Make this warming and hearty Ground Turkey Pasta Bake soon. An easy baked pasta dish made with penne pasta, marinara sauce, ground turkey and mozzarella cheese. An easy to make budget friendly family dinner.
What’s your go to comforting dinner? Through the years, here on the Blog, I’ve talked about comfort food a lot. It’s definitely my favourite type of food to cook and enjoy. And if I’m pressed to pinpoint my favourite comfort food, it’s has to be Pasta. Any kind, no discrimination. A few months back, I posted a recipe for Beef & Cheese Cannelloni that’s an absolute winner and everyone loved it. And we can’t forget our family favourite for years now, the Chicken & Spinach Lasagna. And as great as those dishes are, they are time consuming. Which is where this Easy Ground Turkey Pasta Bake Comes in. It’s quick to prep and bakes in under 30 minutes!
What’s this Dish Like
- Difficulty – This recipe is easily targeted towards the beginner cook. I used premade sauce, you can just jar sauce from the supermarket. It comes together quickly and you can’t really mess it up!
- Taste – It has a rich tomato flavour from the marinara sauce. It’s isn’t cheesy, but rather has a crisp cheese crust on top.
- Serving – This will make four generous servings and you could even stretch it to six servings if you had to.
- Pasta – I used dried penne pasta.
- Turkey – Ground turkey.
- Onion – A small white onion.
- Pasta Sauce – I used my own Marinara Sauce.
- Cheese – Shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Oil – I used olive oil.
- Seasonings – I used a mix of garlic powder, onions powder, dried oregano, salt and black pepper.
REMEMBER, The full recipe and instructions can be found at the end of the post in the recipe card.
- Preheat oven – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready a deep sided baking dish.
- Cook pasta – Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
- Cook onion – In a large skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil and onion and give a good stir. Reduce heat to medium and let the onions cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Cook turkey – Add the ground turkey and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook the ground turkey until browned and fully cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Add seasonings – Add the dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Add marinara sauce – Pour in the marinara sauce, stir well and bring to a simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add pasta – Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour into baking dish and bake – Pour the mixture into a deep sided baking dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake between 25 – 30 minutes.
- Serve – Remove from oven and serve hot.
- Make ahead tips – You can make this dish up to about eight hours before baking. Just cover it and keep it in the fridge until baking. Add an extra 5 minutes to the baking time if making in advance.
- Time saving tips – Cook the pasta while you are cooking the turkey. This will save you up to 10 minutes of cooking time.
- Cook pasta al dente – For baked pasta dishes, it’s best to cook the pasta until it has a bit of a bite to it. The Pasta will continue to cook in the sauce in the oven.
Substitutions and Flavour Changes
- Pasta – I used penne pasta but pasta shells, pasta spirals or bowtie pasta will all work well.
- Ground turkey – Alternatively you could easily use ground chicken, ground pork or ground beef for this pasta dish. You could add diced peppers and leave out the protein portion and make it vegetarian.
- Marinara Sauce – I have a recipe for Homemade Marinara Sauce which I used, but pasta sauce from the grocery store is perfect.
- Dried herbs – I used just dried seasonings and herbs in this pasta dish, but you could use fresh parsley or fresh basil.
- Mozzarella cheese – I used mozzarella cheese to top this dish, but you could use pepper jack, Gouda or cheddar cheese.
Pasta dishes go great with any kind of Salads like the Classic Caprese or the Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Salad. You could just serve it with a leafy green salad or just as it is. And pasta goes great with my all time favourite Garlic Knots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although some recipes state you can put uncooked pasta into the oven, it’s a good idea to cook it before you add it to you baking dish. I like to cook it aldente so it still has a bit of a bite before baking. For firmer pasta, just cook the pasta halfway before adding to the baking dish.
If you want melty cheese on the top of you pasta dish, add it just about 10 minutes before the pasta dish is finished baking. For a crisper cheese topping, add the cheese at the beginning of the baking time.
Bell Pepper & Bacon Pasta Bake
Turkey Meatballs in a Marinara Sauce
Chicken Leek & Broccoli Pasta Bake
Ground Turkey Pasta Bake
- 8 oz Penne pasta
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 3 Cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 1/2 Cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready a deep sided baking dish.
- Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil and onion and give a good stir. Reduce heat to medium and let the onions cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the ground turkey and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook the ground turkey until browned and fully cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Add the dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Pour in the marinara sauce, stir well and bring to a simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a deep sided baking dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake between 25 – 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve hot.
*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.