Baked Pasta

This Baked Pasta recipe utilizes whole wheat pasta, ground turkey and plenty of cheese.

Pasta Bake 1

There’s an old saying in our house… “If there is nothing for dinner, then pasta is what’s for dinner.” Seriously, sometimes I get caught at 5 o’clock without any plans to feed my family a good dinner, and pasta is an acceptable fallback. I try to keep things like ground beef, turkey and sausage in the freezer, jars of marinara and different varieties of pasta in the pantry, some veggies in the crisper, and plenty of cheese in the much-loved cheese drawer. If I have these basics available, whipping up a quick pasta meal is not a problem.

Pasta Bake 2

My friend Maria from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod recently shared a brand of whole wheat pasta with me that she loves: Delallo. I hadn’t tried it before (my boys usually say they don’t care much for whole wheat pasta) so I picked up their whole wheat shells at my local market and decided to give them a shot.

Pasta Bake - Baked Turkey Pasta Shells with Cheese - RecipeGirl

It turns out the whole wheat shells worked perfectly in this recipe- combined with sauteed onions, ground turkey, marinara and a very flavorful Monterey Jack cheese. I asked my boys if they liked the pasta, and they actually said that they LOVED the pasta. Then I broke the news that it was whole wheat. They enthusiastically agreed that I can make Delallo whole wheat pasta for them any time. I’m so happy I found this brand. Oh yeah, and this isn’t a sponsored post or anything, I’m just sharing a brand that you might like to try too.

Yield: 4 generous servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Cheesy Turkey Baked Pasta


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (10% fat)
  • 4 cups cooked whole wheat pasta shells (see *Tips below)
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (bottled or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (divided)
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-heat and add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Crumble in the ground turkey and cook until the turkey is browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, marinara sauce, parsley and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top and the Parmesan cheese too.
  3. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes.


  • I'm not always such a fan of whole wheat pasta, but I really like the Delallo Foods brand- we used their whole wheat shells for this recipe. Delallo is in select stores, but you can always find it at Whole Foods Market.
  • 4 cups of cooked pasta equates to about 2 cups dried.
  • Use a good cheese for this recipe- I used a very flavorful Monterey Jack. Sometimes Jack can be quite mild. You can also use Swiss, Provolone or Mozzarella (or a blend!)


  1. postedOct 15, 2013 9:58 PM

    I have a stupid question.

    Did you cook your pasta first?

    (I agree about the WW pasta, that’s the only brand I can stomach!)
    Thank you.


    • postedOct 16, 2013 7:56 AM

      Yes, in the recipe you’ll see that it calls for cooked pasta. Enjoy!

  2. postedOct 15, 2013 2:28 PM

    Looks yummy. I’d have to use lean ground beef in place of the turkey since my family and I don’t care for ground turkey. I’ll be on the look out for the Delallo whole wheat shells, too. Thank you for the tip.

    • postedOct 16, 2013 8:00 AM

      It’s funny- we don’t really care for ground turkey much either, but it worked in this recipe.

  3. postedOct 15, 2013 11:30 AM

    What is marinara sauce? 🙂 greetings from Denmark!

    • postedOct 17, 2013 1:12 PM

      spaghetti sauce.

  4. postedOct 15, 2013 10:54 AM

    Looks good…can you share what brand of flavorful Monterey Jack you used?

    • postedOct 15, 2013 10:57 AM

      Sure- I used an organic Monterey Jack from Whole Foods- I think just their store brand. It was great!

  5. postedOct 15, 2013 1:56 AM

    What a nice and tasty pasta bake!

  6. postedOct 14, 2013 10:53 PM

    I love pasta bakes! I am definitely going to have to try this soon!

  7. postedOct 14, 2013 8:30 PM

    This pasta looks so cheesy and delicious! This is the perfect, comforting dish for a chilly fall evening!

  8. postedOct 14, 2013 8:00 PM

    This sounds great Lori! Everyone loves trying a new baked pasta recipe and this one sounds fabulous. Going to try to make it gluten-free! Thanks for the idea. oxox Hope you are well.
    Miss you!!!

  9. postedOct 14, 2013 6:40 PM

    Oh, girl…your Baked Pasta looks soooo good! Perfect fall and winter…or, anytime meal. LOVE DeLallo pastas! The best part is they have an exceptional gluten-free pasta in their line. Thanks for sharing, Lori! Will be pinning. Kinda missed pinning tonight…trying to help Heather Christo with her little sweet pea, Pia. xoxo

  10. postedOct 14, 2013 3:51 PM

    Pasta bakes are my favorite, probably because of all the cheese melted on top, this one looks like I would fall in love 😉 Excited to try the whole wheat pasta, haven’t tried any whole wheat versions in years!

  11. postedOct 14, 2013 1:31 PM

    Love it girl! Love that it’s quick and easy! And looks yummy!

  12. postedOct 14, 2013 11:05 AM

    This is really similar to a pasta bake my best friend and I have been making for the past 12 years (or at least until we were allowed near the stove without parental supervision)! Super delicious and easy! A few updates I do in order to get my husband to eat more veggies:

    – add 1-1.5 cups diced mushrooms: saute it with the garlic and onions
    – add squash/zucchini (as desired) and saute it with garlic and onions till softened
    – toss in some spinach towards the end for a quick wilt before baking

    Additionally, for a slightly creamier taste, add 3-4 tablespoons of heavy cream to the sauce before you add the pasta.

  13. postedOct 14, 2013 9:22 AM

    I always try to have a box of pasta on hand for easy dinners. This baked pasta looks fabulous! I will try it this week and see how my family likes it. I love WW past and I will be on the look out for Delallo!

  14. postedOct 14, 2013 7:25 AM

    So glad that you and your family enjoyed our pasta! 🙂 Recipe looks delicious!

  15. postedOct 14, 2013 6:52 AM

    Yep, I could eat this every day. Looks amazing!!

  16. postedOct 14, 2013 6:47 AM
    Maegan @ The BakerMama

    This is such a great go-to dinner idea since I almost always have these ingredients on hand! My boys would gobble this up!

  17. postedOct 14, 2013 5:41 AM

    What a great recipe Lori! I always have pasta on hand for those last minute moments. I’ll need to check this one out sometime 😉

  18. postedOct 14, 2013 5:23 AM

    Perfect, comforting dish! Love the whole-wheat version.

  19. postedOct 14, 2013 5:14 AM

    The only way I can get my family to eat whole wheat pasta is with the Delallo WW pasta. It is the only brand that does not taste like cardboard and we love it! This pasta bake is perfect for any night. It’s quick and easy, but still cheesy and so comforting! Like you worked all day on it, but actually did not. I love those kinds of meals!

  20. postedOct 14, 2013 4:57 AM

    Love this pasta – such a great and hearty meal!

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