Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet

Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet is a family favorite dinner recipe. Tons of lean protein and veggies in a creamy, cheesy sauce that makes it feel like comfort food!

ground turkey skillet with pasta, cheese and vegetables

Why You’ll Love This Ground Turkey Skillet

We’re so excited to share this Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet recipe with you! We have lots of helpful tips and details to make this recipe look and taste it’s best.

However, if you’re ready to dive right into making this recipe, scroll down to the recipe card or click the “jump to recipe” button above the first photo.

  • Comfort Food Meal: We’ve packed this comfort food recipe with tons of lean ground turkey and lots of vegetables. The best of both worlds in one skillet!
  • Adaptable: You can switch up the vegetables, protein, pasta, cheese…really anything you like.
  • Loved By All: Little guys up to grown adults love this recipe for it’s mild but bold flavors.

How To Make This Ground Turkey Skillet

This ground turkey skillet recipe is pretty basic, but we’ll get you started here with just a few steps! Scroll to the recipe card at the end of the post for a complete list of instructions.

diced onions and bell peppers in a skillet
  • Add onions and bell peppers to a skillet with olive oil. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add a good amount of fresh chopped garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 minute longer.
ground turkey, tomatoes and vegetables in a skillet
  • Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and then add the ground turkey. Cook the ground turkey while breaking it up with a spoon into crumbles. Once the turkey is cooked, add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the skillet.
ground turkey and vegetables in a skillet
  • Next stir in a tablespoon of flour (this will help to thicken the sauce) and then add a can of diced tomatoes, along with one cup of half and half. Stir and then bring the sauce to a simmer.
rotini pasta in a skillet with cheese and ground turkey filling
  • Once the sauce comes to a bubble, stir in shredded cheddar cheese, grated parmesan cheese and cooked rotini pasta. Stir to combine the ingredients together and melt the cheese into the sauce.

Can You Make This Ahead Of Time?

Definitely! It’ll be just as cheesy and comforting as it was when you made it. Of course, most pasta recipes are the best when they are first made, but this ground turkey skillet is really an exception to the rule.

Reheat a big bowl in the microwave or place the whole skillet back on the stove top and reheat gently over low heat.

ground turkey skillet with vegetables and cheese

Can You Use Ground Beef In This Recipe?

Yes you can. Ground beef, ground chicken, ground pork – whatever you like. If you are using ground beef or ground pork, make sure you drain any drippings from the skillet after browning the meat.

Ground turkey and ground chicken are a leaner protein, so that this step isn’t usually necessary. But if you do accumulate extra drippings in the pan, feel free to drain it.

ground turkey and pasta with cheese and vegetables

Switch Up The Veggies

The more vegetables, the better! Beside peppers and onions and tomatoes, we kept this ground turkey recipe pretty basic. Here’s some more vegetable ideas that you can add in or swap out!

  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
pasta skillet with ground turkey, vegetables and cheese

Is Ground Turkey Bland?

Because ground turkey is so lean, it can sometimes be bland depending on how you make it.

Ground turkey can be a delicious ingredient to use in many dinner recipes if you know how to season it correctly. The key here is to season the ground turkey generously, and correctly.

Start with salt. You can’t go wrong with kosher salt, and we do prefer kosher salt for cooking. A lot of people comment that a recipe is too salty, and that’s probably because they’re using the wrong kind of salt.

Table salt also has iodine in it which can give food that not so good “salty” flavor. Kosher salt has a more fresh flavor to it, so it seasons the food by adding more flavor, not saltiness.

rotini pasta with ground turkey, vegetables and cheese

Looking For More Ground Turkey Recipes?

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pasta skillet with ground turkey, vegetables and cheese

Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet is a family favorite! Loaded with protein and veggies, in a creamy, cheesy sauce that makes it feel like a comfort food dinner!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers, any color (about 2 medium sized bell peppers)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 15 ounce can diced petite tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces rotini pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta 2 minutes shy of the cooking time on the box (you want the pasta to still have a bite to it since it will cook a little longer in the skillet); drain and set aside.
  2. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook while stirring for 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, stir again, and cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and spray the other side of the skillet with cooking spray or add a touch more oil. Add the ground turkey along with the salt and Italian seasoning and pepper. Cook while breaking up with a spoon until the meat is cooked through and crumbled.
  4. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and stir until the flour is combined. Pour in the diced tomatoes (with juice), along with the half and half. Use a spoon or a spatula to scrape up the bottom of the skillet and then bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheese until it’s melted into the sauce.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and chopped parsley into the skillet and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.

Recipe Notes

Store: Store leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove top. If the pasta is dry you can add a splash of chicken broth or half and half.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement recipes, ground turkey recipes, skillet dinners, recipes with ground turkey, pasta dishes, ground turkey skillet

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9 Responses
  1. Britt

    You will have leftovers. I love that about a recipe makes it feel more worth it too. My husband loved this dish. I used Sargento brand cheddar and it got so thick and chessey

    1. Christie George

      You can use dried parsley if you don’t have fresh. And we always use fresh grated Parmesan cheese so if you have it, the flavor will be much better!

    1. Dan

      It depends on what kind of ground turkey you use, what type of cheese you use, etc. It’s also very large portions, could very well be a 6 person serving, which would bring it down to about 500 calories per serving.

  2. Adriana Berkhalter

    Be sure to cook the noodles all the way and not 2 minutes short. The cheese sauce will not help them get any more tender.

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