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Before I divulge one of our absolute favorite meals: one thing I became a pro at while hotel living was cooking in confined spaces. I actually miss the challenge at times! For those of you who are still trapped in those small rooms with no kitchen, I will always try to include alterations for how we would have done it. If I don’t then simply ask because…well, I have 3 kids and get a bit spacey sometimes. ?


  • 1lb ziti pasta
  • 1lb ground sausage
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Petite diced tomatoes*
  • Onion powder*
  • Garlic powder*
  • Dried oregano*
  • Dried basil*

*All to preference*


  1. Brown your ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat and then drain well. We prefer to use Jimmy Dean’s regular pork sausage. {Hotel: use your electric skillet for this and then transfer the meat into a crockpot with a liner.}
  2. Put the meat back into the pan and toss your spinach right on top. I used the last of a “well balanced” mixture we had on hand. Pretty much any greens you love similar to spinach will work for this. Turn the heat back to medium and stir the leaves in. Add your sauce (we prefer Bertoli), tomatoes, and seasonings. I usually add a little water to it to stretch the sauce and then season it back up. {Hotel: turn the crockpot onto low and do the same as above.}
  3. Let that simmer until you are ready to eat stirring occasionally. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your ziti noodles as preferred. We usually eat all of our pasta cooked thoroughly instead of al dente but it works well either way. {Hotel: use your electric skillet to boil your noodles. If it is not large enough to do them all easily then make one batch, transfer them to the crockpot after draining, and make a second batch.}
  4. Plate your noodles and pour the desired sauce amount over the top. If you wish, you can top with shredded cheese. {Hotel: we always stirred the sauce, noodles, and cheese into one big batch in the crockpot. From there, we served onto paper plates. Our only cleanup was wiping out the skillet (which came clean boiling the noodles) and tossing the crockpot liner.)}
  5. Enjoy! {Hotel: you can also toast garlic bread on the electric skillet. Just use a little non-stick spray before for little to no mess. If it is frozen then cook on medium heat to thaw and high heat to crisp. For fresh bread go straight for the high heat.}

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