Recipe: Turkey and Greens Skillet Pasta

updated Nov 14, 2019
Turkey and Greens Skillet Pasta
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Ground turkey tends to be a little polarizing, but it does some serious convincing in this delicious pasta skillet. It’s cooked in a spiced tomato sauce along with big handfuls of Swiss chard and cooked pasta until it’s tender and infused with the flavors of garlic, chili, and cumin. The skillet is sprinkled with cheese just before serving for a one-pan meal that’s easy to make and even easier to eat.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Stretch a Pound of Ground Turkey into a Meal for All

Part of the beauty of ground turkey is its sheer versatility. It’s a lean, mild cut of meat with the power to take on so many different flavor personalities. Here, it’s combined with a lineup of spices for a bit of warmth and heat. To prevent the turkey from overcooking, it’s browned and then removed from the pan while the tomato sauce cooks. Add it back in when you cook the greens and it’ll never taste dry or bland.

Turkey and Greens Skillet Pasta

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, diced

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 1 pound

    ground turkey

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    (1 quart) low-sodium chicken broth

  • 10 ounces

    dry penne pasta

  • 1

    (14-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies

  • 1

    medium bunch Swiss chard (about 10 ounces), trimmed and shredded

  • 1 cup

    shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a 10- to 12-inch cast iron or wide, high-sided skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey, break it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces, and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring so that the spices don't burn, for 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.

  2. Add the broth, pasta, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, Swiss chard, and reserved turkey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and the chard is wilted, about 3 minutes more.

  3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.