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Baked Penne with Chicken Meatballs and Ricotta

  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 1 hr 40 min
  • Servings 8

Italian chicken meatballs are combined with Muir Glen™ organic tomato basil sauce, spinach and pasta before being layered with dollops of a gooey, cheesy ricotta and baked until brown and bubbly. MORE + LESS -

Ingredients

1/4
cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs
3
tablespoons milk
1
egg, slightly beaten
3/4
cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4
cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
3
cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4
teaspoon salt
1/2
teaspoon pepper
1
lb ground chicken
2
tablespoons olive oil
1
jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen™ tomato basil pasta sauce
4
cups (5 oz) baby spinach
12
oz uncooked penne
1
container (15 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
2
cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1/4
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • 2
    In large bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk; let stand 5 minutes. Add egg, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the parsley, 2 finely chopped cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; stir to combine. Add chicken; gently combine. Shape into 32 (1 1/4-inch) meatballs.
  • 3
    In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs in oil about 6 minutes, turning a few times to brown all sides. Add pasta sauce and spinach in batches; cook until sauce is hot and spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, cook and drain penne as directed on package. Carefully add to pasta sauce and meatball mixture in skillet.
  • 5
    In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1 finely chopped clove garlic, pepper flakes and remaining 1/4 teaspoons each salt and pepper.
  • 6
    In baking dish, pour half of the pasta mixture. Place half of the ricotta mixture in dollops over pasta. Spread remaining pasta mixture in baking dish; top with dollops of remaining ricotta. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Expert Tips

  • Browning the meatballs before baking gives added flavor and helps them maintain their shape throughout the cooking process.
  • Any variety of Muir Glen™ organic pasta sauce will work in this recipe.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
560
Calories from Fat
220
% Daily Value
Total Fat
24g
37%
Saturated Fat
11g
56%
Trans Fat
1/2g
Cholesterol
110mg
36%
Sodium
860mg
36%
Potassium
490mg
14%
Total Carbohydrate
51g
17%
Dietary Fiber
4g
16%
Sugars
8g
Protein
34g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
60%
60%
Vitamin C
10%
10%
Calcium
50%
50%
Iron
20%
20%
Exchanges:
2 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 1/2 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 High-Fat Meat; 2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
3 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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