Ground Turkey Spaghetti Recipe

This ground turkey spaghetti is the perfect, quick, and easy dinner for busy weeknights!

I don’t know about you, but as a busy mom and business owner, there are just some nights when I absolutely do not want to have to think about what to make for dinner. Nights when the last thing I want to do is stand at my stove again or do more dishes. It’s on nights like this that I turn to my simplest of recipes. Recipes I can have on the table in 30 minutes or less, from prep to plate.

A fork lifts a twist of ground turkey spaghetti out of a black bowl.
Photo Credit: RomanaMart/Shutterstock.

That handful of quick recipes are recipes my little family loves. They are clean and healthy, nutritious and tasty, and most importantly, they are simple and quick to get on the table.

Now I love pasta. Pasta has always been a super easy dish for me to make. But while I love it, I always have to be sure I’m balancing all those carbs with some protein and veggies. So, I came up with this little concoction that makes for a really great meal. You basically get your carbs, fats, proteins, and plenty of veggies in one dish, and everyone loves it, guests and kiddos alike.

Notes On The Ingredients

Whole-grain spaghetti noodles – Any type of spaghetti will work here, even gluten-free spaghetti.

Lean ground turkey – You can use lean ground beef if you prefer that.

Zucchini

Garlic powder – Or garlic granules.

Onion powder – Or onion granules.

Extra virgin olive oil – Or any light-flavored oil you prefer to cook with.

Spaghetti sauce – Keep this quick by buying a jar of clean sauce without added sugar, or make your own sauce separately. Whatever works best for you.

How To Cook Ground Turkey Spaghetti

This is a two-pot dish, so in addition to your pot and skillet, you’ll need a cutting board, measuring spoons, and a cheese grater.

First, you’ll want to start cooking your pasta in the pot. Cook according to the package directions. You can use any pasta you prefer for this. I use whole-grain spaghetti made of rice and quinoa from Trader Joe’s, but any pasta works.

While that’s cooking, you’ll want to grate your zucchini and then cook everything (except the pasta, obviously)  together in the pan. Everything gets dumped together, which makes it super fast and easy. Just make sure you get the meat well-cooked here.

Once the pasta and the sauce are finished, simply combine them in the pot after straining off the water from the pasta. Easy-peasy!

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A fork lifts a twist of ground turkey spaghetti out of a black bowl.

Ground Turkey Spaghetti

An easy, quick dinner for busy weeknights.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 217kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. whole grain spaghetti noodles
  • 1 ½ lb. lean, ground turkey
  • 3 medium zucchini (grated)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. jar your favorite spaghetti sauce (or as much as you like – read the ingredient list!)

Instructions

  • Cook your pasta to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, place turkey meat, zucchini, garlic powder, onion powder and olive oil into a large frying pan and cook until the meat is done. You are not using a lot of oil, so be sure to keep the heat at a lower setting. The water from the meat and zucchini will help to cook everything. (You can add more oil if needed)
  • Drain your pasta and return to the pot.Stir in the meat and then the sauce.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 649mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 352IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel

Bio:

Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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25 Comments

  1. What brand of pasta do you use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leah – I buy a 100% whole wheat pasta or brown rice pasta at Trader Joe’s. But many stores carry them.

  2. Love Nugget says:

    What kind of pasta sauce do you use, Tiff?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      LN – I buy the Trader Giotto’s brand at Trader Joe’s. It’s a dairy free marinara sauce. But many marinara sauces out there are clean. You just have to read labels till you find one. Hope that helps!

  3. silvia freyre says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    What is a clean jar of spaghetti sauce?
    Silvia

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Silvia – Any jar of sauce that has a list of clean ingredients. No added sugar and only ingredients you recognize as something you would cook with in your own kitchen.

  4. Nicki Woo says:

    Yes. Simple, real, clean food. Love spaghetti. Thanks for sharing your twist!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicki – There’s a lot to be said for simple foods! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Courtney Ann says:

    Tiffany, this looks like a great recipe! I wouldn’t have thought of adding grated zucchini…so that’s a great way to get some added veggies! Also, I’m relatively new (within the last month) to clean eating, and I’ve been going to Whole Foods as my “go-to” for clean foods, which can get REAL expensive, real fast, so thanks for mentioning clean pastas and sauces from Trader Joe’s. I’ll be sure to check that out!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Courtney Ann – I do about 90% of my shopping at Trader Joe’s. No need to spend your whole paycheck at whole foods. Trader Joe’s is fabulous!!

  6. Love the idea of using shredded zucchini. I like to do that with carrot in mac and “cheeze!”

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michelle – Oh yum!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. How do I know if the spaghetti sauce has no added sugars? I see sugar in the ingredients so does that mean it is added? I am having a hard time finding a good spaghetti sauce and we don’t have a Trader Joe’s here.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lori – Yes, if it’s listed in the ingredient list, then it’s added sugar. It can take a little time to find a clean sauce. I read a lot of labels before I found mine. Check your local health food store. They are usually a safe bet.

  8. Trudefaith says:

    yummm! this looks amazingly good!

    1. Anonymous says:

      TF – ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bc – A clean sauce is a sauce that has no added garbage in the ingredient list.

    For example, if your jar of sauce says: “tomatoes, garlic, onions and salt”, it’s clean. You recognize each ingredient as something you would cook with separately in your own kitchen.

    But if the ingredient list says, “tomatoes, garlic, onions, dextrose, sugar, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup” it’s not clean. You wouldn’t buy dextrose or hydrogenated oil to cook with in your own kitchen and you certainly don’t want the white, refined sugar.

    Hope that helps.

  10. I made this recipe tonight and it was fantastic. My husband raved about the sauce and my 6 year old said it was the best spaghetti I ever made. He never even noticed all the grated zucchini! THank you so much for your site :))

    1. Anonymous says:

      Dana – That’s wonderful! I’m so happy everyone enjoyed it!

  11. graciouspantry says:

    Megan – I get mine at Trader Joe’s. It’s their marinara.

  12. graciouspantry says:

    No, keep everything else the same.

  13. I’m vegetarian and I made this last night with Morningstar crumbles and added some roasted garlic cloves, it was amazing! I’m trying to get away from Morningstar products though as they’re NOT non-GMO. Does anyone have recommendations for similar non-GMO soy crumbles?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Aileen – I think you will be hard pressed to find non-GMO soy products. Especially if they are processed like these types of burgers. Let me know if you find one though!

  14. Maureen Levin says:

    I add spinach mushrooms to the zucchini a little hot sauce it’s DELISHES

    sometimes I leave out the zucchini and make zucchini noodles with my vegettte machine it looks like spaghetti And is DELISHES

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Maureen – Awesome! I love Zoodles! I actually like them more than pasta now.