by Olena

Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta

by Olena

5 from 67 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
  • Stock
  • 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 liquid 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, stock, 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.

ground turkey and pasta with a spoon in a pot

More Healthy Ground Turkey and Broccoli Recipes

More One Pot Healthy Pasta Recipes

Print

Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta

5 from 67 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 ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: One Pot
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 3 cups any short pasta
  • 3 cups veggie or chicken stock, low sodium
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb broccoli florets
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 12 garlic cloves, grated
  • Red pepper flakes, a pinch
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  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, stock, 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,  garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. 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.

Notes

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.

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.

160 comments on “Ground Turkey and Broccoli Pasta

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  1. Hi,
    I do not like cheese and never cook with it. Will this recipe taste good without it? What alterations should I use instead?

    1. What do you usually use instead of cheese? That would work. I think if you do not like cheese and never cook with it you would know better than anyone else what to use instead of cheese. 🙂

  2. Super yum…. Added chopped bacon with onion and turkey…. For the tomatoes i only had sun dried on hand so chopped some up and threw them in as well and topped with finely shredded mozzarella cuz again what i had on hand and viola! Im sure original is delish also but this was soooo gd… Everyone loved… Will be a rotational new fav! Thanks

  3. Delicious for all ages! My girls (ages 13, 14, and 17) who are not use to eating vegetables at all gobbled this up! I added some mushrooms just because I had some on hand and it was just perfect!

  4. very happy with the recipe! I tried it yesterday. my husband (who is an executive chef) loved the flavor. really nice, fresh and delicious! very easy and very few Ingredients. thank you for the recipe.

  5. I made the recipe but my broccoli had spoiled so I used French cut green beans and frozen peas.
    The dish came out delicious. I will definitely make it again.

  6. I’ve been really trying to lose weight and finding this recipe is really delicious and healthy!

  7. Very good recipe! Very easy and fast to make and if you want it a little spicier just add a little more red pepper flakes! Delicious!

  8. Delicious! I’ve made it with penne and medium shells. I definitely like my broccoli cooked more tender (because I leave some of the stalk on) so I throw the broccoli in when 3 minutes left on the pasta. Even then though, I find the pasta is not quite done and broccoli still crisp so I cook a few minutes longer before i turn off heat and add tomatoes. After I add parsley and parmesan I always still have quite a bit of liquid in bottom of pan, which is why I serve with a slotted spoon. But there’s only 3 of us eating, so by the time I get to packaging up the leftovers, pretty much all the extra liquid has been absorbed. Which is great for my lunch leftovers, because the pasta is never dry!! Love, love how easy (and healthy) this is and husband and 13 yr old daughter love. Me too!

  9. Delicious, quick and easy. Thanks. I will be making this again. Very versatile. I am sure you can add other veggies. And cream cheese. I confess. I added cream cheese. And grated zucchini. Because I had a little bit of each, and needed to use it up.

  10. This is my first time cooking with ground turkey, was just browsing around and came upon this recipe. Lucky for me I had all the ingredients! This is easy to prepare and turned out so fabulous! Will be making this again and again!

  11. I made this last night. Super easy and came out delicious. The only change I made was to add a can of organic mushrooms. My husband and I are retired and I was using what I had on hand in the “pantry, ” so I also added a can of stewed tomatoes. I think this will be a regular meal for me and my husband. Thank you. 💙

  12. Amazing! Thank you for these recipes. I live alone in the city and trying to make new recipes each day. This was one of my favorites!

  13. My whole family loves this! The only change I made was to sauté some peppers in with the onions. This was flavorful and healthy. Oh I did make another change and I’m so glad I did. I doubled the recipe. I can’t wait for the leftovers!

  14. Made this recipe last night in my new Dutch oven. So easy and good, my toddler devoured hers and half of mine!

  15. I just made this two nights ago and was a little worried that it wouldn’t have much flavor to it but boy was I mistaken! This recipe is amazing! I didn’t have onion to chop up so I skipped that part but I can imagine it makes the recipe even better. This is going to be a go to, for sure. Even the leftovers heated up nicely and tasted just as good. (I’m not a leftovers girl!)

    1. Checked the recipe card, and I do see stock listed. 3 cups veggie or chicken stock, low sodium! Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks. This the list of ingredients on this website.

        What Are the Ingredients?
        Ground turkey
        Broccoli
        Any short pasta
        Tomato (optional)
        Onion and garlic
        Parsley
        Parmesan cheese
        Salt and pepper

        1. I have added broth to the list on the post. However, the actual recipe with amounts and instructions is located on the recipe card at the bottom of the post. You can’t cook the recipe from my comments on the post; you need to use the recipe card. Hope that helps.

  16. Made this tonight for my family and we all loved it. It was so quick to put together too. Thank you Olena for another delicious recipe.

  17. Great recipe! Definitely will do it again. Love all your recipes- very clear, simple, easy to follow , specially love recipes with pictures!

  18. Thank you Olena for this delicious and healthy recipe of ground turkey, broccoli & pasta.
    I’ve made this several times as we love it. Sometimes I add mushrooms, peas or whatever extra I may have on hand.
    Your recipes are always so flavorful with garlic and onion that your site is my go to for recipes.
    Thank you!

  19. This was a great and easy recipe. I used 1 cup less pasta to lower the starch level and needed a little more water but it worked out perfectly. When I heat it up I add a little water too. Thanks.

  20. I made this with hamburger because I didn’t have any ground turkey and it turned out really really good!

  21. I think I may have mis-measured the broth to pasta ratio. It was very watery but I made a roux of a tablespoon of flour and half cup of water. It thicken it right up. My family loved it. Very good and I will probably make this part of my dinners now. Oh and I added some zucchini. Something I did beforehand was steam the veggies for a few minutes while the pasta was cooking.

    1. Not sure what happened? Zucchini can also increase water content in a recipe. But it sounds like you were able to save the pasta and it was enjoyed by all 🙂

  22. Delicious!! It was a huge hit with my husband and daughter. I love that it’s one pot and it seems really easy to switch up based on what ingredients I have around. Definitely will be going into my meal rotation. Thanks!!!

  23. Delicious! I used rotini pasta, and added some sesame oil and sweet Thai chili sauce for a bit of a different flavor and turned out great

  24. This was super quick, healthy and yummy meal. I dud not have any tomatoes except sun-dried tomatoes and those worked great.

  25. This is so good and so simple! I love this recipe and will be trying it again soon. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I had spinach rotini and I forgot it was on the stove. So the pasta was a little soft but all in all pretty good! I will change the pasta next time or try not to forget about it lol. Will put in rotation weekly. Thank you!

  27. We tried this last night and it was delicious! Made it for 3 and had plenty of leftovers. I ended up having to add more stock, but probably because I think I added more pasta and broccoli than what is called for.
    I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand, so I used a can of diced tomatoes, which worked great. Also didn’t have Parmesan, so I grated some sharp cheddar and added some mexican shredded blend. Thought the cheese might make it weird, but it was good! Added more spices/powders (parsley, onion, garlic, oregano, etc.) since we didn’t have any fresh parsley. So point being, don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, you can still make it work!

    1. Yes, you use dry pasta. First you will saute onion and turkey. Then you add the pasta, stock, salt and pepper into the same pot. Everything goes into the same pot for this recipe! Hope that helps.

  28. Loved it! Thank you!
    I was searching for something to do with my ground turkey, and I actually had all of the ingredients for this recipe.

  29. This was SO good !!! I will definitely continue making this, I used spaghetti pasta and frozen broccoli and it still turned out perfect.
    Love this recipe !!

  30. So easy to make and takes just a few minutes to put together! In less than 45 minutes I had a terrific meal for at least 4 or more persons. I did not have broccoli on hand so I used a frozen mixed vegetables package which included broccoli. It was very tasty!

  31. I left off the onions and oil so I could get my kiddo to eat it and keep my WW pts down. Amazing recipe. Will make again as my family and I loved it.

  32. I didn’t know how this would turn out, but I loved it. Creamy and light. Fast and easy. I used a frozen broccoli side that was ranch broccoli. It added some extra flavor! I’ll make this again.

  33. I have to honestly say I had a bit of doubt when first reading the recipe.
    I think turkey can be a bit tricky at times. However, I LOVED this dish!
    Very easy, healthy and tasty.
    Next time I will add a bit of sundried tomato for a bit more tomato flavor.
    Thank you!

  34. I was skeptical as I am not a ground Turkey fan, but I loved it! I added cut up zucchini with it, and it worked out great! My four year old granddaughter asked for two helpings, and that says a lot as kids are picky at this age! Someone mentioned adding mushrooms! I think I will add that to the next time I make it! Thanks for the recipe, we loved it!

  35. I made this tonight and it was done so quick. The flavor was fantastic for such plain ingredients. This is a great low calorie full taste recipe for fast weeknight dinnet.

  36. Simple preparation and very tasty! Easy to riff on. I added mushrooms and garlic in the beginning. Tasty. I’m gonna teach to my young adult children as an alternative to boxed meal solutions.

  37. Fantastic! Very flavorful and forgiving if the measurements are a touch off. I have added this to my dinner rotation for sure! Thank you!

  38. Very good! Super easy, it really does only use one pot and 30 minutes is all it takes. I added some extra veggies and some left over tomato sauce too.

  39. Really tasty, and filling and lots of left overs for other meals – which pays off in the future.

    The only thing I changed is putting tomatoes on it when serving it rather letting them heat up.

  40. It honestly was a good meal. The kids loved it. My grandson ate it, that’s the deal breaker ?…thank you for the recipe!

  41. Wonderful and delicious recipe. I love your creativity in doing it all in one pot!! My boyfriend can’t eat onions, 🙁 so I used more garlic and I didn’t have broccoli so used kale. Which worked well. This will be part of my rotation

  42. Same here, Olena – I always have ground turkey on hand! This is a great combination of ingredients to have a delicious and healthy meal. And all in one pot!!!

    1. This recipe is fantastic! The flavors were surprisingly delicious and the ground turkey was flavorful and so tender. I had all of the ingredients on hand except for fresh parsley, so I used dried parsley instead. I lightly seasoned the ground turkey w/Pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley before frying in my sauce pot.

      I added a diced mini yellow sweet bell pepper to the onions as they sauteed and I used homemade chicken stock & gluten free penne pasta, which took 10mins to cook.

      I topped my dish w/diced avocado (lightly salted) and no parmesean but added parmesean cheese for my other half. That sauce was everything!! The other half sopped up his plate with bread until all traces of the sauce were gone!! I barely had to wash his plate. Hahahahaa!

      This recipe is a winner and has been added to my regular rotation! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

      1. So delicious, I added a yellow squash that needed to be cooked, peppers, mushrooms, fresh tomato, onion, broccoli and crumbled bacon. I did not have chicken stock, so I used beef.

  43. Really easy and it was a way to include some vegetables my husband doesn’t normally like. I will definitely cook this again because he even had seconds.

      1. My entire family devoured this with conviction. Even out exceedingly picky 9 year old asked for seconds. I did add more seasonings (Adobo), but aside from that it was true to your recipe. Olena, thank you for sharing this incredibly delicious, yet simple, meal.

        Question, how does one adjust this for the InstaPot?

  44. I had lots of ground turkey and broccoli and discovered this recipe after a google search. My family loved it! One pot-I loved it! Easy with suggestions for variations (I used sun dried tomatoes and no cheese) and it was delicious. Thank you for this tasty and homey recipe!

  45. This made Hamburger Helper look complicated. Plus it was so much healthier! Even my toddler liked it, with soft broccoli. We will definitely make it again. Yum!!

  46. I used chicken broth instead of water and added a little more spice. We like things spicy. I will make this again and may add some green chilies. Super easy to clean up. You can’t beat one pot dinners.
    Thank you.

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

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

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