Easy weeknight hosting with this Healthy Ground Turkey Puttanesca recipe made with whole wheat pasta, and a sauce with garlic, tomatoes, and olives. WATCH THE VIDEO!

Today’s recipe is perfect for any season, and a great weeknight meal. Healthy Ground Turkey Puttanesca is one of our family’s favorites and it’s good enough for company, too!

Healthy Ground Turkey Puttanesca

Think about this pasta dish, a large summer salad, and hot crunchy bread. Perfect.

Or more summer recipes … Summer Pasta with Bolognese Sauce or Caprese Chicken Casserole Recipe or Corn Pasta Salad or Shrimp Scampi Pasta. All so good!

What is puttanesca?

Puttanesca is a pasta sauce typically including garlic, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies. Don’t skip the anchovies for this Ground Turkey Puttanesca recipe!

Reminiscing is good

We were just reminiscing about our last home we lived in with a pool. Fun summer parties, and for ten years we hosted so many people in this home!

Even though I do miss our backyard and all the flowers and garden beds, I wouldn’t trade our experiences we’ve had living in central Oregon (the high desert) for anything.

We still do some of the same things here … it’s just different.

Just this week we hosted. I marinated the meat, my hubby started the grill, and we cooked a delicious meal that we shared with friends.

Sitting on the front deck, this time of year is the BEST in central Oregon.

We also had a family dinner and enjoyed this Healthy Ground Turkey Puttanesca—nothing fancy at all.

Healthy Puttanesca Recipe

This recipe, some may be wary of using anchovies, but they are essential to making this dish salty and savory!

You might have to get in the habit of using anchovies when you cook, but try it before you say no! :)

Ingredients for this recipe

Easy ingredients: A sauce with garlic, tomatoes, and olives. Anchovies are optional but you’ll be sorry if you leave them out.

And then ground turkey and delicious pasta!

How to make puttanesca

  1. Brown the ground turkey!
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan, add in the garlic cloves, anchovies, capers, olives, and tarragon. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Cook the pasta, but don’t over cook it.
  4. Mix together and add yummy Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley!

Wow, the flavor!

Happy summer hosting!

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Healthy Ground Turkey Puttanesca


  • 1 16 oz pkg whole wheat Delallo rigatoni pasta
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 2 oz can anchovies, roughly chopped
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 10 oz can tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup tarragon, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided in half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley and shaved parmesan to garnish
  • 1/2 cup marinated or kalamata olives, pitted, chopped


  • In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add the ground turkey and cook over medium high heat. Add the salt and pepper and use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently break the meat into smaller pieces and cook for about 10 minutes (until no longer pink). When meat is fully cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Using the same pan, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic cloves, anchovies, capers, olives, tomato paste, and tarragon and cook for about 6 minutes on medium low heat, or until the anchovies have melted.
  • Add the tomato puree to the above garlic and anchovies mixture. Mix ingredients together thoroughly over medium heat, then reduce heat to lowest temperature and cover skillet—salt and pepper to taste. After about 10 minutes, add in the ground turkey and any remaining juices. Continue to simmer the sauce for at least 30 minutes; the longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will be.
  • Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain your pasta. Gently incorporate both the water and the cooked noodles into the sauce.
  • To serve, garnish pasta with fresh parmesan and parsley. Enjoy!



One 2-ounce can = 3 tablespoons mashed
If replacing the anchovies for paste, use about 2-3 Tbsp.
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