At any given time, I always have all the ingredients to whip up this ground turkey pasta dish, which is always a family favorite.
One-pot pasta dishes are my jam.
No one will miss ground beef with all hearty seasoning and cheese in this quick and easy dish.
Swapping ground turkey for beef makes this dish a little healthier, but it’s just as filling.
This is the perfect family-friendly meal to whip up in a jiffy. It’s savory, cheesy, meaty, and so filling!
Ground Turkey Pasta
Ground turkey pasta checks all boxes for quick and easy comfort food.
It’s cheesy, savory, and so incredibly filling.
Using ground turkey helps pump up the protein without completely undoing your diet.
What I love most about this recipe is that it uses a few hacks to make that canned pasta sauce sing.
You can keep the price tag low by sauteeing onions and garlic before adding pasta sauce.
The finished product tastes like homemade sauce!
It’s full of lean turkey protein, a dash of nutty Parmesan cheese, and robust pasta sauce.
Plus, it’s a quick dish that everyone will love.
Keep in mind that this recipe is just the starting line.
You can make it your own by adding additional veggies, spices, seasonings, and proteins.
If you want a super cheesy pasta dish, try out different cheeses.
You can also transform this dish into a vegetarian option for meatless Mondays.
Simply leave out the ground turkey and use vegetable stock instead of chicken.
It’s just as flavorful and delicious, even without the meat.
It’s comfort food at its finest and the ultimate dinner dish to serve on a hectic weeknight.
Serve it with a buttery slice of garlic bread or a crisp salad to keep the calories low.
The great thing about this recipe is that it incorporates pantry staples.
If you have a box of pasta and a can of store-bought pasta sauce in your pantry, you are halfway there to a satisfying meal!
Ground turkey. Ground turkey is just as high in protein as beef but lower in fat. Swap ground turkey for beef, and no one will taste the difference.
Onion. Even if your canned pasta sauce has onion, sauteeing an onion makes canned pasta sauce taste homemade.
Garlic (fresh and powder). Everything is better with garlic! Adding a few garlic cloves and powder transforms even the most boring store-bought pasta sauce.
Fresh oregano. Using fresh herbs like oregano takes this dish to new heights. It’s peppery and a little acidic, adding earthy flavors to this dish.
Dried basil. No need for fresh basil in this dish. Dried basil tastes slightly different from fresh, with a minty taste that adds a robust depth of flavor.
Spaghetti sauce. There’s no need to track down fancy spaghetti sauce. With fresh herbs and onions, you can choose a budget-friendly can of store-bought pasta.
Chicken broth. Adding chicken broth makes your sauce so rich, flavorful, and decadent. Opt for reduced sodium broth to keep this dish healthy and control the sodium level of your dish.
Parmesan cheese. Everything is better with cheese! Right before serving, garnish each plate with a bit of Parmesan cheese to add cheesy and nutty notes to this dish.
How to Make Ground Turkey Pasta
It’s hard to get this dish wrong, even for kitchen newbies.
It’s so easy to prepare and comes together in under 30 minutes. Let’s take a look at just how easily the dish comes together.
1. Using a large skillet, cook the ground turkey, onions and garlic on medium heat until it’s browned. It takes around 8 minutes for the turkey to brown.
2. Season the ground turkey with oregano, basil, and garlic powder, and add rotini noodles. Stir until it’s combined.
3. Add the chicken stock and pasta sauce and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook it for 7 to 10 minutes.
5. Garnish it with Parmesan cheese, and serve!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Add veggies. This recipe is a great way to use leftover veggies in your fridge.
Toss in anything from bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, or zucchini. It brings more flavor to this dish and amps up the nutritional content!
Get creative with seasoning. Oregano and basil are great places to start, but they don’t have to end there!
Spicing up store-bought pasta sauce is art, so feel free to dig around in that spice rack.
Additional spices like rosemary, thyme, and onion powder are great options.
If you like to bring on the heat, sprinkle a few red pepper flakes for a kick.
There’s no such thing as too much cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan adds a nice, nutty finish to this one-pot meal, but other cheeses work, too.
Additional cheeses like sharp cheddar, mozzarella, or asiago can take this dish to new heights.
Add one, or add them all!
Change up your protein. Any protein works in a pinch if you don’t have ground turkey!
The pasta sauce flavors go with just about anything you have on hand.
From chicken, beef, meat substitutes (I love adding soy curls), or sausage, changing up the flavors in this dish is as simple.
Get fancy with red wine. A quick and easy way to transform bland canned pasta sauce is by adding red wine.
Half a cup adds a slight sweetness and sharp acidity that tastes amazing.
Cut add-ins into small pieces. When adding additional veggies to this dish, you must chop them into small pieces.
If your veggies are too large, they won’t cook at the same rate as your pasta.
As a general rule, don’t add chopped veggies bigger than your rotini pasta.
This recipe makes one big pot, and there will be leftovers.
Store the leftovers in an air-tight container and keep them in the fridge.
It will last between 3 and 5 days in the refrigerator.
When ready to reheat, add a little broth to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until hot.
Reheat it until it’s at the perfect temperature and not a minute longer.
If you cook it too long, the noodles become mushy. No one wants mushy noodles!
While reheating in the microwave is quick, it’s less than ideal.
Heating pasta in the microwave dries out the pasta.
It’s always best to add extra broth into your container to keep things saucy and moist.
Cook it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirring between sessions and adding more stock or pasta sauce as needed.
You can also freeze this recipe for future meals or meal prep.
Store individual servings in freezer bags and let them thaw in the fridge overnight.
Ensure you squeeze out as much excess air as possible to prevent the dreaded freezer burn.
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