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Better-for-You Cauliflower Baked “Ziti”

Better-for-You Cauliflower Baked “Ziti”

Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) no salt added tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, divided
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat large saucepot with ½-inch water to a boil over medium-high heat; add cauliflower. Cover and cook 5 minutes; drain.
  2.  In large skillet, cook and stir beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until beef is browned. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and seasoning; cook 5 minutes or until heated through.
  3. In large bowl, toss spinach, ½ cup each ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, cauliflower, beef mixture, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper; transfer to 3-quart baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of remaining ½ cup ricotta cheese over cauliflower-beef mixture; sprinkle with remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese.’
  4. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve garnished with basil.

Per serving: 314 Calories, 13 Fat (6g Saturated),75mg Cholesterol, 501mg Sodium, 21g Carbohydrates, 5g Fiber, 10g Sugars, 0g Added Sugars, 31g Protein

Chef’s Tip: For a vegetarian version, substitute cooked lentils for the ground beef: Prepare 1 cup dry lentils as label directs; drain. In step 2, omit the ground beef and cook the onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil; continue with step 2, folding the cooked lentils into the heated tomato mixture.

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