This Healthy Ground Turkey Pasta Bake is easy to make, full of nutrition, delicious and picky-eater approved. I love to make it on the weekend and eat it for lunches OR dinners throughout the week, so it’s perfect for meal prep, or you can freeze some of it to use later! It’s also a great option to serve to babies if you have a little one at home, too!
substitution options for this healthy pasta bake
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can (and should) always adjust recipes to please your personal preferences and taste buds. If a recipe calls for broccoli but you are not a fan of broccoli, substitute cauliflower or something else you love! Absolutely feel free to do that here, as well.
Here are some options to consider:
- Regular spaghetti noodles, angel hair, linguine, or any kind of shapes if you prefer. You could even sub chickpea pasta if you are making it vegetarian but want extra protein.
- In place of broccoli, you could sub Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, kale, etc.! Or you could add more than one type of veggie.
- If you are making this in the fall, use some type of pumpkin or butternut squash pasta sauce (I’m obsessed with the one from ALDI)! Or, you can just use a normal marinara sauce. I always try to find pasta sauces with no added sugars if possible!
- The man in my life always wants meat, hence the ground turkey in this recipe, but I wanted to give it a little protein boost, too! You could also use ground chicken, ground beef, or cooked chicken breast cut up into bite-sized pieces or shredded, or tofu/tempeh if you want meatless options. I have also used meatless crumbles, which is delicious. The possibilities are endless!
reasons to love this healthy pasta bake
First, let’s talk about the most obvious reason. It’s PASTA. Pasta never, ever disappoints. (You should also try my Creamy Veggie Pasta Skillet with a white sauce.) And I promise — it can absolutely fit into a healthy, balanced diet. The key is balancing it out with some protein & veggies, which is exactly what this recipe does!
- It’s nutritionally balanced. You’re getting whole grains, non-starchy veggies, and high quality protein all in one!
- It makes great leftovers for work lunches or quick & easy weeknight dinners.
- It’s freezer-friendly.
- I’ve been told it is picky-eater approved. ; )
- It’s super easy to make and as previously mentioned, very versatile.
- The prep time is pretty quick. You do have to bake it for about 20-30 minutes, but I have found that’s about the perfect amount of time to clean up the kitchen so it’s already done by the time you’re finished with dinner! You may even be able to squeeze in a few random to-do’s while it’s cooking. ; )
- Did I mention it’s freaking delicious?
Have I convinced you yet? Okay, here’s the recipe.
This recipe was inspired by the version found on The Cookie Rookie, who has tons of delicious and beautifully photographed recipes! Go check Becky out!
Healthy Ground Turkey Pasta Bake
- 16 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups broccoli cut into florets
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 24 oz marinara sauce no sugar added
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan divided in half
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Fresh cracked black pepper and Italian seasoning to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook spaghetti according to package instructions using a large pot.
- While spaghetti is cooking, cook ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Use a wooden spoon and/or spatula to break the meat up and stir it until cooked through. When meat is cooked and no longer pink, drain any grease if necessary, and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse out the same skillet and wipe with a paper towel. Return to medium-high heat. Drizzle ~1/2 Tbsp avocado oil and add broccoli florets. Cook for about 5 minutes, until broccoli starts to brown, then add chopped onion and garlic, stirring with a spatula to incorporate. Cook veggies for an additional 5 minutes or so, or until onion is translucent.
- When spaghetti is al dente, drain water using a large colander, then transfer cooked spaghetti back to the large pot. Add all ingredients to the pot with spaghetti: cooked ground turkey, broccoli, garlic and onion, marinara sauce and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan. Stir until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Transfer spaghetti, turkey and veggie mixture to a greased 9×13 pan. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese & remaining Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the top. Add dried Italian seasoning and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste, if desired.
- Put in oven to bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta bake is hot throughout. Serve immediately.
- Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
I hope you will give this Healthy Ground Turkey Pasta Bake a try and add it into your recipe rotation! Share the love by pinning this recipe on Pinterest and/or tag me on Instagram @wellnessforthewin so I can see your creations!