This Turkey Pasta with three kinds of peppers is sure to become a family favorite! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners and also hearty Sunday suppers.
When we're in the middle of a busy week, and it's cold and dreary outside, pasta is always a good idea.
I love pasta. Do you, too?
Pasta is something that I could eat every night, if my body would let me. Now I make it about once or twice a week. And I love how there are so many great options now for pastas: gluten-free pastas, whole grain pastas, zoodles - options galore!
Tri-Pepper Turkey Pasta
In my many years of cooking, I've got a LOT of favorite pasta recipes. This Taco Mac & Cheese pasta recipe has become a friend & family fave, a dish that I will now often bring to parties and potlucks at friends' requests.
When we're feeling a little fancy, I break out the Shrimp Fettuccine with Vodka Tomato Sauce recipe. And my Vegan, Dairy-Free Alfredo is my go-to comfort food that helps me still enjoy creamy pasta sauces.
But even older than all of those favorite pasta recipes is this one for Tri-Pepper Turkey Pasta. It's one that I have been making for my husband since before we got married, and I first shared here on Urban Bliss Life way back in 2008 (more than a decade ago!!).
It's been with us for a LONG time. We love it so much, that I make it about once a month now for my family. I finally decided to update the recipe with more recent photos from one of the last times I made this dish.
This recipe makes enough for my husband and me, our two kids, one hungry dinner guest, and lunch leftovers for all.
Ingredients and substitutions
As with most of my recipes, this tri-pepper turkey pasta recipe is so easy to customize to your own family's taste preferences.
Here are some ideas for substitutions:
- Use Italian sausage instead of lean ground turkey
- If you want a "meatier" richer pepper flavor, use all red peppers and skip the slightly sweeter orange and yellow peppers
- Don't like basil? Substitute with thyme, oregano, or rosemary.
- You can use any pasta shape you like, but the ones that go best with this recipe are the ones that can act like vessels for the pepper sauce: think fusili, rotini, gemelli.
Baked pasta option
If you can tolerate dairy and love it, try adding ricotta cheese to the mix of ground turkey and peppers, add cooked pasta, place into a baking dish, sprinkle with generous amounts of mozzarella cheese, and bake in 375 degree oven until set for a super tasty baked pasta dish.
OH MY GOODNESS, you guys, this way of preparing my tri-pepper turkey pasta recipe is amazing! I love it, and if I could enjoy it this way more often, I would. If you try it, let me know how you like it!
You may also like this Pasta with Sausage, Peppers, and Corn recipe.
Best wine pairing for this pasta dish
This tri-pepper turkey pasta goes beautifully with an Italian Barbera or Nebbiolo. The bright acidity in Barbera wines make it a great match for the hearty pasta and sauce, especially if you decide to use Italian sausage instead of ground turkey. Nebbiolo wines also go famously with tomato-based sauces and if you decide to add the dairy options I've included with this recipe, a Nebbiolo will help bring out the flavors of the cheeses.
Tri-Pepper Turkey Pasta
- 1 lb rotini, fusili, or gemeli pasta (or any corkscrew-shaped pasta)
- 3 Tbs olive oil, divided - plus more for sauce if necessary
- ½ cup or so sliced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 de-stemmed, cored, sliced red bell peppers
- 1 de-stemmed, cored, sliced orange bell pepper s
- 1 de-stemmed, cored, sliced yellow bell pepper
- ½ cup half & half or coconut milk for a dairy-free option
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 2 tbsp basil - either dried or fresh chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup grated romano or parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast for dairy-free optional
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Do a little dance, because the people who make olive oil deserve it.
- Add sliced onions, all three peppers, and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until slightly tender.
- When peppers are just tender enough, add peppers, onions, and garlic mix into a food processor to cool for a bit. Make sure you've got a medium or large food processor. Sprinkle your dried basil or your finely chopped fresh basil on top of the pepper mix.
- While pepper mix is cooling, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet and start to brown the ground turkey.
- While meat browns, blend the pepper mixture plus your half & half or coconut milk in the food processor for about a minute, just until you get the consistency you prefer.
- Add the blended pepper mixture to the ground turkey as soon as the turkey is cooked enough. Stir the pepper mixture and the ground turkey until the pepper mixture is distributed evenly throughout.
- The pasta should be done by now. Drain pasta water and add cooked pasta to the ground turkey pepper mixture. Add salt & pepper to taste, plus fresh parsley and/or grated romano cheese and voila!
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
This post was originally published on this blog on October 12, 2008. It has been updated with new photos and current content.