This turkey cauliflower baked ziti uses cooked cauliflower instead of pasta noodles so it’s low-carb and gluten-free while still being cheesy and delicious. Recipe is from Megan Gilmore’s cookbook, No Excuses Detox.
Megan and I both graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have a similar approach to health and wellness. Megan focuses on detoxing, but not in the traditional way most people think of detoxing. Rather than asking you to follow a strict diet for 30 days or less, she’s promoting the idea of enjoying delicious meals made from whole foods all year long. This approach is about lifestyle changes that help to optimize digestion, gently remove toxins and promote effortless weight loss and lasting health. <– LOVE!
With this new cookbook, Megan is addressing the five most common excuses people give when it comes to not eating well consistently:
Not enough time
It’s too expensive
Picky eaters in the family
Always on the go
Too many cravings
She provides helpful advice for all five issues and presents a collection of 100 satisfying, family-friendly recipes developed with speed, convenience and optimum digestion in mind. All the meals are quick to prepare, affordable and delicious!
The cookbook is filled with the recipes and gorgeous photos but also includes:
3 complete weekly meal plans with shoppings lists
a breakdown of cost per serving for each recipe <– So helpful for those of us on a budget!
notes for 15 and 30 minute recipes
notes for kid-friendly and freezer friendly recipes
After flipping through the cookbook I immediately bookmarked a handful of recipes I want to make soon, but ultimately decided to make the cauliflower baked ziti first.
Low Carb Baked Ziti With Cauliflower
I’m so glad I did because it’s absolutely delicious. If you’ve never had baked ziti before, it’s basically like lasagna but without all the work of layering ingredients. I’m all about short-cut recipes with minimal ingredients so this baked cauliflower ziti is right up my alley. I added ground turkey for some additional protein, but otherwise followed Megan’s recipe exactly. The recipe makes a lot (about six servings) so Isaac and I ate the ziti over the course of a few days and it never got old! I already want to make another batch.
Tips and Suggestions
I used store-bought pizza sauce instead of making my own just to keep things simple, but feel free to get ambitious make a homemade version. There’s a recipe in Megan’s cookbook (page 186) or you can use my homemade pizza sauce recipe.
The recipe calls for shredded goat cheddar cheese. I had a hard time finding this at our local Whole Foods so I went with a similar goat cheese. If you have a hard time finding goat cheddar, feel free to sub regular cheddar cheese or shredded mozzarella.
Megan mentions in the cookbook that all of her taste-testers, even self-proclaimed cauliflower-haters loved this cauliflower baked ziti recipe and I can see why. It’s sooo good. I hope you like it as much as we do!
How to Meal Prep or Make-Ahead
You can prepare this dish as a freezer meal by beating together the pizza sauce, eggs, cheese, and salt in a large bowl, then stirring in the raw cauliflower and spinach. Spread the mixture into a 9 by 13-inch oven-safe dish and top with the shredded cheese, then cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To heat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then place the dish in a cold oven. (You don’t want to risk a glass dish shattering from a drastic temperature change.) Turn on the oven to 350°F and bake uncovered until the cheese on top is golden and the eggs in the center of the dish are cooked thoroughly, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven, combine the cauliflower and pizza sauce and stir well to coat. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and, once bubbling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot to let the cauliflower cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
While cauliflower is cooking, grab a skillet and sauté the turkey until cooked, drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, grated cheese, and salt. Set aside. After the cauliflower is tender, stir in the spinach and simmer to cook off any excess moisture in the pot, to ensure that the final result isn’t watery. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the turkey as well as the egg and cheese mixture. Top with the shredded cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the eggs have set and the cheese is bubbly on top. Allow the dish to cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Megan recommends using goat cheddar.
MAKE IT AHEAD: You can prepare this dish as a freezer meal by beating together the pizza sauce, eggs, cheese, and salt in a large bowl, then stirring in the raw cauliflower and spinach. Spread the mixture into a 9 by 13-inch oven-safe dish and top with the shredded cheese, then cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To heat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then place the dish in a cold oven. (You don’t want to risk a glass dish shattering from a drastic temperature change.) Turn on the oven to 350°F and bake uncovered until the cheese on top is golden and the eggs in the center of the dish are cooked thoroughly, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.