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Tag: ground turkey meat

Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce

My daughter loves baked ziti and she loves pasta with meat sauce- so I made baked ziti with meat sauce. Why not?? It is easy to make and yummy!!

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne, cooked al dente
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the turkey meat and brown at a high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme and rosemary and tomato sauce. Add salt and bring to a boil and simmer at a low heat covered with a lid for 20 to 25 minutes. Take the lid off and add the al dente pasta and mix well and check for seasonings.

Transfer half of the pasta mixture to an oven proof dish. Top with the fresh mozzarella and basil, distributing evenly. Top with the rest of the pasta mixture. Add the shredded cheese and top and bake, covered for 45 minutes. Take the foil off and bake to brown the top for another 15 minutes. Serve warm.



Turkey Burgers with Pancetta and Caramelized Onions

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup pancetta, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves

Heat a frying pan with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes on medium heat. Let cool and keep aside.

  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 slices fontina cheese

Transfer the ground turkey, rosemary, parsley, salt and the pancetta mixture to a medium bowl. Mix well and form into 4 patties. Cook on grill or a frying pan. Melt cheese on top.

Serve in ciabatta rolls with tomato slices.

Pasta with Turkey and Spinach

This is a healthy one! My daughter’s friend was coming over on a Sunday and was going to stay for lunch. Kids love pasta- we all know that. It is always hard to come up with new and interesting dishes to serve them.

I had ground turkey in the fridge and decided to make a quick meat sauce. I also had a big container of freshly made marinara sauce. Instead of serving vegetables on the side, I added it into the sauce. I love making one pot meals- especially for kids. I have also noticed they tend to eat the veggies if they are incorporated into the dish.

I sauteed an onion and garlic with the meat- added the tomato sauce and spinach. That was it- so simple and delicious.

  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • Salt

Heat a saucepan with the olive oil. Add the turkey meat and separate meat with a wooden spoon. Cook on medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the two cups marinara sauce and mix well. Add salt and check for seasonings. Cook, covered for 10 minutes. Serve with pasta.

Meatballs with Smoked Paprika

Here is another meatball recipe.  They are so easy to make and I like to make mine with different flavorings. I also like to make them really healthy and generally make them with ground turkey meat. These particular ones have my favorite flavors- smoked paprika and dried ancho chilies. They both have a delicious, smoky flavor with a bit of kick.

I added the paprika in the meat itself including onion and garlic. For the sauce I reconstituted a few ancho chilies, blended them with crushed tomatoes and cooked it. I then formed the meatballs and cooked them in the delicious sauce.


  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk

Transfer the meat into a large bowl. Add the paprika, salt, thyme, beaten egg, cilantro, onion and garlic. Mix well. In the meantime soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for ten minutes. Add the soaked breadcrumbs into the meat mixture and mix well. Keep aside in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt

Soak the dried chilies in the boiling water for half an hour. Blend the soft peppers (and the water) with the crushed tomatoes until all blended well. Add the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the tomato mixture into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 minutes on high. Simmer while forming meatballs and gently dropping them in the sauce. Add the cinnamon. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Check for seasonings and serve with rice or bread.

Chinese Broccoli with Ground Turkey

I served this dish with the lo mein. I love, love Chinese broccoli. I try to get it any time I see it. Unfortunately I don’t find it very often at Whole Foods. Since I was in the Asian market, I promptly bought some. I used the dark soy sauce to marinate the meat and cooked it with the delicious greens. Next time you want to make delicious Chinese food- try this one… read more …

Mushroom and Truffle Ragu Lasagna

Mushroom and Truffles and Ragu2 We were entertaining a few weekends ago and yet again, I was at a loss- what should I make?? My brain is usually all stressed out until something comes to mind and then I am at peace.

As I have mentioned many times before, our favorite restaurant is Arturos here in Maplewood. My favorite thing to eat there is a wild boar and mushroom ragu. I love that dish- I actually dream about it. It is consistently good and I can’t get enough of it.

I decided to make something similar but in a lasagna form. I had recently bought some dried mushrooms from Trader Joes. I reconstituted them and added them to some delicious cremini mushrooms. I used ground turkey meat instead of wild boar- well where was I supposed to get that?? Anyway, I am more comfortable using turkey meat for health reasons. The lasagna was layered with a simple bechamel sauce. I also used a truffle paste I picked up from Spello, Italy. I finished the ragu with a drizzle of truffle oil (thanks to Trader Joes).

I served the lasagna with a garlic cheese bread and a citrus salad. I of course had to serve a side of fresh tomato sauce- since my husband loves his red sauce.

It turned out to be a very successful dinner. Everything was delicious- I was very happy. Next time you have a few minutes- try the mushroom and truffle ragu- you won’t regret it.
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Smoky Tomatillo Rice with Avocado and Mango Salad

mexican-rice-with-turkey-and-tomatillosOnce in a while I come up with an absolutely genius one pot meal. Well, this is it- I even surprised myself when I tasted it. I wanted to make something with spanish and mexican flavors but didn’t want to make the normal quesadillas or fajitas or even burritos. I thought about it for almost the whole day and then finally came up with this fabulous dish. I had bought some ground turkey from Trader Joes the day before- I was actually planning to make meat balls with veggies but somehow didn’t feel like it. I have noticed that if I force myself to cook a dish, it doesn’t taste very good… I have to really want to make it – I usually visualize it in my head before I cook the dish- it sounds a little cooky but that is how my brain works. Anyway, I wanted to incorporate the ground turkey somehow in the dish, so I decided to pair it with rice and beans. When I think of Mexican food- tomatillos come to mind – I love using tomatillos– they have a very tart and creamy flavor.  I also wanted to create a smoky dish but didn’t want to add any heat since I wanted Sia to enjoy it- so I decided to use smoked paprika which has a little bit of heat but a lot of flavor. I also decided to use one of my favorite ingredients- roasted frozen corn.  It also has a nice roasted smoky flavor.  I blended the tomatillos, garlic, cilantro and vidalia spring onions and used that as the underlying flavor for the rice.  I don’t know if you all have noticed huge vidalia spring onions every where??  They are delicious- mild enough to use in salads but also have a lot of flavor for sauces, etc.  Once the rice was cooked with all the delicious ingredients, I decided to take it to the next level and add cheese. My first thought was to add queso blanco but then I remembered I had a blend of shredded mexican cheeses in my fridge.  It included monterey jack, queso blanco and a bunch of other cheeses- perfect!  I love sweet and savory flavors in my dishes and decided to add raisins- they are optional but I would highly recommend them.  The little burst of sweet juice midst the smoky rice was very pleasant.  Now as we all know my daughter is obsessed with mangoes- so we have plenty in the house at all times.  I wanted to make a cool salad to go with the rice and decided to combine avocados with mangoes.  I thought very hard about this since both the ingredients have similar textures- my initial idea was to add some crunch to it but at the end I decided to keep it simple- some salt, lime juice and cilantro.  I served the salad on top of the hot rice- it was out of this world!!!  If you cook just one dish from this blog I would recommend this one- it was truly delicious.  All the flavors went really well together- the hot smoky rice with the cool creamy salad- a match made in heaven!

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