5 from 2 votes

The Best Ground Turkey Pasta 

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Get ready for this flavorful, filling ground turkey pasta, which is equally healthy and easy to make. It's great for weeknight meals with the family.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
£1.95
Makes: 5
mains
British
Freezable

Whenever I’m in need of a cozy weeknight meal, I whip up this ground turkey pasta. It’s made with Italian flavors, such as Italian seasoning, pecorino cheese, and fresh basil, so it’s quite tasty.

I’ve also incorporated a creamy pasta sauce into this flavorful dish, which pairs well with the chorizo, courgette (zucchini), and cherry tomatoes. Packed with veg and lean meat, this pasta with ground turkey recipe is healthy and filling! 

Pasta shells with roasted vegetables and mince sauce mixed with a wooden spoon.

Why you will love this recipe

Quick – This entire ground turkey pasta recipe takes less than an hour to make (including roasting the veggies!).

Budget Friendly – This is one of the ground turkey pasta recipes that’s easy on the wallet, as the entire recipe is under £10.00.

Healthier option – This easy ground turkey pasta recipe is healthier than you’d typically get at an Italian restaurant as you’re using lean ground turkey meat and including multiple veggies.

Cosy – The creamy tomato sauce in this simple pasta dish helps create a comforting feeling as you dig in.

Full of veg – I’ve included courgettes and tomatoes in this easy recipe to help boost the nutrients.

Great for picky eaters – With the rich, creamy sauce and delicious bites of ground turkey breast and chorizo, even the pickiest eaters will enjoy this recipe. 

If you love using mince, consider making one of these yummy recipes; Southwest Ground Turkey and Rice Skillet, Meatball Marinara with Spiralized and Minced Pork Noodles 

Ingredients

Ingredients to make the turkey pasta recipe laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Ground Turkey – Using this lean meat helps keep this ground turkey and pasta recipe lighter. If you prefer, you can also use ground chicken, pork, or beef. See this recipe, for instructions on; How to Cook Ground Turkey

Pasta Shells – I love using shells for this ground turkey pasta dish. However, you can use any noodle (spaghetti or lasagna) for this recipe.

Pecorino – For this turkey pasta recipe, I chose pecorino instead of parmesan as it helps create an even creamier sauce. You can use parmesan instead, but it will have a stronger taste that may outshine the other ingredients.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

Add your own flair to this ground turkey with pasta recipe with the adaptations/variations below. Instead of regular pasta, you can use a gluten-free option. Or, use spaghetti squash or zucchini to make veggie noodles as a base. If you don’t have turkey or you don’t like the taste, you can use ground beef, pork, or chicken instead.

Swap the turkey for a plant-based version to make this ground turkey pasta vegetarian. You’ll also need to leave out the chorizo. To make the recipe vegan, use dairy-free cream cheese and pecorino. If you simply want a dairy-free version of the dish, keep the turkey and chorizo but use plant-based/dairy-free cheese swaps.

Turn this recipe into a one-pot dish by sauteeing the veggies for a few minutes with olive oil until browned and softened. Then, follow the remainder of the directions below. 

Satisfy those creamy pasta cravings with these other recipes; Spaghetti al Limone, Marmite Pasta and Sausage and Fennel Pasta

How to make ground turkey pasta

Preheat oven to 356°F (180°C)

  1. To a large dish/baking tray, add the courgette, tomatoes and chorizo. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through (Image 1).
  2. After 15 minutes, preheat a large non-stick frying pan with 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Add mince, break apart roughly, and brown for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with chopped vegetables in a oval, glass bowl and the second with mince frying in a pan with a wooden spoon.

* During this time, add your pasta to heavily salted water, setting your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes. 

3. Break apart mince properly, stir and cook for 5 more minutes reducing the heat to medium/low (Image 3). 

4. Add the seasoning and cook for 5 more minutes while reducing the heat to medium/low (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with cpartly cooked mince in a pan and the second with mince frying in a pan with seasoning added.

5. Add the cream cheese into the pan with the ground turkey and stir to heat through. Add the roasted vegetables/chorizo (Image 5).

6. Then add 300ml of pasta water, along with the undercooked pasta. Reserve more pasta water just in case (Image 6). 

2 step by step photos, the first with mince, roasted vegetables and cream cheese added to the pan and the second withthis mixed together.

7. Now stir the pasta in to combine and fold in half of the pecorino and lemon juice (Image 7).

8. Cook until you achieve a glossy, thick, creamy sauce. Add more pasta water if necessary. Serve immediately and top with fresh basil and the remaining pecorino (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with pasta shells added to the sauce in the pan nd the second with everyting mixed together.

    Need inspiration for some more yummy pasta recipes? See my: Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta, Creamy Chicken and Chorizo Pasta and Creamy Bacon Pasta

    Tips for the best result

    Use al dente pasta
    Whenever I create turkey pasta recipes, I always recommend keeping the noodles al dente. This will help keep the leftover noodles from turning into mush in the fridge.

    Full-fat cream cheese is more luxurious and won’t curdle from the tomatoes like a lower-fat option
    I recommend using full fat cream cheese for this ground turkey pasta recipe, as it creates a creamier sauce. If you use low-fat, it will likely curdle and separate while cooking.

    Save some pasta water to make the sauce the consistency you like
    Pasta water helps bind the sauce together and allows you to adjust it to your preference. It’s always best to keep some extra on the side in case you want a thinner sauce for your ground turkey pasta.

    Pasta shells with roasted vegetables and mince sauce in a parge stainless steel pan with the pasta being mixed with a wooden spoon.

    Serving Suggestions

    This ground turkey pasta is delicious alongside some crusty bread or garlic bread. That way, you can use the bread to swipe up any extra sauce that’s leftover. If you want a lighter meal, this dish is yummy with soup, a salad, or roast veggies.

    Serve with my Easy Mexican Street Corn Off the Cob, Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli or Air Fryer Green Beans

    Leftover Storage

    This ground turkey pasta is great for meal prep, as the leftovers store well in the fridge/freezer. Here are notes on properly storing leftovers from ground turkey and pasta recipes.

    Refrigerator
    Allow the leftovers to fully cool. Then, pack them in an airtight container. You can pack the sauce and noodles together in one large container or portion it in separate containers for easier work lunches. The leftovers will stay good in the fridge for up to three days.

    Freezer
    You can also freeze leftovers of this pasta dish. I wouldn’t freeze the cooked pasta, but the sauce should freeze well. Instead, make fresh noodles when you want to use up the sauce.

    Store the leftover sauce in an airtight bag or container. Then, freeze for up to three months. You may notice separation when freezing the sauce due to the dairy. It should recombine together when you reheat it.

    Reheat Instructions

    This ground turkey pasta dish is best reheated on the stove, especially if you freeze the sauce. To reheat from frozen, allow the sauce to defrost overnight in the fridge. Then, add it to a pot over low/medium heat until warmed. If there’s separation, you can add some pasta water from fresh noodles, chicken broth, or regular water to help the sauce come back together.

    Pasta shells with roasted vegetables and mince sauce mixed in a large stainless steel pan with a wooden spoon held up with some pasta over the pan.

    FAQs

    Can I make this with leftover turkey?

    If you have leftover cooked turkey breast, you can use that instead of ground turkey. I recommend removing the skin and using only the meat for this recipe with ground turkey. Be sure to chop or shred the turkey first. Then, toss it in with the sauce and pasta in the last few minutes to keep it from drying out.

    What can I substitute cream cheese with?

    You can use heavy cream instead of cream cheese in this ground turkey pasta. For a lighter, more protein-rich sauce, consider using Greek yogurt instead.

    Can I make this dish ahead of time?

    Yes, you can make this dish the day/night before. Follow the steps noted below, then store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to enjoy the dish, pop it into a pan over the stove for a few minutes, then enjoy.

    If you tried this Ground Turkey Pasta , it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

     

    Best Ground Turkey Pasta

    Print
    5 from 2 votes
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    £1.95
    mains
    British
    Freezable
    Servings: 5
    Get ready for this flavorful, filling ground turkey pasta, which is equally healthy and easy to make. It's great for weeknight meals with the family.

    Ingredients

    • 250 g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (£0.69)
    • 2 courgettes, sliced into medium chunks (£0.95)
    • 110 g chorizo, sliced into chunks (£2.50/2)=(£1.25)
    • 500 g ground turkey (£2.65)
    • 500 g pasta shells (£0.69)
    • 150 g cream cheese (£1.25)
    • Juice of half a lemon (£0.30)
    • 50 g pecorino, finely grated (£1.35)
    • Fresh basil, torn to serve (£0.60)

    Cupboard Essentials

    • 1 tbsp rapeseed/canola oil
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • Salt and pepper

    Method

    Preheat oven to 356°F (180°C)

    • To a large baking tray, add the courgette, tomatoes and chorizo. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
    • After 15 minutes, preheat a large non-stick frying pan with 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Add mince, break apart roughly, and brown for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
    • Break apart mince properly, stir, and add the seasoning. Cook for 5 more minutes reducing the heat to medium/low.
    • During this time, add your pasta to heavily salted water, setting your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes.
    • Add the cream cheese into the pan with the ground turkey and stir to heat through. Add the roasted vegetables/chorizo and 300ml of pasta water, along with the undercooked pasta. Reserve more pasta water just in case.
    • Stir to combine and fold in half of the pecorino and lemon juice. Cook until you achieve a glossy, thick, creamy sauce. Add more pasta water if necessary.
    • Serve immediately and top with fresh basil and the remaining pecorino.

    Notes

    • Use al dente pasta to prevent leftover noodles from becoming mushy in the fridge.
    • Full-fat cream cheese is recommended for a creamier sauce and to avoid curdling from tomatoes.
    • Save some pasta water to adjust the sauce consistency to your preference.

    Nutrition

    Servings: 5 servings
    Fat: 28g
    Calories: 759kcal
    Carbohydrates: 79g
    Protein: 48g

    Leave a comment and a rating!

    Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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    Comments

    1. Great recipe. The family all loved it. Thank you5 stars

    2. Sam Harrison | 4 weeks ago

      Delicious and so healthy !5 stars

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