Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet

This Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet is comfort food in a bowl! Ground turkey lightens up this skillet dinner, but makes up for it with an ultra cheesy, creamy sauce!

We just love comforting dinner recipes like this ground turkey recipe. Also be sure to check out our equally cozy Skillet Chicken Pot Pie recipe and these fun Bacon Ranch Chicken Rolls!

Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet in black bowl

What You’ll Need To Make Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet

There’s a lot going around lately about how bloggers like us go on and on and on about their personal lives or tell stories that no one cares about. People just want the recipe, am I right?

But I really do feel like you guys do like the personal attention, the details, the time that we take to make sure that you have all the information you need. So I’m here to say that you need to listen up to this one, because this Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet is going on your permanent dinner rotation.

Guaranteed. If you want the step by steps, tips and tricks please do read on! If you need to get right down to the cooking part, just scroll down to the recipe card and start cooking!

How To Make The Most Delicious Ground Turkey Recipe

This Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet is pretty basic, but we’ll get you started here with just a few steps!

onions and peppers in a skillet for ground turkey recipe

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.

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 for skillet dinner recipe

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.

ground turkey with tomatoes and vegetables in a skillet

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.

Rotini with cheese and vegetables for a ground turkey skillet

Can You Make This Skillet Dinner Ahead Of Time?

You sure can! It’ll be just as cheesy and comforting as it was when you made it. Of course, most pasta recipes are the most delicious when they are first made, but this Cheesy 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.

past skillet with ground turkey and vegetables

Can You Use Ground Beef In This Recipe?

Again, yes you can! Ground beef, ground chicken, ground pork – all of it. All of the above will work perfectly! 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.

Rotini pasta with ground turkey and vegetables in a cheese sauce

How About Adding Different Kinds Of Vegetables?

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
ground turkey recipe with rotini pasta and vegetables in a bowl

How Do You Make Ground Turkey Taste Better?

Because ground turkey is so lean, especially if you buy the extra lean ground turkey like we do, there isn’t a ton of fat going on. And as we all know from our Food Network days…fat equals flavor.

But ground turkey can be a delicious, healthy 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. So many people comment that a recipe is too salty, and that’s probably because they’re using regular table salt which has a much finer grain than kosher salt.

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

ground turkey with pasta and vegetables in black bowl with spoons

Looking For More Ground Turkey Recipes?

Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet in black bowl

Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

This Cheesy Ground Turkey Skillet dinner is comfort food 101! A light cheese sauce coats tons of fresh vegetables, lean ground turkey and rotini pasta!



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers, any color (about 2 medium sized bell peppers)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 12 tablespoons chopped garlic (we like a lot!)
  • 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


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

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

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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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