Turkey Cauliflower Baked Ziti

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. 

Healthy low carb turkey cauliflower baked ziti on a plate with a fork.

Happy Thursday! This is an exciting week because my lovely friend Megan Gilmore of Detoxinista just launched a new cookbook called No Excuses Detox. It’s a follow-up to her first cookbook, Everyday Detox, which features the caramelized onion and red bell pepper frittata recipe I shared here on EBF a while back.

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!

No Excuses Detox by Megan Gilmore

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.

Cauliflower Baked Ziti Uncooked in a baking dish topped with cheese.


And 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.

A couple things to note — 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.

Low Carb Turkey Cauliflower Baked Ziti in a baking dish with melted cheese on top.
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!

If you try this turkey cauliflower baked ziti, be sure to leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is super helpful for me and other EBF readers who are planning to try the recipe. 

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Turkey Cauliflower Baked Ziti


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

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. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and chopped
  • 2½ cups Pizza Sauce
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 ounces goat cheddar, shredded

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. While cauliflower is cooking, grab a skillet and sauté the turkey until cooked, drain and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Notes

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.

Recipe reprinted with permission from No Excuses Detox, copyright © 2017 by Megan Gilmore. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 263
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 30g

 

If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out Megan’s new cookbook No Excuses Detox!

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    41 comments
  1. Brittany! I love this recipe so much, it is extremely versatile. Very tasty and healthy. I ran out of spinach so I added in chopped asparagus instead and it worked out well. I’m new to your blog but I am truly enjoying it. Keep up the great work!

  2. I made this last night for dinner. As I was making it, I was a little worried it wasn’t going to be very good. But it turned out delicious! I even had seconds. I added more cheese to the mixture and on top before baking. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tonight!!

  3. We loved this! I went the no-Dutch-oven route, thanks for the alternate instructions. I subbed vodka sauce for pizza sauce, added some garlic,and threw on some steamed broccoli when serving. My guy and I couldn’t get enough!!!

  4. Hi! This looks really delicious and I want to make it tonight. But what could I use instead of goat cheddar? I don’t know if our grocery store has it. Thanks!

  5. This recipe is fantastic! I didn’t know what to expect, but when I finally tasted I was blown away. Absolutely delicious! It is easy to make, too.

  6. I made this tonight and thought it was delicious! I was really surprised by how good it is – you really don’t miss the pasta!

    • I love this recipe! It is one of the first recipes I tried about a year ago when I started eating lower carb and even my husband said, “it kinda tastes like lasagna”, so that was a winner for me. I made it again tonight. I do add fresh mushrooms to it!

    • Hi Meredith. I’m not sure since I haven’t tried it without the egg. I think it should be fine, but I do think the eggs help bind everything together so it might be a little loose without them. Let me know if you try it.

  7. This sounds so fantastic to me! I love cauliflower any way. I’m not sure I could get the husband to go for replacing pasta with a veggie though. Might have to make it two ways, or when he’s out of town’! 😉

  8. This looks great but I am a pescatarian – do you think this would work with my favorite beef-less ground beef from Trader Joe’s? Thanks!

    • Hi Terri. Yes, it will definitely work with beef-less ground beef or you could make it without the meat completely. That’s actually how it was written in the cookbook. I just added turkey for the protein.

    • Hi Liz. I would use a large skillet and a casserole dish. So cook the turkey in the large skillet. Remove the turkey from the skillet and cook the cauliflower in the same skillet with the sauce. Once the cauliflower is tender, transfer everything into a large baking/casserole dish and cook as suggested. Hope this helps!

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