Tag Archives: meat sauce

Macaroni Pasta with Ground Turkey

macaroni pasta with ground turkeyEveryone should have an easy-to-make, low-cost meal in their back pocket. This recipe is simply that. Its total comfort food for me (aka high in carbs). It’s easy to make (my 13-year-old stepson helped!), and a kid favorite (that same 13-year-old ate two huge platefuls!). I also used it as a spaghetti sauce the other day, so it’s versatile. Substitute the ground turkey for ground beef if you’d prefer.

1 lb pasta (macaroni, spiral, or even spaghetti pasta)

1 lb ground turkey

2 T olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ c chopped onion

½ t fresh thyme

½ t red pepper flakes

2 t Italian seasoning

½ t anchovy paste

½ t Worcestershire sauce

2-3 c chicken broth

2 t fresh basil, chopped

2 cans tomato paste

1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes

¼ c chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Salt and pepper

Grated parmesan cheese


Heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta to the pot, leave uncovered, cooking as directed on package (usually 7-10 minutes). Drain pasta.


Meanwhile, set a large skillet to medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil, heat until shimmering. Add onions, cook 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, thyme, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, cook until garlic is soft, 2-3 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


Add 1 T olive oil to skillet. Heat for a minute, and add ground turkey. Salt and pepper to taste. Brown turkey, stirring to break it up. Once turkey is browned, add anchovy paste and Worcestershire sauce, stir. Add cooked onion mixture, canned tomatoes and cans of tomato paste. Add chicken broth and stir to combine. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Add basil and stir. Adjust seasonings as necessary.


Add pasta to sauce, stir to combine. Sprinkle parsley over top of pasta, if using. Serve with plenty of parmesan cheese and garlic bread.


**note – You can also put the cooked onion mixture and the canned tomatoes in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth. My family prefers “unchunky” tomato sauce, so I tend to do it this way. Simply add this new tomato sauce at the same time as you would add the canned tomatoes.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Pasta