Easy Macaroni Casserole

Jump to Recipe
Save ItSaved!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!Easy Macaroni Casserole

My husband loves his comfort pasta dishes, a few that we always make are Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli, Baked Ziti and Spinach Lasagna Rolls .

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!

How To Make Easy Macaroni Casserole

I come from the school of having to cook your pasta in plenty of water, so when someone kindly shared this recipe with me, I won’t lie, I was skeptical! But I loved the outcome, and since then I’ve made it a few times over tweaking it to my taste and we love it!

And the whole wheat elbows from DeLallo – I’m so impressed with their taste! In fact, I like their pasta so much that I am partnering up with them this year as a brand sponsor. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that my family and I don’t like the taste of whole wheat pasta. But that completely changed when I tried DeLallo, and my kids and husband liked it too!

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!

I used whole milk mozzarella on top because the points didn’t change by using reduced fat, and I love my cheese melted and gooey, but you can use whichever you prefer.

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!

This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!
Print WW Personal Points
4.66 from 20 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Easy Macaroni Casserole

338 Cals 21 Protein 31 Carbs 13 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
This super easy macaroni casserole is a baked pasta dish with ground turkey, veggies, marinara sauce and cheese. Kid-friendly and no need to pre-cook the pasta!


  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, I used my own homemade
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz uncooked DeLallo whole wheat elbows


  • In a large deep non-stick skillet, brown the ground turkey over high heat until cooked through, seasoning with a pinch of salt and breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
  • Set aside on a dish.
  • Add olive oil to the skillet, reduce heat to medium and add the onion, red pepper, celery and carrots; sauté until the vegetables soft, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Return the turkey to the skillet along with the remaining ingredients except for the pasta and cheese.
  • Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • While simmering, heat oven to 350°F.
  • Spoon just enough of the turkey/vegetable mixture to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  • Cover with uncooked pasta.
  • Spoon remaining sauce mixture evenly over the top and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 50-55 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Divide into 8 servings.


Serving: 1/8th, Calories: 338kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 581mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: Easy Macaroni Casserole, ground turkey elbow macaroni casserole, healthy casseroles, macaroni casserole recipe, turkey casserole with pasta

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DeLallo. I only share products I use in my own kitchen. I created this recipe and received compensation to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this Recipe:


  1. This was excellent!  I was concerned when I put the casserole together as I forgot to drain the diced tomatoes and it was very watery, but it cooked perfectly.  I finished it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp the cheese a bit.  Will definitely make again!

  2. Can you freeze?  Before or after baking?

  3. I thought it was ok but my husband was not a fan.  

  4. i am always confused about oz measurements, being fluid or weight. i made this tonight and only used 8 fl oz cheese [one cup] because 8 weight oz of cheese just seemed like so much! guessing i was wrong though, and i should have used 8 oz weighted out of cheese? [either way, it was awesome!]

  5. I made this recipe and it was outstanding! I used gluten free elbow noodles instead of whole wheat and also used zucchini instead of mushrooms. I also added a lot more spices than the recipe called for!

    • I also added fresh jalapeños, orange and yellow bell peppers, and used fresh parm and Colby jack cheese instead of mozzarella! Some was due to preference and some was due to using what I already had at home!

  6. The points are wrong on this recipe for blue 9points and for purple is 5 points 

  7. Huge huge hit in my house. Delicious and will be put into rotation!

  8. Awesome. I doubled recipe with no problem. I actually didn’t measure the veggies and probably added too much. But this was delicious. Kids had seconds. So excited to have the sauce in the freezer to make again.

  9. Can you double this recipe?

  10. I made this and it was fantastic! The only substitution I made was I used multi grain rotini because that was what I had on hand. Cooked perfectly. We’ll eat this again. Highly recommend.

  11. My husband just loved this recipe. It was simply delicious. My only regret is that it was just the two of us to enjoy! Next time we will prepare for family to share…

  12. Gina why is purple 7 points when WW pasta is 0? The points seem awfully high, although the recipe looks great and I will try it. Thank you!

    • Pretty sure she has purple and blue points swapped

      • I agree, I put it in my calculator as a Blue and actually got 8SP.
        But with some modifications and a smaller portion, I am happy with a Blue 6SP serving! Yum!

      • I also just ran it through the recipe builder and it was 7 points based on 8 servings.

      • You must be right about this. Any Zero point food on the blue plan is also a zero point food on the purple plan, so it makes no sense that blue would be less than purple. However, on purple, the whole wheat pasta is zero points, so it make sense that this should be the lowest in points.

  13. I was very hesitant about this dish and had zero expectations. What a surprise to find out it’s super delicious! Packed with lots of veggies (gotta squeeze them in somewhere) and super simple, I used the Fusilli Whole Wheat pasta from Trader Joe’s because that’s what was available to me. Even though you add it raw…it came out soft and delicious and nobody would know it’s Whole Wheat. Husband and daughter BOTH loved, the portions are really large for those 5 points (if you are WW) and we had plenty of left overs which get better tasting each day. I didn’t have the Italian Seasoning so just mixed up my own: dash of this/pinch of that. This dish is easily freezable and has now found it’s way onto our meal rotation. Winner!!

  14. I make this all the time for my family! My husband loves it and it is one of the few dishes my toddler will eat.

  15. Can someone tell me how much is 1 serving I only have 3 people in my family the rest I save for leftovers 
    Thankyou in advance

  16. I have several similar recipes, which are often referred to as ” American Goulash “. My wife agrees that I should toss them, and keep this one. I used ground sirloin instead of turkey, and opted for canned mushrooms instead of fresh. Otherwise, I followed the recipe. This was so good.

  17. Love this!!! I used DeLallo whole wheat ziti and it turned out perfect. Only correction is that when I plugged the nutrients into the WW calculator it’s 8SP per serving.
    But I love it!

  18. I would love some recommendation of safe cookware to use. I have been using IMUSA and I don’t think that its good for your health. I need a good pot to make my Colombian Aroz con coco. and still get the crispy rice at the bottom. Please help!!!! thanks

  19. Absolutely scrumptious!! I used gluten free elbows and added more sauce then the recipe called for.  It would have been a little too dry otherwise. But so good!!

  20. How many points if 99% lean turkey is used? Thanks for your help~

  21. This was good…

  22. Can’t wait to try this recipe this week! I had to re-calculate points for dietary restrictions either omitting the turkey only which came to 7 free style points, or by omitting the cheese only which came to 6points- my question is how is this 5 freestyle points with both? Maybe I’m missing something here….?

  23. How do you get your vegetables chopped so finely? I need to hide those vegetables in there. Haha!

  24. How many freestyle points is this?

    • Smart points have been updated to reflect the free style program.

    • Yes, freezes fine, I just add a little fresh sauce/cheese when warming since the pasta absorbs the sauce.
      I’ve made this many times, used cavatappi pasta, added about 3/4 box and some more liquid. A big hit with us. I usually do 45-50 minutes so it doesn’t dry out.
      Taste very light and love all the veggies and the mild taste of the turkey. We make this more for the flavor that the lo cal aspect.

  25. Can I make a head of time & just put in oven the next day?

  26. I made this for dinner tonite and it was outstanding. I made the sauce a day ahead since I wouldn’t have time to make it the day I wanted to serve it, and just reheated it on the stove prior to assembling. I I didn’t see when to add/cook the mushrooms in the recipe, so I cooked them separately in a bit of evoo. My kids hate mushrooms so I diced them up pretty fine before sauteing, but they still managed to find them in the cooked dish. One thing I will say, I thought that 8 ounces of uncooked elbows would’t be enough for the sauce, so I added about 2 more uncooked ounces, which I wish I hadn’t done. The uncooked pasta really absorbs the sauce so I felt like the dish had too much macaroni and not enough sauce. The next time I make this I will only use 8 ounces of uncooked macaroni and it will be perfect. My kids and husband all loved this dish.

  27. This is pretty much the only dish that my toddler will eat reliably. Thank you!!!

  28. I personally thought that this was a little bland, but my family devoured it!  My kids even had seconds, so I guess it’s a winner!  

  29. This is awesome! I added more spices and garlic and oh man was it tasty!! I made it last week and am making again this week but with lean ground beef instead. Great with a little parmesan cheese on top once finished too! Thanks Gina!

  30. Whole family loved it! Made with GF pasta and Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles…delish! Have you ever tried this in a crock pot (wondering if I’d keep the liquid measurements the same). Thanks!

  31. This was delicious. Husband could not believe it was healthy. 

  32. I am making this for the second time as I write! My family loved it the first time and asked me to make it again! Thanks for all of your great recipes!

  33. I wished I cooked the noodles because some were cooked and some undercooked. MY recommendation cook noodles and bake 25 minutes. Save almost half of time!

    • I make this dish all the time and do the same thing (cook noodles then shorten bake time)!

      • What a great idea! I am making this for the first time and it’s nearing closer to my baby girls bedtime- I am cooking pasta as I type to cut down cook time! Thanks what a smart idea! 

        Been taste testing the sauce as it simmers and yummmyyy! 

  34. Hi Gina, I don’t think you’ve ever answered this question but can you make this ahead and freeze it? I as well have friends that are new mommies and this would be great.

    THANK YOU for being my one-stop shop for recipes! Much love from Florida!

  35. This dish is so delicious. I make it all the time. My husband loves it.

  36. I love this recipe! I wanted to make this for a friend who recently became a new mom. Can you post freezer and reheating instructions? Thanks!

  37. Do you think this could be adapted for the Instant Pot?

  38. I have just found your site in 2016 and am so grateful for the work you've done to make this available..AND with WW points (Smart Points) accessible! Thank you! I made this tonight and used Ronzoni Smart Taste Elbows. It's a keeper! Yummy! Generally speaking, is there a correlation between using the Whole Wheat pasta recommendation versus Ronzoni "Smart Taste" pasta? e.g., add a point? generally equal? Thank you!

  39. I followed Gina's instructions exactly and this was a definite favorite in my house and I have 4 kids that can be difficult to please. This was compared to "delicious lasagna" and "tastes like a pizza". It was so flavorful and I loved all the hidden veggies in it. Like many others, I loved not having to cook the pasta separately. It was pretty time consuming to make but it's always worth it when you are feeding your family healthy meals! Thanks Gina 🙂

  40. This is sooooooo tasty! I just made this for the second time. This time I used extra lean ground sirloin beef, penne instead of macaroni, added chopped zucchini and doubled the mushrooms, carrots and celery. It was so flavourful and delicious – rave reviews from the fam! Thanks Gina for another great recipe 🙂

  41. Just made this. Used lean ground beef because I could not find ground turkey in France. I left out the mushrooms as no one cares for them in our home. The sauce is to die for! I was only a little upset that it takes a long long long time to make which I did not realized when I chose this recipe and somehow the "easy" in the title did not hint at that either. But again, it was worth it. Maybe next time I will use the sauce with cooked pasta to cut on time.

  42. I made this on last week for myself to eat throughout the week for lunch. Since it's we friendly, I knew I could have without feeling guilty. My husband tasted & really enjoyed it. He asked if I could make one for him with more meat. So I an making it today for him. Wonderful recipes, thanks Gina.

  43. This is the bomb dot com!!

  44. I made this tonight and it was delicious!! Even the boyfriend who would never choose ground turkey or whole grain pasta loved it. I used another commenter's suggestion and lined the pan with sliced zucchini first, and I also threw some crushed red pepper flakes in with the other seasonings. This will make for great leftovers, and I will definitely make it again!

  45. I was recently introduced to your site on a message board I frequent. Since then, I've been bookmarking recipes like crazy. This was the first recipe I tried. The first of many!!!! GINA! You are doing it right here. You may have found a way to get me to eat celery and carrots. I omitted the meat, increased the amount of veggies, added garlic and cayenne pepper for a little kick. Amazing! I can't wait to try the rest of your recipes.

  46. This is delicious! So cool that you don't have to cook the macaroni first. I also experimented and made this with eggplant instead of the carrots, mushrooms, and celery, just because I was in the mood for eggplant, and that worked very well too. I am so inspired by you, Gina!

  47. We had this dish and it was great – Thanks, Gina! Just wondering how necessary it is to saute the vegetables before putting it in the oven. Wouldn't the vegetables be cooked after being in the oven for 50 mins?

  48. Hi Gina! I love all your recipes so much and tell everyone I know to visit your site! My husband loves everything I make from your site too, it makes eating healthy so tasty and easy! Thank you for all you do!

    I want to make this meal for a family whose dad just passed away. I am wondering if I should cook the noodles before I bring it to them so they can choose to freeze it/wait to cook it, or if noodles will be ok uncooked if the meal isn't used right away? I guess just wondering what is the best way to make this meal ahead(/freeze), with cooked or uncooked noodles?


  49. so so good! Just made it today.

  50. How did I miss this one? Made it tonight and holy smokes is it simple and good. My kids loved it and I loved all of the veggies that they were getting. Thank you for another tasty, healthy, easy meal!

  51. I cooked the turkey, and then put everything else in a freezer bag (except for noodles and cheese) and froze it. Then a couple days before we were going to have it, I put it in the fridge to thaw. I brought the sauce to a boil and then simmered as the recipe says and followed directions from there. It was soooo good! I don't know that my kids have ever had that many veggies in one helping! AND they liked it! I recently came across Skinnytaste (about a few months ago) and am a die hard fan. I was out the day the cookbook was released buying it for me, my mom and mother-in-law! You make eating healthy so fun and SO GOOD! THANK YOU!

  52. Quick question: Do you let it simmer on the stove UNCOVERED on med-low for 20 minutes? Are you trying to evaporate it a little?

  53. I hope this hasn't already been asked, but I've skimmed through the comments and can't see it, so here goes… Is the measurement for the cheese and pasta by weight or by volume? Also, what could you substitute for Marinara sauce, since I'm likely to have to buy it. Thanks! 🙂

  54. I made this yesterday and it was a hit! Filling and tasty! I divided it into 2 different pans and froze half, so I will have some in thee future 🙂

  55. If I used lean ground beef instead of ground turkey do you know what the WW points would be?

  56. Is it possible for you to post your recipe for your marinara sauce? Thanks 🙂

  57. This looks great and I'd like to do make it as a freeze ahead meal. To do so, would I stop after covering in foil and place it directly into the freezer or does it need to bake some before freezing? Thanks!

    • Hello, did you get an answer if it is posible to refrigerate and bake later? I prepared de dish and would like to bake it later. Thank you

      • I tried to do that,it made the noodles super mushy.Guess the liquids soaked into the dried pasta .We now just bake immediately then reheat each serving

  58. Made this tonight. Left out the celery & mushrooms (celery for me, mushrooms for the rest) & used regular pasta. Was a hit! Will make again and again…thank you!

  59. If I freeze the entire casserole, what are the reheating instructions?

  60. This is great. I love the sauce and will definitely make it again! The only thing I would do differently is either add the cheese in the last 10 mins or switch to whole milk (part skim was what I had). Thanks!!

  61. I made this this week and the first night, my 2 picky babies (18 months and 4 years) gobbled it up and were groaning with delight! So incredibly TASTY!!!! I WILL be making this again! (They were not keen on leftovers thought, but I sure was!!!)

  62. I have made this casserole several times and it is always delicious! We love it! I've even made it for company.

  63. i like this recipe pretty much. i like Macaroni most. i will prepare this at home also.

  64. I love that you include carbohydrates in your recipes. My daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and this helps tremendously. Do you happen to remember how many carbs your homemade marinara contained? I'm using jarred but am trying to figure out how to adjust the carb counts without having to recalculate them all. Thanks!

  65. Would you cook the pasta before hand if you were doing this as a strictly freezer meal?

  66. I think I might have my son make this. He is 8 and I want him to be more self sufficient than his Dad, who can boil water, make grilled cheese and hamburger helper but that's about it.

  67. Made it last night, it was yummy. Thanks for the great recipes.

  68. Also as the Italian seasoning, I used Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb – about 1/3 of the bottle for the triple batch.

  69. I made 3 batches of this last night (one for us and 2 for teachers at school for Thursday) Yummmy!! We are to take casseroles for 90 teachers and I thought some may like a healthier option. I loved the flavor. I do not recommend tripling the batch unless you have large stock pots. By the time all the liquid was in I had a big soup pot of the stuff and one of my girls didn't want to wait for the casserole to bake so she took a bowl as soup with no pasta!! Then she ate some of the casserole for breakfast. I decided it was better than no breakfast at all. Thanks for keeping us on a healthy track.

  70. So, so good!!

  71. Absolutely amazing recipe. It's in the oven right now and smells fabulous! Can't wait to eat. I love your blog and have tried 5 to 6 of the recipes already. Looking forward to trying more and have recommended your site to others as well as liked it on Facebook.

  72. We made this tonight vegan style, with white northern beans for the meat. Omg. Winner! This goes into heavy rotation at our house now!

  73. the comment from 'meva' is inappropriate and is taking advantage of your site

  74. I made this last night, and it was so so good! However, I was running short on time (hungry 2 year old) so I did cook the pasta before and then put in the oven for just 30 minutes so get all the flavors incorporated and melt the cheese, it was still so good. Even my Mom an anti veggie person really loved it!

  75. I'm in the process of making this now as a make-ahead meal (meat, veggies and sauce are all simmered) and I'm wondering if I can 'bake' everything in the crockpot? I know I've seen recipes elsewhere for meals with dried pasta in the crockpot, but I have no idea how that would work! Any ideas? Thanks for another great recipe Gina!!

  76. delicious! I love this recipe and my toddler does too!

  77. This was sooo yummy!! Definitely one to prep the night before or earlier in the day (didn't look closely enough at the recipe and was starting it before I realized it had to simmer for 20 min, bake for 1 hour, and then sit for 15 more min.) but worth it!

  78. Made this last night and it was very good; both husband and kid approved! I will be making this again…soon. Thanks Gina! I've made several of your recipes now and have yet to go wrong!

  79. Made this tonight and it came out great! Loved not having to cook the pasta before putting this in the oven. Thanks for another great recipe Gina!

  80. I made this a few nights ago and it came out great! I thought it would be disastrous because I didn't drain the canned tomatoes but that didn't matter! I added red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, and baby spinach. I def will make this again and it freezes well! Keep these recipes coming, Gina!

  81. Tried it this weekend! Very delicious, a definite make again and again!!

  82. I just made this! Absolutely delicious! I didn't use mushrooms so I added more of the veggies. Also used fresh garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. I will Definitely make this again! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  83. This turned out great and was very filling. I left out the mushrooms and celery and substituted Penne Whole Wheat pasta and the consistency was still good. Thumbs Up!

  84. This was awesome! Instead of marinara, I used Paul Newman's Sockarooni sauce, which has a little more of a kick.

  85. This recipe made a huge casserole that made it through 2 dinners plus lunches for my husband and I, and it was SO delicious! I love that you don't have to cook the macaroni, saved so much time and one extra pot to scrub. Will definitely be adding this to my dinner rotation!

  86. This recipe is delicious! My husband loved it and my 2-year old enjoyed it as well, minus the mushrooms 🙂
    I used Barilla whole wheat elbows and they came out great. We ate this two nights in a row, second night was even better than the first!
    My only criticism, as others mentioned, is that I felt it needed a bit more spice. Red pepper flakes make an excellent addition along with a little extra salt and pepper. I also like the idea of adding crushed garlic.
    Skinnytaste is such a fantastic blog. It's my go to site when I need new ideas for low cal recipes. Haven't had a bad experience with any of the meals I've made and I've tried several!

  87. I found it very bland need to spice it up some more….

  88. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I used the liquid I drained off the tomatoes as part of my water. My husband loved it, too. Next time, I'll add a little garlic and red pepper flakes for some extra spice.

  89. You don't boil the pasta before adding the other ingredients and putting in the oven? I couldn't find that brand pasta, but did find another whole wheat elbow. Will that work as well?

    • Colleen: I used Barilla whole wheat medium shells, cause that was what I had in my pantry. I didn't cook the pasta, followed the recipe, and it worked perfectly! Try it!

    • Thanks for the reply Charlene. I have been chomping at the bit to try this. Tonight is the night!

  90. This was great! cooked the mushrooms in with the other veggies and will probably add fresh garlic too he next time I make it. YUMMY! BIG Portion!

  91. I made this for dinner tonight and changed the 8 ounces of macaroni for 8 ounces of whole wheat medium shells (around 3 cups dry pasta), cause that's what I had in the pantry. Thank heavens Barilla has this cool site for all sizes of pasta to swap out sizes easily: http://www.barilla.com/faq?p=measuring.

    I added a pinch of crush red pepper flakes and 2 garlic cloves just cause that is what I normally add to pasta sauces. When hubby came in from work, first thing he said was, "WOW….dinner smells great!" This recipe is so yummy, and I LOVE the fact I didn't have to cook the pasta! I baked this 55 minutes and let it sit while I made some multi-grain bread for him to dip. He ate 2 big bowls, and said this is definitely a keeper!

    I am on WW and he is not, so it's awesome to find meals that he doesn't even realize are WW friendly! Keep up the good (and healthy) work! So far, when I need a recipe for dinner, this is the first place I start to hunt for ideas!!!!

  92. Yum! This looks perfect for a weeknight meal. Pasta will always have a special place in my heart!

  93. We made this for dinner tonight and we all loved it! I added a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little extra zip (I always add them to Italian style dishes!). Thanks for another great recipe, Gina!

  94. I just made this tonight and it was yummy! Thanks for all the great recipes, Gina. Your website is my go-to when menu planning. 🙂 <3

  95. I made this using one cup of regular marinara sauce and one cup of fra diavolo sauce. It gave the dish some extra flavor. We just loved it and will definitely make it again. Thank you for all of your great recipes!

  96. I have this on the stove simmering as I type this. I had meant to halve the recipe, but completely forgot. I also only have half the called for macaroni. Hopefully half the mixture freezes well. It smells great!

  97. Can you find this pasta brand in Ontario ?

  98. This looks delicious! I will definitely be making it this week!
    Have you ever tried pasta from Fiber Gourmet? I use it all the time. Because it has so much fiber, it lowers the calorie count. So a 2 oz. serving is only 120 calories instead of 200 or 240. No difference in taste whatsoever.

  99. I made this the other night with a few modifications – I used ground beef instead because I had some that I needed to use; I added more veggies because who DOESN'T need more veggies; I cooked it from start to finish in a Dutch oven. It was a great big hit! My 2YO ate TWO plate fulls when I first made it, and then when we had it as dinner last night, she looked at the container and said, "Nummy nummy!" She even ate some of it cold.

    Excellent dish and would definitely make again for a delicious weekend meal.

    • DUTCH OVEN! I wish I would have thought of that! Next time I make this, I'm going to use mine, thank you for sharing 🙂

  100. I made this tonight and it was really good! I am on WW and my husband is not, and he said it was "excellent." So nice not having to boil the noodles.

  101. This was super tasty. I made with Ronzoni smart taste elbows and otherwise followed the directions as is. Perfect comfort food for a cold winter night!

  102. Just made this casserole using Dreamfields elbow macaroni. Baked for 55 mins. Pasta was cooked perfectly. Absolutely delicious. Thank you Gina for another great recipe.

  103. Made this tonight without the celery and carrots and inserted kale and used whole grain no yolk noodles. YUM

  104. I made this recipe today. WONDERFUL! Can't wait to have the leftovers tomorrow. I did use 4 cups of spaghetti squash and omitted the water as you suggested – and it was truly very good. I opted for the low fat mozzarella (6 oz) and fat free (2 oz) … and while it was good, definitely not as good as the regular mozzarella. Just doesn't have the same creamy, gooey texture. However, I wasn't willing to forgo the extra weight watchers points. 🙂 Thank you again, for the recipe and for the assistance on swapping spaghetti squash for the elbow macaroni.

  105. OH! that looks lovely!

  106. I didn't have a can of diced tomatoes but I did have a can of diced tomatoes roasted with chills (Rotell or Trader Joe's) and it was fantastic! It's so easy, so delicious. By the way, I didn't read directions carefully and used the entire package of ground turkey – 20 oz AND it was 97%lean and it was still fantastic.

  107. Gina, when do you add the 2 cups of water? The recipe doesn't say, and I am wary of messing up since I have never put uncooked macaroni straight into the oven!

  108. This is the first recipe I tried from you. It is AMAZING!!! I'll now be avidly going through your site and filling up my recipe box. Yum! Thanks!

  109. I made this tonight. It was yummy. Would definetly make again.

  110. Could I add more veggies, like spinach?

  111. Made this last nigh for my family,everyone loved it! Thanks for your posts!!

  112. Thanks Gina!! Turn out great even with the mistakes I made. Will makes again.

  113. This looks delicious, but I don't have an hour to bake it once I get home from work. 🙁 Other than cooking the recipe all the way through and reheating, do you have any suggestions for doing this as a make-ahead for a quick weeknight meal?

    • Not Gina obviously, but I think if you pre-cooked the pasta, the turkey and the "sauce" (marinara plus veggies), and then kept it in the fridge, you could just assemble all the cooked parts, top with cheese, and put in the oven…basically would only need time to heat it through and melt all the cheese… maybe 20-30 minutes?

    • I am going to try to make this now as "make-ahead" meal. I will put everything (but the cheese) together and bake it tomorrow.

  114. So happy you all liked it!!!!

  115. I made this for dinner last night and it was great. I used penne because I had it already. I definitely will make it again.

  116. I made this for dinner last night and it was FABULOUS!!! So flavorful and the potion was perfect to fill me up. Can't wait to have leftovers for lunch today! Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into these fabulous recipes!

  117. This was dee-licious! I used rice pasta because my husband is wheat-intolerant. To get rid of the starchy residue I parboiled it for 3 min and rinsed it thoroughly with cold water. It turned out perfect. The family loved it and it was only 8 pp!

  118. Sorry if this is a stupid question, lol If I use regular (not wheat) macaroni, do I still put it in uncooked? I'm not sure if there's anything different with what's in it. Wheat products do icky stuff to me. Thanx!

  119. What if I cooked the macaroni noodles before I read that they should be uncooked? oops

  120. DELICIOUS! Just made this for my family. It was a HUGE hit! I used G.F. pasta and just baked it until bubbly and the cheese was golden. Really excellent! Thanks for another great recipe!

  121. Sorry if this is a stupid question but I am new to trying to freeze meals! Do you freeze it prior to baking…or bake it and freeze? And then what do you do when you're ready to eat it – best way to defrost it, etc?? Thanks for any advice!

    • I would freeze this after its baked. A few ways to do this, but freeze it in freezer friendly containers. The you can reheat it frozen in an oven set 350F until hot, maybe 30 minutes? Or you can thaw in fridge overnight and microwave it.

  122. You can leave them out and increase the other veggies if you want.

  123. I'm allergic to mushrooms – any ideas for a 1 cup substitution, or should I just up the carrots and celery?

  124. This looks great – and I'm planning on doing a marathon cooking weekend to stock me freezer and this just got added to the list- but did you do something to change the way recipes print? I went to the Printer Friendly version but it didn't let me shorten or remove pictures or anything like I used to. I just accidentally printed up all the comments and everything!

    • It sounds like you didnt use the green button?

    • I did – and it's always worked for me before – but for some reason today it didn't. I haven't changed computers or printers or anything either – that's why I thought it might be on your end. Maybe I'll try emailing it?

    • To make my prints of most of these recipes I copy/paste the text into a Word document a section at a time. I 'save' pics to a working folder, edit with Paint.net mostly to resize the pics to keep my own prints a manageable size, tweak text & titles in Word (Make titles/headings larger and bold; reduce some sections to single spacing; etc.). I can then copy/paste the pics to the Word document with pics that otherwise won't copy. Usually when I am done the Word version of the recipe will print on front & back of a single sheet of paper complete with selected comments. Sometimes I have two sheets of paper, 4 pages, and use clear package sealing tape to hinge/bind them together before punching the holes for my loose-leaf binders. I end with a hard copy and a copy in my 'Documents' 'Recipe' folder. I cook from a hard copy either printed from the Documents file or copied from the binder print. The working copy(s) often get messy.

  125. I'm not a fan of celery (the styrofoam of food), what might be a good substitute? Or do I just leave them out?

  126. If I wanted to use a full box of pasta (16oz) would I double the sauce and the water? Thanks!

  127. I tried this one time. It's delicious. I make it always when I go to my cousin. It is healthy and delicious!

  128. Delicious!! I love pasta dishes and this looks heavenly. Thanks for the recipe! Can't wait to try it 🙂

  129. Do you know where we can buy the DeLallo pasta? I'm here on LI as well.

  130. I have been a fan of DeLallo whole wheat pasta for a long time and I'm very pleased that they're sponsoring you…it makes me love DeLallo even more! DeLallo has a wonderful nutty flavor and the texture is spot on. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thank you!!

  131. This is like the name says…easy macaroni with cheese….but so tasty…i try it few days ago and it took me 20 min to make.
    So, everybody I encourage you to try it!!!

  132. I don't cook GF pasta enough, so if you think you should cook it first, go for it, and skip the water in the recipe.

  133. I also was wondering about the gluten free option-if you used rice pasta, shouldn't you cook it first? I've noticed the rice pasta has a bit of a film that I usually rinse off. Otherwise, this sounds yum!!

  134. This looks like something ZOE will love! Cuz, can i put the elbows (crudos) only if theyre whole weat or i could do it with any kind?

  135. I'm sure it is nice to be compensated. Of course, I'm guessing that involves spending hours tweaking, testing, photographing, etc. We see the beautiful finished product and Gina doesn't bore us with the details of getting to that product. Thank you for your hard work Gina, and I hope you do get compensated well, as I gather that blogging could be a rather large undertaking to do as volunteer work.

    • Yes, I made this three times to get it right! Thanks, yes maintaining a blog is a lot of work, but I only use products I love, so this one was easy.

  136. Must be nice to receive compensation to make a recipe.

    • Yes, it is nice to get paid for your time, but it also allows me to give all of you recipes for FREE : )

    • Gina – I wish there was a way to like your comment. What is wrong with people? Thank you for all you do.

    • Gina works hard to make these recipes. She has the cost of buying her ingredients. Sometimes things fail or aren't what she feels were good enough the first time around to share and she tweaks the recipes. She is also taking care of a family. She disclosed that she was being compensated. What more can you ask for? If you don't like the fact that she is being compensated then don't use her recipes and don't visit this site. I'm sure all the cooking shows, some cook books, etc. are endorsed (pay for the use of their ingredients) and you pay for these! Whether is through cable or buying a cook book. Thank you for all your hard work Gina. It helps me eat healthy and my BF loves all the new recipes! I don't have to repeat all the same boring dishes I was making before.

    • Goodness gracious, unnecessary comment. Do YOU get paid at your job? I'm guessing the answer is yes.

    • I love you guys!!

    • We love you too, Gina 🙂

  137. Gina…what do you do with the 2 cups of water in the ingredient list?

  138. Making this tonight. Only difference is I added a layer of zucchini on the bottom. My family has loved everything I have cooked from your site…thank you 🙂

  139. Could you use brown rice pasta? Would you have to cook it though prior to baking? Just looking for gluten free options. Thanks!

  140. The serving size is listed as 1/8th…is that one eighth of the entire dish?
    Looking for clarification for this tasty-looking recipe!!!

  141. Oooh this sounds fabulous! I'm a big fan of whole wheat pasta, not sure why, but I like it more than regular pasta. I can't wait to make this!

  142. I, too, would like to know if spaghetti squash can successfully be substituted. Recipe sounds wonderful!

  143. Use the mozzarella with a Touch of Philadelphia

  144. I've recently started paying a lot closer attention to my calorie intake and I find myself gravitating to your recipes for dinner since you take out the guess work. Thank you so much!

  145. I just bought that exact pasta the other day! I will definitely be trying this!

  146. I'm a single woman and 8 servings is a lot for me, do you know if this can be frozen?

  147. I love this idea! The recipe looks delicious… I don't make a lot of pasta recipes, but this is one I definitely try!

  148. I looked on Delallo's website for the nutritional info for the pasta but it isn't included. Is it similar in calories to Ronzoni?

  149. Is there something about the DeLallo pasta that makes it work with this recipe or might another pasta be substituted? I guess what I'm asking is does the DeLallo pasta absorb less liquid? I've been using Dreamfields as I have gestational diabetes. This looks fabulous by the way!

    • Any pasta would work, but since I am trying to eat more whole wheat pasta, I wouldn't use anything other than DeLallo. One thing to keep in mind, Dreamfields is only "low net carb" if it cooks the exact time on the package, any longer and it's no longer low net carb. I think you can google more info on that.

    • I've read the 10 minute rule. I've been able to cook your baked broccoli mac & cheese (which I love BTW) with no problems with my glucose levels. Hoping this will be the same. Thanks!

    • I could not fin Delallo's in Safeway in Canada

  150. Any suggestions for substitutions or modifications if I want to omit the meat.

  151. This looks yummy! My hubby is on a low fat, low carb diet right now and I think this would be a great splurge for him. I'm gluten free (yes, cooking for the two of us is challenging!) and I've found GF pasta doesn't work well in one pot type dishes because it's often too starchy. I'm sure it could be altered to cook the pasta separately, then add to the casserole cooked by omitting the extra water. Should I cut back a bit on the marinara too?

    • Hmm I have not tested this with GF pasta, I would leave the water out if you used cooked pasta.

    • I used GF pasta but only baked it for half the time. Worked out well. Super delicious!

    • The GF rice pasta is sticky and gluey and horrid. You MUST try corn pasta. It's GF, has great body and texture (almost better than regular pasta if you ask me) and has the added bonus of a wonderful nutty (corny?) taste.
      It's available at more and more regular food markets… no need to go to a fancy one, at least not up here in Canda.
      Give it a shot.. I think you'll be thrilled.

    • I made this using barilla gluten free pasta. I didn't precook the pasta, and it took about 55 minutes in the oven. I really like the barilla because it's a corn blend. The noodles don't turn to mush like when I use brown rice noodles

    • Ditto. I used barrilla GF penne, baked for 55 mins, and then broiled for 2 mins. Delicious! PLEASE, I'm vegetarian and my hubby is GF. His whole side of the family has allergies (all different). We get by fine – it's much healthier and more creative!

    • delallo makes an amazing gluten free pasta! I have be GF for about 6 years and have probably tried everything. This brand has become the go to in my household.

    • I made this tonight and it was a hit – my picky 4 year old even ate it – so that is always good. Will definitely make it again. Thanks Skinny Taste!

  152. Gina – you think I could make this with either spaghetti squash or quinoa?

  153. holy cannoli this looks good. so making this very soon!

  154. This looks great! It also works with Weight Watcher's new Simple Start program — as long as you use fat free mozzarella and store bought marina that's under 2g of fat! I'm definitely making it this week.

  155. I'm not a huge fan of mac and cheese but this recipe looks very delicious and simple! Will be trying this soon.

  156. Unfortunately I'm dairy-less for another 2 1/2 weeks but when I can add a bit back in, this will be on my list for freezer lunches for sure.

  157. My family has made a similar casserole forever! It was my grandmother's recipe – we call it Gramma's Casserole, ha ha! This one has way more veggies, though! Yum!

    • Yes! That was the recipe, although I had to cut back on the celery and chop the veggies smaller so my kids would eat this.

  158. Gotta try this one! Looks great. Can't wait for your cookbook!

  159. This reminds me of a healthier version of what my mom used to make! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Im going to make this for my kiddos!