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Ground Turkey Pasta in Romesco Sauce


This simple ground turkey pasta recipe is alert in under 30 minutes and tossed in a Spanish roasted red pepper sauce (romesco sauce)! 

Zucchini noodles are good for so much more than slathering in pasta sauce: you can top it with a poached egg, kale pesto, and so many other sauces. This ground turkey pasta in romesco sauce is another fun and creative way to serve them!

tongs pulling zucchini noodles in romesco sauce out of pan

By combining zucchini noodles with a half batch of linguine, we are able to lighten this recipe up. The romesco sauce, made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, almonds, smoked paprika and red wine vinegar is unique and great to jazz up a regular ancient weeknight dinner!

Reasons to ♡ this ground turkey pasta

  • mixing a half batch of linguine with zucchini noodles lightens it up a bit
  • the romesco sauce is a unique sauce that pairs well with the zucchini noodles
  • leftovers can keep for meal prep

Recipe video

Watch the video below to see exactly how I prepped this recipe. You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.

ingredients required to make romesco sauce and ground turkey pasta

Ingredient notes

  • pasta– we are using linguine in this recipe, but you can swap for your favorite noodle: spaghetti or spaghettini would both work great as well
  • turkey– lean ground turkey adds protein and flavor to this recipe, however you could swap it for lean ground beef, ground pork, or even ground chicken
  • bread– while it may sound strange to add bread to a sauce, this helps give the sauce body and thickness. If you are gluten-free, swap for a gluten-free bread. I have not tested without the bread and believe the sauce would be lean without it.
  • almonds– traditionally romesco sauce uses almonds to add both flavor and texture to the sauce; I’ve seen variations that swap for hazelnuts, pine nuts and even hemp hearts, however I can’t say whether the flavor will be the same.

before and after romesco sauce in blender

Romesco sauce

History

Originating in the northeastern part of Spain, romesco sauce was traditionally served with seafood stews, over fish, or as a condiment (1). The exact ingredients used in romesco varies greatly by chef, though it usually includes ripe tomatoes, garlic, almonds and bread (2).

Thick like a pesto, romesco is one of a kind in both its unique flavor and texture: the nuts and bread give it a thick and somewhat chunky texture, whereas the red wine vinegar, smoked paprika, tomatoes and garlic give it bright, smoky and somewhat tangy flavor.

My goal with this recipe was to introduce you to modern flavors that pair well with zucchini noodles. I adapted this recipe to obtain (in my opinion) the simple + delicious romesco sauce in this recipe!

How to prepare it

To prepare this romesco sauce recipe, we simply combine in a blender roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, garlic, almonds, red wine vinegar, olive oil, torn bread, salt and smoked paprika. Blend until smooth!

I love this Vitamix to obtain the sauce blended in seconds; if you do not have a stand blender, a food processor would likely obtain the job done well.

romesco sauce in blender after blending through

Recipe notes

Making zucchini noodles

You can create zucchini noodles with a few different methods, but I highly recommend investing in a spiralizer (this is the one

 I own). I have step by step instructions on how to prep and spiralize zucchini that might be helpful to you in how to cook zucchini noodles.

Don’t forget to cut your zucchini noodles up 2-3 times after spiralizing to avoid excessively long noodles.

Prep before cooking

This recipe has a few different components as well as some multitasking required. For the smoothest cooking experience, I recommend that you have all your ingredients out and prepped before you commence the actual cooking. It might be top to obtain the romesco sauce out of the way first, then commence cooking the pasta and work your way through the rest of the recipe.

Use tongs to cook the zucchini noodles

If you’ve never cooked zucchini noodles before, I advise you to use tongs to help stir them up and flip them around. This is the top way to cook them through evenly, and also helps toss the noodles, turkey and linguine up evenly in the sauce.

Storage + meal prep

This recipe keeps surprisingly well for meal prep, but if you do plan to store it for several days, make sure you undercook the zucchini noodles. In fact, you could skip cooking them altogether and simply toss with the sauce (they will cook when you reheat in the microwave).

Storage:

  • cool completely, then portion out into meal prep containers
  • store in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • reheat in the microwave until steaming hot
  • do not freeze

Prepping components ahead:

  • prep the romesco sauce up to 4 days ahead; store in the fridge
  • prep the zucchini noodles up to 4 days ahead; store in the fridge and do not cook until just before serving
  • cook the pasta ahead; store for up to 4 days
  • cook the ground turkey ahead; store in the fridge for up to 4 days

pouring romesco sauce over ground turkey pasta

Variations + ingredient swaps

You could certainly play around with the recipe formula to obtain your great dinner:

  • swap the romesco for pesto (this pistachio mint pesto would be astonishing!) or marinara sauce
  • swap the zucchini noodles for spaghetti squash (see how to cook spaghetti squash) or kohlrabi linguine
  • swap the ground turkey for ground beef, pork or chicken; for a vegetarian option swap for white beans
  • abandon out the linguine and use an extra zucchini to make this lower in carbs

overhead view of Ground Turkey Pasta in Romesco Sauce in a large pan

More simple dinner recipes

Ground Turkey Pasta in Romesco Sauce

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Spanish

Keyword: ground turkey, low carb, spiralizer

Calories: 315kcal

Servings: 6

This simple ground turkey pasta recipe is alert in under 30 minutes and tossed in a Spanish roasted red pepper sauce (romesco sauce)! 

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time30 mins

  • In a blender, combine the roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, almonds, red wine vinegar, olive oil, bread, salt and smoked paprika. Blend until smooth, and set aside.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.

  • While pasta is cooking, cook the ground turkey in a large frying pan, breaking it up into small pieces. Cook until no pink remains (7-10 minutes).

  • Add the spiralized zucchini, and cook, using tongs to move it around in the pan, for 3 minutes.

  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan, and toss with the ground turkey and zucchini noodles until evenly distributed.

  • Add the romesco sauce to the pan and toss everything to coat.

  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

1- linguine may be swapped for your favorite pasta noodle; spaghetti and spagettini would both work well
2- ground turkey can be swapped for ground beef, ground pork or ground chicken
3- if you don’t have a spiralizer, cut the zucchini into chunks and cook until softened.
Storage

  • cool completely, then portion out into meal prep containers
  • store in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • reheat in the microwave until steaming hot
  • do not freeze

Meal Prep

  • prep the romesco sauce up to 4 days ahead; store in the fridge
  • prep the zucchini noodles up to 4 days ahead; store in the fridge and do not cook until just before serving
  • cook the pasta ahead; store for up to 4 days
  • cook the ground turkey ahead; store in the fridge for up to 4 days

Variations

  • romesco- swap for pesto
  • zucchini noodles- swap for spaghetti squash or kohlrabi linguine
  • abandon out the linguine and use an extra zucchini to make this lower in carbs

Serving: 1/6 batch | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 451mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g


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