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Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet

Look at all the deliciously fresh summer veggies in this Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet! Try making this one with your own garden bounty, or when fresh summer produce is seasonally on sale.

Hey! So at ALDI this week, I ran across clearance ground turkey, clearance garlic bread, AND a good sale on zucchini & tomatoes. That all seems like a clear invitation to play around with a new recipe, right? Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet, here we come.

zucchini turkey pasta with garlic bread

Chock-full of savory turkey and veggies, today’s pasta recipe creates its own light built-in sauce from the pesto-Parmesan-sauteed-tomato mixture. I’ll definitely be making this one again later this summer, when my garden tomatoes & zucchini ripen up! You can’t go wrong with a whole pan full of fresh colors & flavor, right?

Filling but not heavy, pretty but not pretentious, this ground turkey & zucchini skillet dinner should please the whole family. Try it with cheesy garlic bread as we did here, for the perfect easy dinner combination.

Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet

ingredients for turkey zucchini pasta

Ingredients

for the pasta

12 oz box shaped pasta of choice (I used farfalle/bowtie)

– for the turkey

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped small
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1-1.25 lbs ground turkey
2 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 medium zucchini (about 16-20 oz), chopped into bite-sized pieces
24 oz fresh tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

– for the sauce

1/4 cup prepared pesto
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Directions

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, then drain and reserve.

cut up your vegetables for pasta

Meanwhile, cut up your onion, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, and tomatoes.

Heat olive oil in a large 14″ skillet over medium-high heat for one minute. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute for four minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are starting to brown and soften.

Stir in the ground turkey and minced garlic. Brown the turkey over medium-high heat for another 3 minutes, breaking it up as you go. (You’ll still have some pink in there, but we’re going to keep cooking some more, so no worries.)

add zucchini to the skillet

Add in the zucchini and cook for another four minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the tomatoes and seasonings into the skillet. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and let it cook for another 4 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and tomatoes are breaking down.

stir in pesto and parmesan

Stir in the pesto and Parmesan until the Parmesan is melted.

stir in the pasta

Gently stir the cooked pasta into the skillet, until well-combined with the turkey mixture.

Serve your ground turkey & zucchini pasta topped with additional Parmesan, if desired. (I threw on a little chopped fresh parsley from my garden, too, but that’s totally optional.)

Note: The zucchini here is softened, yet still has a little bit of a bite. If you prefer yours super soft, just cook it a bit more.

So satisfyingly savory

deliciously fresh summer veggies in this Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet!

I just love pesto; it’s a great shortcut to flavor! Combined with the Parmesan cheese, juicy tomatoes, and just a smidge of seasoning, a little prepared pesto created the perfect light sauce for this pasta skillet dinner.

This recipe makes a lot: It should serve at least six. You could easily make this gluten free, too: Simply substitute your favorite GF pasta for the conventional farfalle I used here.

Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet, printable recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Ground Turkey & Zucchini Pesto Pasta Skillet

Filling but not heavy, pretty but not pretentious, this ground turkey & zucchini skillet dinner should please the whole family. Try it with cheesy garlic bread as we did here, for the perfect easy dinner combination.
Course dinner
Cuisine pasta
Keyword ground turkey, pasta, pasta skillet, pesto, pesto pasta, zucchini
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

for the pasta

  • 12 oz box shaped pasta of choice I used farfalle/bowtie

for the turkey

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion chopped small
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped
  • 1-1.25 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tsp minced garlic about 4 cloves
  • 2 medium zucchini about 16-20 oz, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 24 oz fresh tomatoes chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

for the sauce

  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Instructions

  • Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, then drain and reserve.
  • Meanwhile, cut up your onion, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, and tomatoes.
  • Heat olive oil in a large 14″ skillet over medium-high heat for one minute. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute for four minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are starting to brown and soften.
  • Stir in the ground turkey and minced garlic. Brown the turkey over medium-high heat for another 3 minutes, breaking it up as you go. (You’ll still have some pink in there, but we’re going to keep cooking some more, so no worries.)
  • Add in the zucchini and cook for another four minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir the tomatoes and seasonings into the skillet. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and let it cook for another 4 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and tomatoes are breaking down.
  • Stir in the pesto and Parmesan until the Parmesan is melted.
  • Gently stir the cooked pasta into the skillet, until well-combined with the turkey mixture.
  • Serve your ground turkey & zucchini pasta topped with additional Parmesan, if desired. (I threw on a little chopped fresh parsley from my garden, too, but that’s totally optional.)

Notes

The zucchini here is softened, yet still has a little bit of a bite. If you prefer yours super soft, just cook it a bit more.

Recipes in the real world

weekly ALDI meal plans from Mashup Mom -- six complete dinners for four, $60 out the door! MashupMom.com, every Wednesday.

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Recipe Rating




Jess

Saturday 26th of June 2021

Such a great dish! I've been following the meal plans for weeks now and the best ones I stumble upon are the zucchini recipes! This one as well as the zucchini Spanish rice bowl are my absolute favorites! This woman knows how to cook! This recipe had the perfect combination of veggies and overall flavor that leaves one full and happy!

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