this for dinner one night for a house full of men folk (hehe) and they couldn’t even tell the difference! Love your recipes! Who says healthy food can’t be delicious! 

  12. I prepared this into three dishes took one to my daughter and son in law and one to my mother the last one my husband and I shared it was so easy to quickly prepare and so delicious everyone raved about it.

  13. Easy and delicious. I made the tomato sauce linked in the recipe, but added a 14 oz can of tomatoes to the 28 oz can since it only made 3 cups and the recipe called for 4.

  14. This was so good!! I didn’t layer it as the cheese wasn’t spreadable so I mixed it all together put it in the pan and topped with cheese! Delish! 

  15. Where’s the saturated fat content?

  16. Question
    My daughter made this recipe and highly recommended it to me. However, we’re not huge lovers of frozen spinach. Can I use baby spinach and if so do I need to cook it first or can I use it uncooked?

  17. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious, but I added garlic powder and Italian seasoning to the sausage while I cooked it with 1 small shallot and 1/2 of a red bell pepper.
    I didn’t have any ricotta so I used low fat cream cheese and light sour cream instead with grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and added salt and pepper and basil just like in  lasagna.  I cut the recipe in half as suggested and used Italian turkey sausage.

  18. I made this today and it came out delicious. I did add more if the cheese mixture.

  19. I accidentally bought frozen broccoli instead of spinach, but it was still absolutely delicious!

  20. This came out amazing! My fiancé couldn’t stop raving about it!

  21. Huge hit!!

  22. Delicious sums it up!!  I would use fresh spinach chopped next time. 

  23. So delicious! I changed the recipe a bit. I cooked the meat and the frozen spinach together along with the minced garlic. After that cooked I added the marinara last. I also used some Italian seasoning. I will definitely be cooking this again! My husband and I loved it!!!

  24. Loved this! I used Banza chickpea pasta and cooked it about 5 minutes less than the minimum for al dente and it turned out great for a lighter pasta option.

    I made the casserole on Sunday. Will these stay fresh for leftovers until Thursday or should I freeze slices as you recommended?

  25. This was very tasty! There are only two of us, so it did us for 4 substantial meals each. I used even amounts of pork hot and sweet italian sausage instead of chicken (the hubs can taste the difference!), added some jarred roasted red pepper, and a jar of marinara sauce plus about half a tin of fire roasted tomatoes for sauce to save time.

  26. So good!!!!

  27. Yum! This was delicious. Even the kids liked it. 

  28. Wonderful dish, easy to make. I added mushroom, onion, and red pepper flakes. I will definitely make this again. Thanks, Gina!

  29. This was delicious! I used precooked chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s so I just sliced it and tossed in pan. I also used fresh spinach. This one will be made often!

  30. Has anyone tried this with gluten free noodles/pasta?

  31. GINA!!!! You have rocked my world for the 6th time in 2 weeks. I made the baked pasta with sausage and spinach last night (along with your quick marinara sauce). Another tremendous Home Run!. I can not thank you enough for taking the time to “skinny” these meals, so both my husband and I can enjoy and not feel deprived. The dish has a little sweetness to it (I usually add a little sugar to cut the acidity in the sauce) but it was not necessary. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Looking forward to trying the Orange Chicken this week. My husband is a very happy man. No more run of the mill meals for us.

  32. Gina, this has to be one of my absolute favorites! I made it last week and was so disappointed because there were NO left overs for me for lunch. My family adored it, I had to count and figure out who ate the last piece because in my head I was saving it for the next day’s lunch. I made it again today and will be hiding a pieces for lunch tomorrow. So delicious!!!!

  33. Pingback: Winter – February 4, thru February 10, 2017 | Campagna's Kitchen

  34. Question, I like to prep meals for the weeks so it’s so easy to come home and quickly pop the meal in the oven or grab from the crock pot. I prepped this meal and I don’t know how long I can have it in the fridge till I have to use it? I know I can freeze after cooked but I’m curious how long I can keep in the fridge till I have make it. TIA

  35. Pingback: Gluten-Free Baked Spinach Pasta

  36. Pingback: Back-to-School Recipe Roundup! | tales from the salle de classe

  37. Made it with vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles… Fiancé LOVED it and totally thought it was ground beef. The ricotta mix is DELISH!!! Yum

  38. This meal was great my son the picky eater was finished first..  I used turkey sausage instead of chicken. Can’t wait to try others

  39. I made this last night and it was wonderful! Easy to make too. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!

  40. Wow, Gina! I have done a few of your recipes recently and they were all so so so good! This one blew it out of the park though and the whole family was happy! I had a little trouble removing the casings of the sausage, but I think it's the brand I bought, because I've used sausage many times before. Truly delicious!

    • I keep Italian sausage links in the freezer. When needed I just take out a couple, score the frozen link with a sharp knife, then after sitting out a few minutes I can easily peel the casing off. 

  41. Okay, so this is amazing! I ended up using kale instead of spinach (only because the 14 year old grabbed the wrong package out of the freezer) and the chicken sausage I bought could not be pulled out of the casing. SO, I just cut it up in pieces and voila! It was still good! I think next time I'll use more of the ricotta mixture. Thanks so much!

  42. Am I the only one that noticed the recipe calls for Rigatoni but the picture shows Ziti pasta? This just shows that these pasta dishes can be made with just about any pasta and still be good.

  43. I made this yesterday with about 12 oz of Italian turkey sausage since I couldn't find the chicken at the store. It was delicious!! I'm going to try and pick one recipe a week from your site to try! I already love the chicken thighs with lemon and feta! Thank you!!!

  44. This was a delicious dish that even my girls loved! Very easy to put together, too!

  45. Awesome, Gina. Whole family loved it!

    • Should mention… I used about 3 oz. fresh spinach… chopped it roughly before adding it (right after sauteing garlic)… delicious!

      • I too use fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped, but use a full 6 ounces and sauté it before add the garlic for saute.  I also always us hot Italian chicken or turkey sausage.  Have made it too many times to count and all who eat it love it!

  46. This looks and sounds delish! I. Will make it..Thanks for posting.

  47. Going to make this with chicken italian sausage to make it even healthier! thanks for the recipe!

  48. I will try this today ! making for my BB thanks

  49. Delicious. I usually make meat sauce with ground beef, but using the sweet Italian sausage added great flavor. This will be in our regular dinner rotation from now on.

  50. Added mushrooms! So delicious! And I read the serving size wrong. I ate 1 cup not, 1 3/4 c so I saved points! EPIC!

  51. This sounds so good! I plan on adding mushrooms to the mix! I cant wait to make this!

  52. What would be the specifications for freezing and then reheating? I was going to bake, then freeze and thaw and then reheat later this week. How long and what temperature? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  53. It's in the oven now, and it looks and smells delicious.

  54. Where do you get your fat free ricotta? I can't seem to find that at my main grocery store, just part skim. I've just used that instead and adjusted the calories. I love this recipe though and so does my green-vegetable-fearing boyfriend. He doesn't even know the spinach is in there!

  55. I love this recipe…it is so yummy! I have made it so many times and is such a crowd pleaser! I love it not only because it is so yummy, but because my daughter will eat it, spinach and all, and never blinks an eye! 🙂
    Thank you for all your amazing and yummy recipes!

  56. Had this for dinner last night, so good! I told my 3 year old it was "pizza pasta" and he had seconds. Gotta love when you can sneek your kids a good dose of spinach!

  57. I've been on your site many many times but it some how fell off my radar. I've recently fallen in love with it all over again! I made this tonight and my husband gave it a 9.5 out of 10. He docked a half point b/c I used Ezekiel Pasta (sprouted whole grain), LOL. Anyway, I SO appreciate all you do. I hope this site never goes away.

  58. It's in the oven…smells delicious!

  59. Another hit at my house! I used some of my mozzarella for your stuffed chicken with spinach the other night, so I didn't have 8oz. I just used about 4oz of mozzarella and 4 oz of cheddar. I also used turkey sausage and fresh spinach.

  60. I printed this one out a while ago, but just tried if for the first time yesterday for a group of ladies. LOVED it! I usually don't like the layered style of baked ziti (I mix it all up), but this one was great. THANKS!!!

  61. I made this tonight, it was soooo good! My whole family loved it! I used fresh spinach and doubled it, I didn't have rigatoni on hand, but had orzo. I used parmesan chicken sausage, added a little onion powder, and garlic marinara. I will definitely make again.

  62. This was great. I halved it, and added Italian Seasoned 93/7 ground turkey. The portion sizes were SOO big I couldn't finish mine. It's a great freezer food, too!

  63. I used a mixture of colorful fresh swiss chard (blanched with garlic) & spinach, delish!

  64. Totally fabulous recipe! I used the Jennie O brand hot turkey sausage and it was delicious. I never have a problem when I make your recipes, everything comes out exactly as it should and the portions, flavors and "filling" factor are always spot on.

  65. Made this the other night, added crushed red pepper for a bit of a kick and used chicken sausage from Whole Foods which had peppers in them. Husband and kids all enjoyed it and wanted the leftovers the next day for lunch. Delish!

  66. Great recipe! Made it with precooked sausage (still browned it a bit). I thought it was filling and delicious. There are only two of us, so it lasted most of the week for dinner.

  67. Gina, this was incredible! At first, my husband was not impressed when he noticed the CHICKEN sausage in the fridge, but I told him that you said while you were eating it, you forgot that it was chicken sausage. I made it, he tried it, loved it, and said he won't mind when I do make dishes with the al fresco! Great alternative to Italian pork sausage!

  68. For those who don't care for cottage cheese..try a tub of softened cream cheese

  69. Made this tonight and it is freakin' great!!!

  70. I just made this and OMG!! It was sooooo good!! I would definitely make this again. I actually only had 1 cup and a counted it as 7 points because I didn't have FF or light ricotta cheese. I had to use the regular ricotta cheese. I paired it with a large salad and I am stuffed!

    Thanks for this recipe.

  71. Oh Heck Ya!! This was sooooooo good! I don't do Weight Watchers but just like eating healthy for me and my family, so I added extra mozzarella and some asiago cheese on top. When preparing seemed like there wasn't enough sauce so I compensated by adding more cheese. It ended up pretty saucy after all and very cheesy; which made it super yummy! I used whole wheat rigatoni and it was great. Plenty of leftovers for lunch and dinner. (There's 3 of us.)

  72. Can someone tell me how you heated it if you froze part/all of it? Cooking for two so I'll definitely have leftovers!

  73. Is there any way you can prepare this a day or two in advance? Late hours means I like coming home with less to do!

  74. This was SO GOOD!!!

  75. Delicious!!!! I used turkey sausage and threw in 8 ounces fresh mushrooms. Also used jarred light marinara sauce. Can't wait for leftovers at
    lunch tomorrow!

  76. Hi Gina, what do you mean by "Quick Marinara sauce?

  77. Do you think you could use spaghetti squash instead of the noodles?

  78. Made this tonight & it was delicious! I left out the ricotta since I'm not a fan and I also don't like cottage cheeses, and it still came out amazingly well! My hubby who can't stand spinach also loved it! Love your recipes – thanks so much for posting!

  79. I made a double-batch and gave one to a friend who just had a baby. We froze ours and just ate it today – probably the best thing I've made for a new mom yet! (Sorry to all my mom friends who I've cooked for before. 🙂 )

  80. This was absolutely amazing. I've already made it twice in two weeks! I loved how the pasta wasn't overdone after baking it.

  81. I made this for dinner tonight and I accidentally picked up pork sausage at the store which increased the points but it was DELICIOUS! I also used jarred marinara and park skim ricotta because I couldn't find fat free. Next time I'll make the changes to make it a bit lighter but I printed it and added it to my "definitely make again" stack of recipes! Thanks!!

  82. I just finished eating this and made it exactly to the recipe except I forgot to buy ricotta so I just omitted it, and I used lean turkey sausage instead of chicken because I had some in my freezer. Oh my goodness, this was sooooo amazing! My 2 1/2 year old even asked for a second helping! I was so happy to get spinach in my 2 year old! This will be going in my rotation of make again meals for sure. Thank you for a great meal!

  83. I just made this, and it turned out amazingly!!! Instead of using marinara sauce, I used Ragu sauce with chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and garlic. It's a delicious dish, perfect for a dinner party or potluck!

  84. Made this last night for my husband and myself and all I have to say is DELICIOUS!! Followed recipe exactly except I could not find fat free ricotta so I used low fat ricotta and used a little less. My husband was over the moon!!

  85. I made this today. It turned out great. I didn't buy the grated pecorino romano because it was so expensive and I probably wouldn't use the rest. I just used grated romano and it turned out great!

  86. I made this tonight. I used turkey sausage. I also wasn't paying attention when buying ricotta cheese and bought the regular stuff, lol. Also I used tri-color penne because it's what I had on hand already. It was very good. Will make again!

  87. I made this tonight with Italian Turkey Sausage and it was a hit! I used regular pasta and jarred sauce. I also left out the pecorino romano because it was too expensive and it would go to waste afterwards. It was absolutely delicious! I just found this site and there are so many recipes I want to try! Thanks!!

  88. Hi Gina! Is it best to freeze this before or after baking? Hoping to bring this to some friends who are having babies soon 🙂

  89. Delicious!! I used season turkey and it was amazing. I halved the recipe but should have used more sauce. Otherwise, amazing!!

  90. Excited to try it. I didn't have turkey or chicken sausages so I used the pork italian that we had on hand. Also, didn't have romano so I used parm. Tomorrow is a rushed night so I tossed it together in hopes that it will turn out!

  91. This was great! I have tried many of your recipes and they are always good. Thank you for sharing them.

  92. I just made this for my family and it was a big hit! So good! My only question however is the serving size. 1 3/4 cup seems like ALOT for one serving? I am currently doing weight watchers and want to make sure i am eating the right serving size! I just ate 1 cup tonight and it seemed like plenty! Just curious….Thank for sharing this yummy recipe 🙂

  93. Gina I made this ahead of time any suggestions on heating temps and times straight from the refrigerator?

  94. This was really good! I added some natures seasoning, onion and herb seasoning, and Italian seasoning.

  95. In the oven now! I added a 1/2 shredded zuchinni to the spinach mix. Can't wait to try it-Gina, you are the best! Thank you for all the inspiration.

  96. I made this recipe last weekend using turkey sausage and store bought pasta sauce. I also used canned leaf spinach instead of frozen spinach. When I added the sauce, I seasoned the sauce with my usual spices: italian seasoning, leaf oregano, and red pepper flakes. DELICIOUS! I had leftovers for days! One serving was a really big serving. People could lower the point values if they cut this into 12 servings and add sides.

    I think next time I will halve the recipe and cut that into 6 squares instead of 4! With the smaller portion, I can easily add a side salad without feeling overly stuffed.

  97. This recipe was great! I doubled the spinach and added a little more sauce because I had some extra. Bravo, Gina!

  98. This was amazing! Next time I'll use a pinch of garlic powder instead of chopped garlic. I halved the recipe which was easy & baked in a 9×9 dish.

  99. This was incredible! My whole family loved it (including brother and sister-in-law and parents and 9- and 2-year-olds). I did have trouble finding low-carb or high-fiber rigatoni as the recipe indicated so decided to use regular white rigatoni and it was fabulous, but then when I looked at your photo again it looks like you used penne. I CAN find the Ronzoni penne so I'll try that next time. Thank you!

  100. Really wanted to make this for dinner but didn't have everything on hand. Made some substitutions and it came out great. My daughter even had seconds! Made with wheat pasta, chicken sausage,grated Parmesan, Mexican blend cheese, spaghetti sauce, and lots of spinach.

  101. I made this for sunday dinner– it was delicious! We used spicy chicken sausage, and I used my homemade red sauce instead of Gina's recipe (its pretty much the same thing!).
    I couldnt find fat free ricotta, but I found low-fat (50 calories, 2 gms fat in a 1/4 cup serviing). How much do you think it affected the points value? Thanks for a great crowd-pleasing recipe!!

  102. Gina, I made this for Sunday dinner and my husband and I absolutely loved it! It tasted so hearty and indulgent! I served it with roasted yellow squash and some flakey biscuits. Thanks so much for sharing these delicious and hard-to-believe-it's-lite recipes! I've been literally eating then up!

  103. Delicious. We made with turkey sausage. I would suggest to add more marinara sauce if making ahead

  104. So easy to make! Simplicity is the key.

  105. This is going to be our dinner tonight… I already prepared it and just have to bake it when we get back from church. Like all your other recipes, I am sure that this will be a huge success in our home.

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to post such amazing recipes so frequently. Since finding your site in January of this year and preparing my family's weekly menus based on your recipes, I have been able to trim off 40 pounds and am proudly weighing in at 118. I think the last time I weighed this little and felt so great was 22+ years ago so again… THANK YOU!

  106. If using fresh spinach, do you cook it until it wilts?

  107. I am a long time fan of your site and recipes. My husband absolutely loves everything I make from your blog which is hard since hes a super picky eater! I made this last night and it was his all time favorite…and I loved it too! I used jarred sauce (Victoria Marinara), fresh baby spinach and Stop&Shop Nature's Promise chicken sausage…. it was amazingly tasty. Thanks for all the great recipes and ideas!

  108. Made this last night and halfed the recipe, using jarred sauce. It was very tasty albeit a bit dry. Even when cutting in half, I will use the full amount of sauce next time.

  109. I've made several of your recipes and have never commented, so I wanted to say this one was delicious! It was super filling and you couldn't even tell that the ricotta was fat free. Thanks!!

  110. I LOVED THIS PASTA, and hard to believe it goes with our diet. Ok we are italian, born and living in Italy and making your pasta was the real test. well u passed A+. Now I'll have to try everything else 🙂

  111. I made this and my boyfriend and I really liked it. I used chicken sausage in a bulk tube so that I didn't have to open the casings. I prefer it like that. There's a brand called Isernio's that sells Italian chicken sausage in the tube. I did use jarred Prego Light Smart sauce. Yummy and easy to put together.

  112. It's good to hear that this freezes well. Now if only I have room in my freezer…

  113. Making this tonight! If I wanted to just use storebought marinara, what would your suggestion be?

  114. made this last night! I swapped the sausage for Morningstar crumbles. totally yummy! thanks for all the great recipes!

  115. This was fantastic! Even my 3 year old loved it. Thank you for these fantastic recipes.

  116. WOW. This was delicious.
    I just literally licked my plate clean and am watching my husband do the same, lol!
    Instead of sweet sausage I used hot turkey sausage & used Parmesan instead of Romano as we have a huge brick of it. I halved the recipe, but used 4 garlic cloves as we love garlic in the house!!
    This was simply amazingly yummy. Definitely in the recipe book for good, thanks Gina!!


  117. OMG, I made this last night and it is TO DIE FOR! I used hot Italian turkey sausage. Yummmmm!

  118. Thank you so much for the recipe! Everything I have made from your site has been a winner. Keep up the great work!

  119. So great! I made this Friday night for a surprise dinner for my boyfriend and he was obsessed with it. He said it tasted like something from a restaurant! Thanks for making me a great cook!

  120. Delicious as always! I made it with turkey sausage instead, left out the ricotta cheese (my boyfriend hates it) and used fresh baby spinach. I love all of your recipes! Will definitely make this one again soon.

  121. As always, wonderful! We made ours with deer sausage we process ourselves. (Very lean) We both enjoy cooking and your recipes are so tasty and usually easy to make. We have made quite few of your dishes since recently discovering your site and have loved them all. Thank you for your work!

  122. Made this today. It is fabulous! I changed one thing you might wish to try: Whenever I cook with spinach, I add nutmeg to it. For this recipe I added just a sprinkle. With 2 packages of spinach I would use 1/8 tsp. Try it someday, I think you'll like it. Also in spaghetti sauce I also add cinnamon, about 1/2 tsp. Just thought you might like to try. Loving your recipes! Beth

  123. Made this tonight and it was fantastic! Love your recipes!

  124. This is in the oven now. I ended up using left over grilled Italian sausage and I'm already regretting it. I should have crumbled a different sausage. Smells great so I'm crossing my fingers.

  125. I just made this for Sunday dinner and it was absolutely great! I think next time I'm going to use penne or ritoni pasta because the rigatoni noodles were a little too big.

  126. I made this today. It was fantastic! Since I know I'd freeze it to take it to work on Friday and i don't eat meat on Fridays I substituted the sausage for mushrooms. It was good fresh, let's see how the frozen mushrooms hold up. Thanks for all your recipes, I'm working my way through them!

  127. I made this tonight and I'm so impressed. I altered the recipe some (12 oz sausage, a bunch of fresh herbs, 15 oz. of low fat ricotta instead of 8 of FF, doubled the spinach and added one medium eggplant to the mix, and then, because I'd added some bulk, increased the sauce some). Turned out to make 9 servings at 11 points+ each (and each serving was HUGE)! I usually don't mess with a Gina recipe, but the mood struck and I went with it. I love how flexible the recipe is. Super tasty! Thanks again, Gina!

  128. I made this and the whole family loved it! My 2 teenagers even had the leftovers the next day for lunch (it makes a ton.) Thanks for another great recipe. 🙂

  129. Making this tonight! So excited for some "stick to your ribs" pasta dish, without it actually, you know, sticking to my ribs (or my hips, thighs, butt, stomach, ad nauseum).

  130. Gina, I made this last night and my husband loved it. He is testing himself to see if he is glutten intolerant, so I had to make a few adjustments (rice pasta) but it was still great and so easy. And leftovers were awesome. Thanks for all the great recipes. Keep up the great work!

  131. I made this night before last, subbing italian seasoned turkey for the chicken sausage, and it was excellent. Leftovers last night needed a little extra marinara on top, because the pasta had absorbed the sauce. A couple of tablespoons did the trick, and it was really yummy when reheated.

  132. Is that a piece of CorningWare you're using in the photo? I know, that's really random of me, but I'm a big fan of the vintage CorningWare so I just had to comment on that… But what really caught my eye was the pasta – it's so simple but it looks so amazing! I love the cheesy top and the bright color…. I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thank you so much for keeping me inspired with such delicious creations…

  133. If I bake this in two smaller dishes (say two 4×4 pans instead of one 9×13) will the bake time change? Can't wait to try it! LOVE this website 🙂

  134. This is in my oven right now for dinner and leftovers for lunches next week. It smells heavenly! Can hardly wait for dinner time!!!!

    Thanks Gina! I love this website!

  135. My kids HATE fennel. I discovered this earlier this summer when I made your summer vegetable, chicken sausage and potato dish. My son just kept saying it tasted like licorice. Do you think this dish would work with a chicken brat or would it be too bland? Also, could we sub it in the summer veggie dish that everyone loved except for the taste of licorice. Do you have a favorite chicken or turkey brat you would recommend?

    • I think it would be fine, look for a turkey one which is leaner.

    • my husband also hates fennel/italian sausage. Jenny-o makes a turkey breakfast sausage that works GREAT for these recipes! It's kept right next to the tubes of jimmy dean breakfast sausages. highly recommend!!!

  136. This looks so good! I love all pasta dishes, but sausage and spinach sound especially yummy!

  137. I made this for dinner last night and it was a huge hit with my family! So glad I made an extra pan to freeze.

    Thanks so much for your recipes and inspiration!

  138. I cannot WAIT to try this! Sounds so good I posted it all over Facebook last night! 🙂

  139. The calories? Looks yummy 🙂

  140. this looks really good. however, i can't eat tomatoes (allergic) so marinara sauce is out. i usually substitute pesto or alfredo sauce for tomato based sauces in pasta dishes. which do you think would be best? would i need to add anything else to compensate for the liquid in the marinara sauce?


  141. I am making this tonight, but substituting the chicken sausage with Jenny-O Italian seasoned turkey meat. Thanks, Gina! I've made several of your recipes & I love them.

  142. My mouth is watering- time for lunch! Love when I can eat pasta with WW

  143. Would this work with precooked chicken sausage?

  144. Looks so delicious. Thank you.

  145. Skinnytaste was on the top of E! today for Ziplist! You're all over the place!


  146. Looks good! My husband can't do chicken and he is liking grizzly sausage less and less, so trying to find a way to make my own sausage with ground pork and spices. I think it would work well in this recipe.

  147. Is there an easy way to remove the sausage casing? I usually end up butchering the sausage trying to get it off.

  148. What a fabulous dish!! This would be a sure hit in my home!!

  149. Gina- as always, delicious and nutritious. You are probably the only reason I can stick to a diet. You are a Godsend, thank you for your yummy recipes!

  150. How do you reheat frozen portions? Can I freeze the whole casserole?

    • Sure, you can freeze the whole thing if you like. You can reheat it on the oven, I like to thaw it the day before in the refrigerator but directly in the oven frozen would work too.

  151. This looks delicious! I'm going to add it to my "must try list". Thanks 🙂

  152. I just had this for dinner. I used Trader Joe's spicy Italian red wine chicken sausages and added red pepper flakes cause I like a little spice in my pasta, other then that I stuck to the recipe. Very tastey! A nice portion for the points value.

  153. how would you reheat this after freezing individually?

    • I froze portions and just microwaved each portion in a bowl on defrost setting for like 2-3 min and then I mashed it up and dumped a little extra tomato sauce on it to keep it moist. It's not as pretty, but it tastes great and reheats easily that way!

  154. This is actually in my oven as I type this. I had everything on hand. I did cheat and use jar spaghetti sauce. Thank you for the recipe!

  155. Can this be made ahead and frozen (before baking)?

  156. I am making this asap! I've tried soooo many of your recipes and have not been disappointed once.

  157. This looks really good – I always love new pasta recipes!

  158. Is it alright to use fresh spinach instead of frozen?

  159. I'm always in favor of recipes that I can sneak spinach into. I suspect this one will end up on the husband-approved list. Thanks for all your recipes. Everything I've made from your blog has been superb.

  160. Yum! This looks perfect for my family of 6!

  161. No, can't do cottage either. I have very picky eaters to contend with! But I think I am going to try it with just the mozzarella and Romano and see how it goes. Thanks!

  162. What is high fiber/low carb pasta? Is there a brand you recommend?

  163. I know a lot of people sub cottage cheese in for ricotta

  164. Fat free or low fat cottage cheese can always be used instead of ricotta… and I'm sure there must be a soy replacement.

  165. Is there a suggested replacement for the ricotta cheese? It looks and sounds delicious but I can't use ricotta.

    • Some people use cottage cheese, but I'm thinking you probably can't have that either?

    • Jenna over at Eat Live Run has a great solution!

    • If you just don't like the taste of ricotta, you can use my mother's old-fashioned ricotta substitute: 8 oz cottage cheese (regular or low fat small curd) + one beaten egg + parsley (if desired.) I use this all the time – sure helps when I need a substitute in a hurry!

      If you're looking for dairy-free, then obviously this won't help 🙂

      Bon Appetit!

    • I just made it w/o… and it's just fine

    • I make this without ricotta all the time and it is just as yummy! 🙂