by Olena

Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta

by Olena

4.5 from 4 reviews

Ground turkey and broccoli pasta in a pot garnished with Parmesan

What to Make with Ground Turkey?

This! This ground turkey and broccoli pasta recipe is perfect for:

  1. Easy and quick weeknight dinner – your time is 10 minutes, idle time is 20 minutes.
  2. Kids because most love pasta (and broccoli).
  3. When you don’t know what to make with ground turkey AND broccoli.
  4. 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.

ground turkey, broccoli, pasta and parmesan cheese

What Are the Ingredients?

  • Ground turkey
  • Broccoli
  • Any short pasta
  • Tomato (optional)
  • Onion and garlic
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

ground turkey, broccoli, onion, pasta, tomato, parmesan cheese, olive oil, parsley, garlic

FAQs and Substitutions

What pasta can I use?

  1. Any short pasta like penne, elbow macaroni, bow ties etc. work for this one pot broccoli pasta.
  2. For health benefits, I recommend to use whole wheat or whole grain pasta.
  3. 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.
  4. Wheat, semolina or Catelli “smart” pasta is white pasta. You can use it too, just less healthy.:) But marketers are smart.:)
  5. 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

how to make ground turkey and broccoli pasta step by step

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.

3. Add Broccoli and Let Stand

  • When past is ready (al dente), turn off the heat.
  • Add broccoli, tomato and garlic.
  • 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 gently stir.
  • Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese on top.

ground turkey and pasta with a spoon in a pot

More Healthy Ground Turkey and Broccoli Recipes

More Healthy Pasta Recipes


Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta

4.5 from 4 reviews

30 minute pasta with ground turkey and broccoli cooked in one pot. You will repeat this healthy and kid friendly dinner again and again.

  • Author: Olena of
  • 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
  • 12 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Preheat large Dutch oven or pot on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When past is al dente (not too soft, so it doesn’t become a mush), turn off heat and add broccoli, tomato and garlic .Stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Add parsley, gently stir and serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese on top.


Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I wouldn’t recommend to freeze it.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

10 comments on “Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta

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  1. Turned out perfect! Thank you!! I added a little oregano to this as well just since I love that flavor!! Great recipe! Thank You!

    1. This would have been great except the broccoli was nowhere near cooked at 5 minutes (I was skeptical about this) had to turn heat on for 10 more minutes. Pasta kind of mushy but good flavor. Not sure if you meant frozen broccoli….will make this again.

      1. I think since broccoli is one of those vegetables that can be eaten raw, an idea of what is cooked broccoli is different for everyone. I like broccoli crunchy and can eat it even after 1 minute cooking time. If you like broccoli really soft add it to the pot with pasta a bit earlier than I state in the recipe. Enjoy.:)

  2. Maybe it’s me (I bet it is, I am a cooking novice) but I had a really hard time with cooking the pasta. I’m not sure what the secret is to getting the pasta submerged in water to cook completely without making the whole recipe soupy. 3 cups of water was not enough, the pasta sat in the air. I did push it down but some pasta still sat on top dry. I probably added another cup of water. At this stage I also added all the remaining veggies (tomatoes, etc.) because I thought it would taste better if they were cooked, and this way they would help soak up the extra water I threw in. So my dutch oven had everything in it and I just stood over it and stirred for a long time on low-medium heat until the pasta was cooked and the veggies softened. In the end this tastes great although it’s soupy, but I don’t mind and it’s easy enough to discard the juice.

    I know the appeal of this recipe is to only use one pot, but I think it would definitely be easier and simpler to cook the pasta separately and then just add it later. But again, I am VERY new to cooking so I probably messed up somewhere. Regardless, I have six great meals ready to eat, so thank you. 🙂

    1. The key to cooked pasta with liquid in same pot is to add everything to the pot, cover and leave it alone. If you keep it open and stir and add other stuff things won’t go as per recipe.:) Steam inside the Dutch oven will cook everything if it’s covered. The seal is pretty good, thats’ why the rage about it. Next time try just like I did in the recipe.:)

      1. Oooh, I will. I really appreciate the tip, thank you!! Can’t wait to try another one of your recipes. 🙂

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