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Best Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale

My Best Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale is a must for your dinner table! Lean ground turkey paired with the herbal goodness of pesto and nutrient dense kale makes one nutritious meal for the whole family. 

This pesto pasta only takes a handful of ingredients and is great for meal prep. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but this pasta dinner will become your new favorite recipe!

Best Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale in a bowl with a fork and napkin.
Best Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale.

Why this recipe works

  • Delicious for any night of the week and done in under 30 minutes. It’s a quick and healthy dinner that can be served with salad. 
  • This pesto pasta dish is made with gluten free pasta perfect for anyone with gluten intolerances. 
  • Toddler approved! 

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Ingredients for Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta

Ingredients for ground turkey pesto pasta.

Brown rice pasta. I like to use Trader Joe’s but any pasta works with this recipe. I suggest bow tie pasta or macaroni noodles. To keep it low carb, use zucchini pasta noodles. 

Lean ground turkey. Use 93/7 or 85/15. 99% fat free can be used but has a much dryer texture.

Extra virgin olive oil.

Spices. I use my unique blend of Zesty Italian seasoning. If you don’t have all of those spices on hand, use regular Italian seasoning. You will use salt for the ground turkey as well as additional salt for the pasta water.

Shredded kale. Sneak nutrients in when you can! Any fresh vegetables work such as zucchini, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers or cherry tomatoes.

Sun dried tomatoes. Use the sundried tomatoes that are pre packaged.

Low fat milk. 2% works great. The milk and the chicken broth create a bit of a creamy sauce.

Chicken broth.

Pesto. I love to use homemade pesto such as my Pesto Made with Avocado Oil. Any type of basil pesto works.

Mozzarella.

How to make Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale

1. Start with cooking the pasta (according to the package directions )in a large pot of salted water and cook til al dente.

2. Add olive oil to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the ground turkey for 5-7 minutes, then add the spices. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue to cook for about another 8 minutes or until no longer pink.  

3. Add the kale on top of the cooked ground turkey. Let the kale cook down for about 3-4 minutes.

4. Pour the milk and broth in and give it a stir. Then add the sundried tomatoes. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes then add in the pesto and stir. 

5. Add the cooked pasta on top and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy as is or with a crisp green salad or warm dinner rolls.

Storage

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Helpful tips for Pesto Pasta with Ground Turkey

For maximum flavor, use fresh herbs or add in garlic cloves. You can also add more pesto if you like.

Serving suggestions and alternatives 

You can use turkey leftovers or roast chicken leftovers. 

Any ground meat works in this easy recipe such as ground chicken or ground beef.

Add in fresh zucchini slices, red pepper, juicy tomatoes or broccoli. 

Using low fat milk helps keep the calories down however heavy cream can be used as well.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves or freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

Any type of meatball mixture would be delicious in this pesto pasta dish.

Recipe inspiration

Sometimes it’s hard to feed little kids. One thing I know about my son is that he loves himself a good bowl of pasta. I wanted to create a delicious meal that uses basic ingredients and that would have a bit more nutrients in it that his regular box of mac and cheese. 

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Close up pic of ground turkey pesto pasta .

Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale

Kristina Cadelina
My Best Ground Turkey Pesto Pasta with Kale is a must try! Lean ground turkey paired with the herbal goodness of pesto and nutrient dense kale makes one nutritious meal for the whole family!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 644 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces brown rice pasta or any gluten free pasta
  • 16 ounces lean ground turkey 93/7
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk 2%
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella mozzarella or parmesan, shredded

Zesty Italian Seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Start with cooking the pasta (according to the package directions )in a large pot of salted water and cook til al dente.
  • Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground turkey for 5-7 minutes, then add the spices. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue to cook for about another 8 minutes or until no longer pink.  
  • Add the kale on top of the cooked ground turkey. Let the kale cook down for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour milk and broth in and give it a stir. Then add the sundried tomatoes. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes then add in the pesto and stir. 
  • Add the cooked noodles on top and stir gently to combine. Top with the mozzarella. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Notes

Notes:
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
Serving suggestions:
Any homemade or store bought pesto will work. 
Use my unique spice blend or use regular Italian seasoning.
You can use turkey leftovers or roast chicken leftovers. 
Any ground meat works in this easy recipe such as ground chicken or ground beef.
Add in fresh zucchini slices, red pepper, juicy tomatoes or broccoli. 
Using low fat milk helps keep the calories down however heavy cream can be used as well.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves or freshly grated parmesan cheese. 
Any type of meatball mixture would be delicious in this pesto pasta dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 644kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 40gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 744mgPotassium: 986mgFiber: 8gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 4586IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 288mgIron: 3mg
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