overhead shot of Italian ground turkey in cast iron skillet with gold serving spoon

Easy Italian-Inspired Ground Turkey Recipe (Dairy-Free!)

This easy ground turkey recipe is a simple yet flavorful boost of protein for pasta or any Italian-inspired dish!

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If I’m being honest, this is barely a recipe. I’ve been feeling a back-to-basics vibe lately, and I’ve realized not every recipe needs to be elaborate. This simple Italian Ground Turkey recipe was born because I’ve been craving more protein lately, for whatever reason. We make pasta (specifically, Trader Joe’s fresh ravioli) at least once a week. I love tossing this dish on top for a little protein boost.

close up of ground turkey to show texture

Italian-Inspired Ground Turkey Ingredients

Ground Turkey: I usually go for 93% lean. While I don’t enjoy ground meat with excessive fat content, I also don’t enjoy the fat-free variety. 93% feels like balance to me. You could also substitute ground chicken if it’s what you can find (or, for that matter, ground beef works too).

Olive Oil: Just a splash to make sure the meat browns nicely.

Italian Seasoning: I’m lazy and like to use the pre-made spice mix. If you don’t have that on hand, equal parts dried basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme will work.

Garlic and Onion Powder: This recipe is meant to be super easy, so we’re gonna use garlic and onion powder here instead of messing with the real thing. I find these two spices to be vastly underrated kitchen weapons anyhow. They add such a quick, happy burst of flavor.

Red Pepper Flakes: For some unexpected heat. You can omit if you’re not into that kind of thing.

Salt and Pep: To bring out optimum flavor and finish everything off.

Nutritional Yeast: This is an optional addition, but I highly recommend it for some cheesy flavor. This deactivated yeast is a vegan staple for adding those vibes without the dairy. Trader Joe’s has the absolute best price, and you can usually find it in a bag in the spice section.

I hope this simple little recipe is a helpful protein addition to your weeknight meals! If you try it out, be sure to leave a rating and review. This encourages others to make it too and helps Google figure out I exist. You can also always find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok. It truly warms my heart and makes my day to hear from you!

Amazing Pasta Dishes

ground turkey in cast iron skillet
overhead shot of Italian ground turkey in cast iron skillet with gold serving spoon

Easy Italian Ground Turkey Recipe

The perfect simple yet flavorful addition to pasta or any other Italian-inspired dish if you're looking for a boost of protein!
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • Large Frying Pan or Cast Iron Skillet


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning (or ½ tbsp dried basil, ½ tbsp dried oregano, ½ tbsp dried rosemary, and ½ tbsp dried thyme)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended for cheesy flavor)


  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, allowing it to brown for about 2 minutes and breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add remaining ingredients and stir to evenly distribute. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until turkey is completely cooked through.
  • Serve on top of your favorite pasta or Italian-inspired dish!


Storage: Refrigerate in airtight container and enjoy within 3 days.
Keyword dairy-free, gluten free, ground turkey, Italian, nut-free

Photography by Hope Agresti

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