Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recipe Makeover: Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake

I really enjoy Ree Drummond otherwise know as Food Network's Pioneer Woman.  I started reading her blog quite a few years ago but honestly, I almost never make any of her recipes.  Her food looks wonderful but unless you are a cattle rancher that burns about a bazillion calories a day, you probably can't eat her food without gaining a ton of weight.  On one of her recent shows, she had a recipe for what she called Sour Cream Noodle Bake which was a dreamy concoction of ground beef, tomato sauce, sour cream, cheddar cheese and cottage cheese with egg noodles baked in a casserole.  It sounded right up my alley but I knew I needed to lighten it up.

I started by substituting lean ground turkey for the ground chuck.  I also used plain nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and reduced fat cheddar cheese in place of full fat.  I added some freshness by including a few tablespoons of minced fresh flat leaf parsley.  The original recipe called for green onions but I was out so I subbed in dried onions and they worked much better than fresh onions would have. Instead of egg noodles, I used whole wheat penne pasta for extra fiber.  The results were very impressive.  The dish was still creamy and rich with a good meaty flavor and a comforting feel.

Here is a link to the original Pioneer Woman recipe--->Sour Cream Noodle Bake and if you would like to try my lightened up version, you will find the recipe below.  Enjoy!
Lightened Up Sour Cream Noodle Bake
serves 8

1 1/2 pounds of lean ground turkey
8 ounces of whole wheat penne pasta
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cup low fat small curd cottage cheese
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced dried onions
1 cup 2% milk fat grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.  In a large skillet on medium heat brown ground turkey until no longer pink.  Drain excess fat and return to the pan.  Add in the can of tomato sauce and season with salt and ground pepper.  Simmer on low.  Combine the yogurt, cottage cheese, parsley and dried onions in a large bowl.  Stir to combine and season with salt and ground pepper.  Drain pasta and add pasta to the yogurt and cottage cheese mixture.  Stir to coat all of the noodles.  Remove meat sauce from the heat.  To assemble, pour half of the noodle mixture into a casserole dish.  Spoon half the sauce on top of the noodles and top with half of the shredded cheese.  Repeat another layer with the rest of the noodles, meat sauce and cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.


  1. This looks great. Thank you!

  2. Hi, Beth! I'm Michiyo.(Yoekie Hime's mom from IG)
    I'll read your blog little by little because I'm not good at English……I can't part with my dictionary!! LOL

    1. Hi, Michiyo! Thank you so much for reading my blog. Give sweet Hime a hug for me.

  3. I saw that recipe on Pioneer Woman too and wanted to make it...I would have to keep the ground beef and noodles. My family isn't a big fan of ground turkey or whole wheat pasta, but the other substitutions are definitely something I'm going to try. TFS!

    1. The super extra lean ground beef would probably be just as good as the lean ground turkey. Let me know if you try it.

  4. Definitely putting this on our 'to try' this month. I think I'm going to also follow Kristina's idea and keep extra lean ground beef (as according to WW, they are the same in points) but we'll use whole wheat pasta as it's really not that bad if you get the right kind! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Let know how you like it. To get my husband to eat whole wheat pasta, I often do half regular and half whole wheat. Sometimes you have to ease them into things slowly. LOL