Southwestern Turkey and Pasta

Thankfully K is now starting to eat pasta, and while he prefers spaghetti over all other noodles, he’s getting better at most of them.  That means we can start doing quick pasta dinners – like this one. It’s a nice variation from pasta with tomato sauce – the flavors are familiar and the ingredients are easy but it’s still a welcome change.  You can use bowtie, rigatoni, or whatever you have on hand.  We usually end up having several almost empty boxes of mixed shapes that I throw together. 


1/2 red onion, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4 in. wide strips

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 pound ground turkey

2 14-oz can diced tomatoes, do not drain

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 can black beans, drained (optional)

1 cup frozen corn (optional)

1 box pasta, shapes of your choice

shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese for sprinkling the pasta


  • Prepare pasta as directed
  • In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat.  Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it is softened. 
  • Add the garlic, bell pepper, chili powder, and cumin and cook the mixture until peppers begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and add the turkey, mixing it well with the vegetables, and breaking  it up the turkey with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the turkey is no longer pink.
  • Stir in the tomatoes with the juice, black beans and corn (if using), the chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to tast.
  • Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until it is thickened.
  • Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with cheese. 

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