What to Make with Ground Turkey?
This! This ground turkey and broccoli pasta recipe is perfect for:
- Easy and quick weeknight dinner – your time is 10 minutes, idle time is 20 minutes.
- Kids because most love pasta (and broccoli).
- When you don’t know what to make with ground turkey AND broccoli.
- When you have to use up large amount of broccoli.
I made this pasta with ground turkey and broccoli last Saturday after working in the studio all day to get it ready for business after the renos. I promise you, I sat on a chair with a cup of tea for at least 15 minutes while dinner was cooking.
The flavors of meat, pasta, parsley and garlic are unbelievable together. My 12 year old asked “Mom, what’s the sauce?”. Um, nothing really. Simple food is the best! And it is healthy!
Let’s dive in before we dig in.
What Are the Ingredients?
- Ground turkey
- Any short pasta
- Tomato (optional)
- Onion and garlic
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
FAQs and Substitutions
What pasta can I use?
- Any short pasta like penne, elbow macaroni, bow ties etc. work for this one pot broccoli pasta.
- For health benefits, I recommend to use whole wheat or whole grain pasta.
- Gluten free pasta like brown rice, quinoa, chickpea etc. is healthy and full of fiber too. It cooks faster than whole wheat, so keep your eye on it.
- Wheat, semolina or Catelli “smart” pasta is white pasta. You can use it too, just less healthy.:) But marketers are smart.:)
- Hey, broken into pieces spaghetti, fettuccine or any long pasta is just as fine. Break in half or more to prevent lumps.
What can I substitute tomato with?
You can skip tomato all together or use sun dried tomatoes. Diced bell pepper is good too.
Can I use other ground meat?
Of course. Pork, beef, chicken etc. As always, try to buy grass-fed or organic. I know it’s expensive, that’s why this ground turkey and broccoli pasta recipe calls only for 1 lb.
Did you know 1 bunch of broccoli (600 grams) contains 17 grams of protein?! Aha, there you go.
There is some water left after cooking pasta.
It’s OK. It will get absorbed by pasta with time as you let it sit “to cook” broccoli and before serving. It also makes “the sauce”.
You can add more water just in case your ground turkey and broccoli pasta looks dry to you.
More tips for the best ground turkey and broccoli pasta
- Use Italian flat leaf parsley rather than curly parsley – more flavor.
- Grated garlic is more flavorful rather than minced – so you will need less. Win-win, especially if you buy local organic vs. from China. I do!
- Buy large chunk of Parmesan cheese and grate yourself vs. a shaker kind full of preservatives and cellulose. It freezes well and lasts a lifetime.
- Any oil is good for frying the onion.
How to Make One Pot Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta
1. Saute Onion and Turkey
- Preheat large Dutch oven, pot or deep skillet with a lid on medium heat.
- Swirl oil in a hot pot and spread with spatula to coat its bottom.
- Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just enough till fragrant.
- Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, breaking into pieces and stirring with spatula. Doesn’t have to be cooked through and pink is OK.
2. Add Pasta and Cook for 10 Mins
- Add pasta, water, salt and pepper.
- It should come to a boil as you are stirring. Level with spatula.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes, checking after 10 minutes.
- It’s OK to open the lid once to check on pasta.
- Brown rice and any gluten free pasta cooks faster than wheat.
- Pasta should be al dente – not too soft. So it doesn’t become a mush when we cook broccoli further.
Tip: If you like soft cooked broccoli, add it 3 minutes earlier or use frozen broccoli. I like broccoli firm and this is what this recipe is.
3. Add Broccoli and Let Stand
- When past is ready (al dente), turn off the heat.
- Add broccoli, tomato, garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Stir, cover and let stand for 3-5 minutes.
- You can chop parsley and grate Parmesan cheese in the meanwhile.
4. Serve While Warm
- Add parsley and Parmesan cheese – gently stir.
- Serve hot.
More Healthy Ground Turkey and Broccoli Recipes
- Ground turkey and potatoes
- Healthy beef and broccoli
- Healthy chicken broccoli casserole
- One pot quinoa, chicken and broccoli
- Sautéed garlic broccoli with tomatoes
- Broccoli mushroom stir fry
More Healthy Pasta Recipes
- Vegetable florentine pasta
- One pot taco pasta
- Healthy pasta
- Penne with broccoli
- Spaghetti with tomato sauce recipe
Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta
30 minute pasta with ground turkey and broccoli cooked in one pot. You will repeat this healthy and kid friendly dinner again and again.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: One Pot
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American Ukrainian
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 3 cups any short pasta
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb broccoli florets
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1–2 garlic cloves, grated
- Red pepper flakes, a pinch
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat large Dutch oven or pot on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, breaking into pieces and stirring with spatula. Add pasta, water, salt and pepper; stir and level with spatula.
- Then cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. Brown rice and any gluten free pasta cooks faster than wheat.
- When past is al dente (not too soft, so it doesn’t become a mush), turn off heat and add broccoli, tomato, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add parsley and Parmesan cheese, gently stir and serve hot.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing.
If you like soft cooked broccoli, add it 3 minutes earlier or use frozen broccoli.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.