Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables. A light dish that is perfect for lunch or dinner, and is a great way to eat healthier and cleaner.
Until a couple of years ago, the only time I ever ate turkey was Thanksgiving and the occasional turkey sandwich. It’s no secret than I’m a die-hard dark meat girl when it comes to poultry, and turkey meat was always too dry for me. We celebrated Thanksgiving with family friends for years, and every year they prepared extra turkey legs. My mom always made sure I got one, but sometimes even those were a little more dry than I wanted
For a long time I didn’t know that you could buy ground turkey in the grocery store. Of course I knew about ground beef, but since I knew turkey was dry, I instinctively passed right over that section. As I’ve been trying to eat healthier over the past several years, I have started buying ground turkey. Just like ground beef, you can choose from an 80/20 fat content all the way down to 97% lean turkey. I began with the 80/20 and then, in an effort to be healthier, went straight to 97%. That is much too lean and, even in a nonstick skillet, still needed oil. I finally settled on 93% lean, as it only has about 20 more calories per 4-ounce serving, and that little bit of extra fat makes a big difference.
One of my favorite ways to use ground turkey is in Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables, a recipe I created sort of by accident. My original plan that day had been to make something (I can’t remember what) with ground beef, which I had taken out of the freezer the night before to thaw. When I opened the package I realized it was ground turkey, and had to come up with something else to make on the fly. I threw together some veggies, tossed it with pasta, and voila!
Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables is so simple to make, but has such a wonderful combination of flavors. I mix together red, yellow and green bell peppers all the time, because I love the color palette. I go back and forth on tomatoes in this dish. When I do use them, I prefer grape/cherry tomatoes because they are very sweet, and burst in your mouth. Sometimes I will roast the tomatoes, and it adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Sometimes, like my most recent attempt, I completely forget to add any tomatoes at all!
The great thing about Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables is that you can mix up the vegetables. I used to use yellow onions, but over time I switched to red because I love the pop of color. About 2 years ago I found baby bok choy at the Asian market and I bought it, even though I had no clue what to do with it. I decided to try it in theFettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables, and loved it. When I don’t have bok choy, I substitute baby spinach.
When I first began making this dish I used regular spaghetti. However, I love playing with different types of pasta shapes, and I like how the sauce clings to the fettucini. So now that’s what I use all the time.
This dish requires very little added fat. I use Pam to brown the ground turkey, and use a very small amount of oil to sautee the onions, garlic and peppers. One of my favorite additions to this Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables is Thai chili sauce. The sauce thickens slightly as it cooks, and adds a very nice kick to the dish.
Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables will continue to be one my favorite dishes. Prepared as is, it is less than 400 calories. It’s perfect for when you’re trying to eat healthier, but it doesn’t taste at all like a diet dish.
Fettucini with Ground Turkey and Vegetables
- 4 ounces Fettucini
- 8 ounces lean ground turkey (I use 93/7)
- 1/2 cup each red, yellow and green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
- Salt & pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 2 baby bok choy
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- Season tomatoes with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in 400-degree oven for 15 minutes
- Cook fettucini according to directions on box
- Cut white ends from bok choy. Cut greens into long ribbons, rinse thoroughly, and drain
- In large skillet, brown ground turkey. I use cooking spray to prevent the turkey from sticking. When turkey is almost browned, add salt and pepper to taste. Remove and set aside
- In same skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes
- Add ground turkey back to skillet. Add vegetable broth and baby bok choy, and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add mushrooms and sweet chili sauce, and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed
- Add tomatoes and pasta to skillet, and toss to combine
- Portion into bowls, and serve