This easy ground turkey pasta recipe is simple, healthy, and loaded with protein. 

At my house, there is nothing we love more than a healthy baked pasta dish. Few things are easier to make, and the pickiest people I know love baked pasta. I should know, I have more than a few picky people in my house!

My healthy baked cheesy turkey penne is a satisfying meal that anyone can cook in a jiffy. Prep time is very short, and cook time is just as fast. One of the best parts about the dish is that you can make it and freeze it ahead of time, so it’s ready to eat on a busy weeknight.

Baked pasta is the perfect go-to meal for anyone looking to please a crowd. 

Penne pasta is a great alternative to baked ziti, but you can use either pasta for this dish. There are a few other kinds of pasta that work well with this dish that I will cover below.

The best part? It’s easy to make a decent amount of it in a hurry, and everyone loves it. It also freezes well after cooking for someone looking to meal prep. I can’t recommend this dish enough.

The dish is perfectly balanced with the right blend of seasonings to give it a balance of savory and satisfying flavors. You can add as many fresh herbs as you want and stay within your Weight Watchers plan. It makes 6 servings, 240 calories per serving. If you are following WW it is five points per serving.

Finished cheesy penne pasta with ground turkey in a white serving dish.

Why you should try this healthy ground turkey pasta recipe

  • This is a healthy cheesy baked penne pasta with turkey recipe. Depending on your favorite plan, it comes in at just 5 WW points per serving. (You can find all the nutritional information in the recipe card) 
  • This Weight Watchers baked pasta recipe is a 1 pot meal. You can prep almost all of it ahead of time, and clean-up is a snap. 
  • Weight Watchers baked penne pasta with turkey is fantastic! It’s the perfect meal to please a picky crowd.

Picture of ingrients I used, including ground turkey, tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and penne pasta.

Ingredients for ground turkey pasta

  • Penne pasta
  • Ground turkey
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Salt & pepper
  • Can of crushed tomatoes
  • Mozzarella
Ingredients all mixed in cooking sheet, ready for the oven.
Drizzle Me Skinny

How to make healthy baked penne pasta (step-by-step instructions)

  1.                 Boil pasta in a pan on the stove according to the package, drain and set aside.
  2.                 Preheat oven to 350F
  3.                 In a medium-sized saucepan, add olive oil and cook the garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in the ground turkey and cook until browned.
  4.                 Mix in all of the seasonings then stir in the canned tomatoes.
  5.                 Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  1.                 Using a 9×13 casserole dish place a very thin layer of the turkey mixture on the bottom of the dish, add in half of the cooked pasta, then 1/2 of the turkey mixture, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and repeat the steps with the remaining ingredients.
  2.                 Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Makes 6 servings, each serving is 1 heaping cup.

8.                   (Optional) – top with your favorite fresh herbs.

Ground turkey pasta  substitutions

  1.       Use another pasta -You can use a few different kinds of pasta in this dish. I prefer penne, but there are alternatives you can use. These work best, but almost anything will work:
  •  Ziti
  • Rigatoni
  • Sedani
  • Macaroni
  • Mostaccioli
  1.    Use a variety of cheeses – Shredded mozzarella is delicious in this dish but if you don’t have mozzarella in the fridge feel free to use what you have. Using cheddar is an option to make an even more savory dish.
  2.   Use your favorite fresh herbs – Adding in fresh basil, rosemary and thyme can really dress this dish up.
  3.  Ground chicken pasta – You can definitely substitute ground chicken for the ground turkey in this recipe if you prefer. As long as you use the lean ground chicken it should have the same number of ww points.
Penne pasta with ground turkey after adding the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Source: Drizzle Me Skinny

 Tips and Tricks for Making Ground Turkey Pasta Bake

  1.       Make the pan ahead of time, and freeze it as a meal prep for busy nights. It’s an easy way to stay on your plan. Reheat the frozen dish covered at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
  2.       Portion is out before freezing for faster reheat times and single serve portions. These make a great lunch.
  3.       Be sure to follow the directions closely, and remember to measure the pasta dry. Remember that the pasta will double in volume to become six one cup servings.

 

As the photos show, this is a very well-balanced dish with the perfect blend of herbs and spices. That said, if you want to dress this dish up into a real showstopper you can use fresh herbs for the entire recipe. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand you can definitely dress the recipe up with some chopped parsley on top.

Fresh herbs will give the dish a taste and look that really sets it apart. When baked with fresh herbs and spices, Weight Watchers Baked Pasta with turkey is the perfect dish to bring to a special occasion.

 

Leftovers will last up to 3 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. This dish freezes well. You can make this dish and freeze it before or after baking, making it a great option for meal prep.

To reheat the full dish from frozen, place it in the oven at 350F for 35-40 minutes.

Another picture of finished penne cheesy pasta with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.
Source: Drizzle Me Skinny

 

Another finished picture of turkey penne pasta.
Source: Drizzle Me Skinny
3.75 from 12 votes

Easy Ground Turkey Pasta

Servings: 6
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
5P on WW

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups penne pasta *measured dry
  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella

Instructions 

  • Boil pasta in a pan on the stove according to the package, drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, add olive oil and cook the garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in the ground turkey and cook until browned.
  • Mix in all of the seasonings then stir in the canned tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Using a 9x13 casserole dish place a very thin layer of the turkey mixture on the bottom of the dish, add in half of the cooked pasta, then 1/2 of the turkey mixture, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and repeat the steps with the remaining ingredients.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Makes 6 servings, each serving is 1 heaping cup.
  • *Optional to top with a little fresh herbs.

Notes

Points- 5
Personal Points- 3-6 depending on your 0PP foods
Smart Points- Purple- 3, Blue- 5, Green- 6
Points Plus- 6
Nutritional info per serving.. Calories 240..Fat 9.4g..Sat fat 3.2g...Carbs 16.2g...Fiber 1.2g...Sodium 187.8mg... Sugar 1.5g... Protein 23.5g *includes all ingredients. 

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

 

Finished penne pasta with ground turkey plated and ready to eat.
Source: Drizzle Me Skinny

Looking for some similar recipes? Try my bacon cheeseburger pasta bake or Turkey sausage penne in a creamy tomato sauce  

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About Drizzle Me Skinny

Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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2 Comments

    1. Pasta generally doubles in volume when cooked plus add in other ingredients. Let me know if you have any more questions!