Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil

In the past, I would not have categorized baked ziti as a nutritious food. But then I designed this recipe for Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil and that totally changed (thank God, because I love baked ziti!).

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil
Baked ziti with spinach and basil

This Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil is another recipe that I make ALL the time. It’s a tried-and-tested staple that is appropriate for Sunday meal-prep, since it reheats very nicely. It also freezes well.

This dish is packed with healthy carbohydrates (whole wheat pasta), quality protein (nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese) and vegetables/fruit (fresh spinach leaves, basil and tomato sauce). It truly is a balanced and convenient option for lunch or dinner (or breakfast – I’m not judging ;) ).

People are usually surprised when they hear that “I eat pasta,” but – as I always say – nutrition is all about balance (and, for the record, I eat anything that I want to, even if it’s not “healthy!” More on that to come another time ;) ). The components of this dish work together to create a complete meal without compromising taste or nutrition. If my whole grains come in the form of pasta, that’s okay with me!

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil
Baked ziti with spinach and basil

I am writing this post on Tisha B’av, a Jewish fast day. I chose to prepare this baked ziti as pre AND post fast fuel because it is really that filling (and I enjoy it enough to have two days in a row :) ).

Whether you’re looking to do some end-of-Tisha-B’av cooking or for a healthier pasta recipe to file for later, this one is for you.
<3 Dena

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil
Baked ziti with spinach and basil

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Basil

You need this pasta dish in your life. This baked ziti with spinach and basil is one of my go-to recipe for family gatherings and holidays.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Course: Brunch, Grain, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: baked ziti with spinach and basil
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Dena Don


  • 1 pound whole wheat penne, cooked al-denté
  • One 25-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • One 16-ounce container fat free or lowfat cottage cheese
  • cups shredded mozzarella cheese, plus 1/2 cup for topping
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus additional for topping


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a large rectangular baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, mix pasta sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and pepper. Add cooked pasta. Mix. Gently fold in spinach and basil.
  • Pour pasta into baking dish. Arrange in an even layer. Top with additional 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and basil.
  • Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes. Sauce and cheese will bubble and appear darker in color when ready.


Did you make this recipe? Please rate and comment below. I’d love to hear how it went for you!

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