This ground turkey pasta with tomato garlic sauce is perfect for your next pasta night! It’s simple, easy to make, and super flavorful. Plus, it comes together in less than 30 minutes!
I love veggie-packed pasta dishes. They’re easy to mix and match with different veggies and sauces, plus they’re quick. And, I don’t know a lot of people who don’t like pasta. 😉
Tomato Garlic Penne with Ground Turkey
This penne features a tasty and garlicky (but not too garlicky) tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and ground turkey. Make a big batch so you have leftovers for lunches!
As always, you can toss in whatever veggies you have in the fridge or use a different sauce – feel free to get creative. Fresh basil is always a delicious addition to pasta dishes, but definitely not a necessity if you want to keep this recipe simple.
This tomato garlic pasta sauce is super flavorful without feeling heavy.
I feel like a lot of pasta sauces (especially heavy cream-based ones) can be overpowering, and I prefer lighter sauces like this one! It’s sweet and savory at the same time, and so easy to make.
Is ground turkey healthy?
Ground turkey is a healthy meat option for any dinner! It’s a lean, high-protein meat that’s easy to cook. It’s a great alternative to ground beef, because it cooks similarly, but is typically lower in saturated fat.
To make this summery pasta recipe, you’ll need:
- whole wheat penne (or really any kind of pasta and shape you want, you do you!)
- ground turkey
- cherry tomatoes
- bell peppers (Red bell peppers are sweeter, but any color should work.)
- olive oil
Mushrooms, spinach, or broccoli would also be great veggies to add. So many ways to mix it up!
Can I use a different meat?
If you’re not into ground turkey (or don’t have any), this would also be great with white beans, shredded rotisserie chicken, ground chicken, or sliced chicken sausage.
Can ground turkey pasta be made gluten free?
Yes! You can make this recipe gluten free by using brown rice pasta or chickpea pasta instead of regular pasta. (This chicken sausage and sage butter pasta is made with chickpea pasta, and it’s totally delicious!).
How to Make Turkey Penne with Veggies
Now, let’s talk about how to whip up this tasty dish!
Start by cooking the pasta based on the package instructions. Be sure to save about a half cup of pasta water when you drain it (you’ll need it later!).
Next, start your sauce.
Heat a small saucepan or skillet to medium heat and add olive oil.
Next, add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. (But make sure it doesn’t don’t burn!)
Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook for another 5-6 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Add 1/2 cup of pasta water (or veggie/chicken broth would also be great for even more flavor, just skip the salt then) and a pinch of salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and saucy.
While the pasta is boiling, brown the ground turkey until mostly cooked through (no longer pink in the middle). Set aside.
Wipe out the skillet, add the sliced veggies, and cook until just softened. Add the ground turkey back to the skillet and mix with the vegetables, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.
Lastly, toss everything together until the pasta is well-coated by the sauce. Optionally, add some parmesan and/or chopped fresh basil on top. Serve and enjoy.
I love how bright and colorful it turns out!
What to Serve With Ground Turkey Pasta
Here are some tasty side dish ideas for this tomato garlic pasta recipe:
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Crunchy Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Herb & Garlic Roasted Vegetables
- Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
- Baked Portobello Mushrooms with Feta
Can I use a different pasta sauce?
Definitely! Marinara, pesto, sage butter sauce, vodka sauce…really, anything should taste great here! It’s super versatile, and ground turkey goes well with tons of different flavors.
You’ll find the full tomato garlic pasta with ground turkey recipe at the bottom of this post. I hope you love this as much as we do!
What’s your favorite pasta sauce? Let me know in the comments!
Don’t forget to check out my other mix and match pasta recipes:
Looking for more easy & tasty dinner ideas? Check these out:
- Peanut Sauce Stir Fry with Shrimp
- Lemon Dijon Sheet Pan Salmon Dinner
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Healthy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Grilled Steak and Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Saucy Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas (+ Gluten Free Option)
- Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Veggies
For the pasta base:
- 1 package whole wheat penne
- 1 lb raw ground turkey
- 1-2 cups zucchini (sliced and halved)
- 1-2 cups bell peppers (sliced)
For the sauce:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
- Pinch of salt
- Cook pasta based on the package instructions. (Be sure to save about a cup of pasta water for later.)
- While the pasta is boiling, heat a small saucepan to medium heat and add olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook for another 5-6 minutes, until they start to soften. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water* and a pinch of salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the liquid is reduced.
- Next, brown the turkey in a skillet until mostly cooked through. Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet, add the sliced zucchini and bell pepper, and cook until just softened. Add the ground turkey back to the skillet and mix with the vegetables, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Lastly, toss everything together until the pasta is well-coated by the sauce, then serve!
*You can use vegetable or chicken broth in the sauce in place of pasta water, if desired.