Ground Turkey Pasta Bake

Ground Turkey Pasta Bake

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Ground turkey pasta bake is an easy yet impressive meal that is cozy, comforting, and satisfying. A family-friendly casserole dinner ready in 45 minutes.

Ground Turkey Pasta Bake


  • 1 lb. rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 (13.5 oz.) cans tomato sauce (3.5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine or balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese (or fresh mozzarella cheese), shredded


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente (fully cooked but still firm) according to package directions, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot or 4 qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles, about 1 minute. Add ground turkey and cook for 8-10 minutes until browned evenly. Break the turkey into small pieces using a spatula.
  • Add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Mix well and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender
  • Stir in tomato sauce and wine (or balsamic) and bring the meat sauce to a simmer. Stir in parsley and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Cover the lid and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmering not only tenderizes the meat but also develops a richer flavor in the sauce.
  • Toss in the cooked pasta and stir to combine until coated well with the meat sauce. Transfer into a 9×13-inch casserole pan, and sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
  • Bake the pasta casserole for 25 minutes until the melted cheese is golden and browned. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if the melted cheese starts to brown too much during baking.


Don’t overcook your pasta: If you like your pasta tender, you’re probably used to cooking it slightly past the package directions. Don’t do that for this recipe because the pasta will continue to cook, soaking up the sauce in the oven. To avoid mushy pasta, avoid overcooking initially.

How to store: Allow the ground turkey pasta bake to cool to room temperature. Then, cover with plastic wrap or tin foil or transfer it into an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to three days.

How to reheat: Reheat leftover ground turkey pasta bake in the microwave (covered on medium heat) or in a 375F preheated oven until warmed through. Cook time will vary depending on the amount. You can also reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. Add a splash of water if the sauce has thickened up too much in the refrigerator.

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