Easy Ground Turkey Casserole Recipe Brings New Meaning To Comfort Food

Comfort food needs to have a few qualities to really hit the mark. First and foremost, it should be absolutely delicious, and, well, comforting! It also needs to be filling and hearty. Ideally, it should be relatively simple to prepare as well. This easy ground turkey casserole hits all of those marks and then some, and in the case of chef and recipe developer Carlos Leo of Spoonabilities, it even comes with a rich side serving of family history. "This recipe was inspired by a casserole that my father used to make all the time," Leo says, adding, "It's my favorite pasta casserole, but I use ground salami instead of the ground turkey in his recipe. This recipe has sentimental value for me."

This casserole will surely impress your taste buds, and you'll appreciate the fact that prep work takes all of 10 minutes. And while we're on the topic of value, Leo calculates that "the cost for the whole recipe was around 15 to 17 dollars." Considering this meal yields eight hearty servings, that's a price of around only $2 per person, also known as an amazing price for a meal that will be total hit with the family and won't leave anyone feeling hungry. But if you do want to round things out into a larger meal, Leo suggests, "The best pairing idea is a nice green salad and a buttery garlic toast." Yum!

Gather the ingredients to prepare this easy ground turkey casserole

This recipe calls for ground turkey (ideally 85% fat, 15% lean), olive oilgarlic powder, oregano, sea salt, ground pepper, one box (16 ounces) of penne pasta, a decent dose of sea salt for the pasta water, lots of Parmesan cheese (divided), butter, milk, a cube of chicken bouillon, a can of seasoned tomato sauce, and a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup.

Note that Leo says, "[As far as] the ground turkey [is concerned, you] can select any kind. I selected the 85% fat, because it will give me more flavor and be less dry after a double cook in the oven." He also notes some flexibility with the ingredients in general, saying, "Everything is pretty simple in this recipe, but if [you] want a more saucy pasta, [you] can add another can of the tomato sauce ... if you want more ground turkey [you] can add a ½ pound more."

Pre-heat the oven, and cook your pasta and turkey

Start by preheating your oven to 425 F and coating a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Cook the penne pasta as per the box directions, usually for around eight to 10 minutes, preferably leaving it still al dente, because it will finish cooking in the oven. Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt to the pasta water while it's boiling.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and brown the ground turkey until it is almost cooked. Then, add the sea salt, oregano, garlic powder, and ground pepper, and stir to mix everything together. Set the seasoned meat aside.

Create the butter and milk blend, then assemble the casserole

In a microwave-safe cup, add the butter, milk, and the chicken bouillon, then place the cup in the microwave on the normal high setting for 60 seconds, or until the butter is fully melted. Mix to combine the ingredients in the cup, ensuring the chicken bouillon is fully broken up and dissolved.

Meanwhile, drain the cooked pasta, and add it to the buttered (or greased) baking dish. Next, add the butter-milk-bouillon mixture, the tomato sauce, the condensed cheddar cheese soup, a cup of the grated Parmesan cheese, and the browned ground turkey to the dish. Mix to combine everything well.

Top the casserole with cheese, then bake and enjoy

With all of the casserole ingredients in the dish and mixed, your work is almost done! Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta and turkey blend, then pop the dish in the oven and bake it uncovered for 30 minutes at 425 F. Once it's done, let the casserole rest a few minutes before serving, and then enjoy. If you have some extra, which may very well be unlikely considering how scrumptious the dish is, Leo says: "Store [any leftovers] in an airtight container in the refrigerator or the freezer. This meal is freezer-friendly — [you simply need to] re-heat in the microwave like any other pasta dish."

Easy Ground Turkey Casserole Recipe Brings New Meaning To Comfort Food
4.9 from 16 ratings
This easy ground turkey casserole is everything a comforting meal should be, and it'll become an instant family favorite.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
8
servings
turkey casserole on plate
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 box (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (85% fat, 15% lean)
  • 2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 can (8 ounces) seasoned tomato sauce
  • 1 can (10 ½ ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 ½ cups Parmesan cheese, divided
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter.
  3. Cook the penne pasta in salted water (using around 2 tablespoons of sea salt) as per box directions, around 8 to 10 minutes, preferably still al dente, because it will finish cooking in the oven.
  4. In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and brown the ground turkey until it is almost cooked through. Then, add the sea salt, oregano, garlic powder, and ground pepper, and mix together. Set aside.
  5. In a microwave-safe cup, add the butter, milk, and the chicken bouillon, and heat in the microwave for 1 minute, or until butter is melted. Then, mix to combine, ensuring the chicken bouillon is dissolved.
  6. Drain the pasta, and add it to the buttered baking dish. Then, add the butter-milk mixture, tomato sauce, condensed cheddar cheese soup, grated Parmesan cheese, and the browned ground turkey, and mix to combine.
  7. Sprinkle the ½ cup of Parmesan cheese on top, then bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve, and enjoy!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 508
Total Fat 21.5 g
Saturated Fat 11.0 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 79.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 3.5 g
Sodium 850.6 mg
Protein 30.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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