closeup of turkey goat cheese baked pasta

Turkey Goat Cheese Baked Pasta

march 22, 2022

closeup of turkey goat cheese baked pasta


Be your own personal chef with this easy pasta bake. My clients tell me how wonderful it is to pull something from the fridge already made and ready to heat. I am thrilled when I can do the same. This easy turkey tomato marinara, goat cheese and brown rice pasta dish carried me through some busy winter weeks.

ingredients for turkey goat cheese baked pasta

You can use grass fed ground beef instead of ground turkey for this comforting meal. This baked pasta also tastes great with plant based meat, like the sauce for my Beyond Meat Lasagna.  Turkey may be the better choice for health reasons, but it does need a flavor boost from its surroundings compared to ground beef. Goat cheese is nice and tangy. Tomato sauce gets lit with crushed red peppers. Garlic and basil complete the Italian vibe.

preparing the dish

minimal work, including layering the ingredients in a bake dish, yields big taste


Occasionally, there are nicely portioned meals in my freezer for days when cooking seems more like work than fun. Does this casserole freeze well? Yes, it does. A quick defrost and oven heat will make it taste like day one. For this reason, Turkey Goat Cheese Baked Pasta will be on repeat for this chef.

overhead turkey goat cheese baked pasta


Turkey Goat Cheese Baked Pasta

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 6-8 servings


8 ounces brown rice or regular pasta – good : Trader Joe’s, Jovial, Tinkyada
one cup diced sweet onion
one sweet bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
finely ground white pepper
one pound ground turkey – higher fat preferred
2 large cloves garlic, zested on microplane grater
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional if you like heat)
handful chopped fresh basil leaves
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
⅓ cup water
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
10 ounces goat cheese, divided


  1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, drain and set aside.
  2. In heavy saute pan, combine onion and sweet pepper with olive oil and generous pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of white pepper over medium high heat.
  3. When mixture begins to sizzle, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes; avoid browning.
  4. Add ground turkey in clumps, sprinkle with kosher salt, increase heat and cook, breaking up pieces of turkey with wooden spoon, until cooked through and no pink remains.
  5. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and stir about 5-10 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Pour in crushed tomatoes and water, stir well, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes.
  7. While sauce cooks, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Sprinkle  fresh basil over cooked sauce and simmer another couple minutes.

assembling the baked pasta

  1. Grease two quart casserole dish.
  2. Place two large spoons turkey tomato sauce on bottom of dish, then half the pasta.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan and half the goat cheese, crumbled.
  4. Add two more spoons sauce, then reminder of pasta, then rest of sauce and the other half of the goat cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot; may also be cooled to room temperature for freezing later, either in the baking dish or after being divided into serving portions.
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