Healthy Baked Ziti with Cottage Cheese

6 Pieces360 cals

Another week brings another cottage cheese recipe! That recipe? One of my favorite classics reinvented. This Healthy Baked Ziti with Cottage Cheese comes packed with flavor, is super cheap to make, and will last you the entire week.

P.S. The truth is that I may have bought way too much cottage cheese for last weeks recipe so we need to add another cottage cheese recipe to the list!!!

Start this recipe by preparing 8 ounces of dry pasta 1-2 minutes less than your box says to, we’re using ziti. The type of pasta and kind is completely up to you and what you have access to.

You’ll want your pasta to be soft but not mushy when it’s done. It should still have some hardness to it if that makes sense.

Why should you cook it for less time? Your pasta will continue to cook while you bake your healthy baked ziti with cottage cheese. If you fully cook your pasta prior to baking it there’s a chance it’ll end up mushy.

While your pasta is cooking add into a mixing bowl 1 1/2 cups of your favorite sauce, 1 1/2 cups of cottage cheese, 10 ounces of a cooked lean protein like ground beef, turkey, or chicken (I went with chicken), 1 cup of a mozzarella cheese, 1 large whole egg, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, and a little pepper.

Mix all of those ingredients together.

Change up the flavor(s) by adding in anything else you want like other seasonings, spices, herbs, and so on!

Drain your pasta when it’s done cooking and mix it into your cheese mix.

High Protein Baked Ziti

Take out a baking dish and add in either some olive oil or non-stick cooking spray to the bottom of it. I used a 2 quart casserole dish.

Follow by adding in and evenly distributing 1/2 cup of your favorite sauce, your pasta mix, another 1/2 cup of sauce, 1/2 cup of some mozzarella cheese, and 3 tablespoons of some parmesan cheese.

Cover your baking dish with foil so that the top layer of cheese doesn’t burn and put it into the oven on 375F/190C for around 45-50 minutes.

Uncover your ziti and bake it for an additional 10 minutes or until your cheese has a nice color to it.

Did you know that you can quickly shape your foil or even parchment paper by simply wrapping it around the outside edges first rather rather pressing it in? Not only is this quicker, it’s guaranteed to save you some time and money.

Recipe Tips

A couple of my favorite tips for this healthy baked ziti with cottage cheese?

  • We add the macro breakdown for full, reduced, and fat free cottage cheese below in the recipe card.
  • If you’re in a time crunch you could eliminate the pasta prep by using a cooked pasta. Preparing it is definitely preferred but both ways taste great!
  • The most important part of this recipe? Make sure you have enough sauce! No noodles should be exposed or without a sauce bath.

Ready for a healthy cottage cheese dessert!? Try our Cottage Cheese Cheesecake next!

Healthy Baked Ziti with Cottage Cheese Recipe

Healthy Baked Ziti with Cottage Cheese

Level up your weekly meal prep with this simple and protein packed Healthy Baked Ziti with Cottage Cheese recipe! Easy to make and cheap.
4.79 from 41 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked ziti, cottage cheese, healthy ziti, high protein ziti, meal prep
Servings: 6 Pieces
Calories: 360kcal
Cost: $5.10

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  • 8 Ounces Pasta - Dry Weight (Your choice kind)
  • 2 ½ Cups Pasta Sauce - I like Low Sodium/Sugar
  • 1 ½ Cups Cottage Cheese - Full, Reduced, or Fat Free all work
  • 10 Ounces Protein - Cooked (Lean Ground Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Vegetarian Alternative, Etc)
  • 1 ½ Cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Large Whole Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • Black Pepper - Your choice
  • 3 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese


  • Cook your pasta 1-2 minutes less than your box says to (soft with some hardness left to it)
  • Mix together 1 ½ Cups Pasta Sauce, your Cottage Cheese, choice cooked Protein, 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, your Egg, Italian Seasoning, Minced Garlic, Pepper, and any other seasonings, spices, or herbs
  • Drain your pasta and mix that in
  • Take out a baking dish (I used a 2 quart casserole dish) and either add in some olive oil or non-sticking cooking spray
  • Layer in ½ Cup Pasta Sauce, your Pasta Mix, another ½ Cup Pasta Sauce, ½ Cup Mozzarella Cheese, and your Parmesan Cheese
  • Cover your baking dish with foil
  • Put your baking dish into the oven on 375F/190C for around 45-50 minutes
  • Uncover your dish
  • Cook it for an additional 10 minutes or until your cheese has a nice color to it



Calories with Fat Free Cottage Cheese (Whole Recipe):
  • Calories: 2162
  • Fat: 50g
  • Saturated Fat: 24g
  • Sodium: 2780mg
  • Carbs: 222g
  • Fiber: 20g
  • Sugar: 49g
  • Protein: 206g
Calories with Fat Free Cottage Cheese Per Piece (Makes 6 Pieces):
  • Calories: 360
  • Fat: 8.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 463.3mg
  • Carbs: 37g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Sugar: 8.1g
  • Protein: 34.3g
Calories with Reduced Fat Cottage Cheese (Whole Recipe):
  • Calories: 2201
  • Fat: 57g
  • Saturated Fat: 28g
  • Sodium: 2475mg
  • Carbs: 222g
  • Fiber: 20g
  • Sugar: 55g
  • Protein: 200g
Calories with Full Fat Cottage Cheese (Whole Recipe):
  • Calories: 2269
  • Fat: 65g
  • Saturated Fat: 32g
  • Sodium: 2082mg
  • Carbs: 221g
  • Fiber: 20g
  • Sugar: 54g
  • Protein: 200g


Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 34.3g | Fat: 8.3g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 463.3mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 8.1g


  1. Cait on March 23, 2024 at 4:04 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for my family and they said it was the best baked ziti they’ve ever had! My mom also bought it to work and shared it with her coworkers and they said it was amazing! I used banza pasta and a parm blend and it was absolutely delicious thank you so much this website has changed my life!

    • Derek Howes on March 24, 2024 at 9:42 am

      I’m so happy to hear this Cait! Thanks for the awesome feedback.

  2. CC on August 6, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    5 stars
    I used Barilla Protein+ penne, ground Turkey, and Raos vodka sauce. Was very good!

  3. Skyler on January 13, 2023 at 5:53 am

    5 stars
    Excellent I used chickpea pasta, zero fat cottage cheese and light mozzarella. It made eating meal preps enjoyable so this definitely became a staple in my regimen.

    • Derek Howes on January 17, 2023 at 6:08 pm

      Glad you liked it Skyler!!!

      • Carina on January 24, 2023 at 5:01 pm

        Love this I’m making it for meal prep! About how many cups or ounces is one serving?

      • Derek Howes on February 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

        Hope you like it Carina! I can’t give you the exact number as this will vary dish to dish (pasta water absorption and whatnot). Your best bet is to weigh the recipe and divide by 6 if you have a food scale.

  4. Cindi on October 30, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    5 stars
    Follow you on YT and love what you do there…and finally decided to see what the website was about. I love the setup and would be willing to subscribe (so many ads that they were dumping me off the site.). Anyway…made this as my first recipe and wanted to suggest that this would make great stuffed shells which may lower the carb count a little and it could make the serving size easier to manage. I increased the serving count to 10 and we had this for dinner and I froze the rest for 2 weeknight easy heat ups for dinner. Love your site and that I can pin the recipes!

    • Derek Howes on October 31, 2022 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you Cindi for your awesome feedback and suggestions! Glad you liked the recipe.

  5. Arel on October 3, 2022 at 9:04 am

    5 stars
    This recipe has been an exceptional recipe for me.

  6. Josh on September 11, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    Is the 10 ounces of protein cooked or raw? Also, i have some ricotta cheese as well as cottage. Could I throw that in there in place of a meat protein, or would that be too much like cottage cheese?

    • Derek Howes on October 4, 2022 at 8:40 am

      Raw weight and you might be OK though I’ve not tried that myself. Hope this helps Josh!

  7. Emily on August 8, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    5 stars
    When I took a bite of this I laughed out loud at how delicious it was. Since it is zucchini and inflation season, I used red lentil pasta and left out the meat and loaded it up with zucchini. I used an arrabiata sauce cause I prefer a little heat in pretty much everything. My boyfriend (very much a carnivore) eyed it a couple times to verify there was no meat in it. Your recipes make my dreams feel possible. Thank you.

  8. Holly on June 8, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    5 stars
    This turned out delicious!! Used whole wheat pasta, shredded chicken breast, and low fat cottage cheese and it was perfect. Both my kids tore it up, too! Definitely going into our regular rotation – thanks for another great recipe!

  9. Devyn on May 17, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    5 stars
    Holy cow this was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I assembled everything on sunday, baked the following day according to the directions and ate it for 2 dinners and a couple lunches. The only change I made was doing 16oz of lean ground beef because I don’t package my ground beef in 10oz increments. It upped the protein to 39g per serving and the whole dish filled out into a 3 qt casserole dish perfectly. I cannot wait to make this again!!!

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