This healthy and filling Italian Ground Turkey Skillet is a huge timer saver! It makes the best use of easy, inexpensive ingredients to deliver a FAST and delicious, one-pan dinner the whole family will love. Lean ground turkey, quick-cooking veggies, and easy seasonings come together to create a wholesome protein-packed skillet meal you can serve in tons of different ways. It is a super satisfying dish that you will never get bored with!
Ground Turkey Skillet – The EASY Way!
I don’t know about you, but on busy nights there is nothing better than a one-pan meal. Except for maybe a one pan meal that cooks really fast – like this one! Whipping up this Italian flavored ground turkey vegetable skillet is an easy win for my family any night of the week.
It is so full of flavor, super wholesome, and packed with veggies, but it is also really easy for me to make without spending forever in the kitchen. I especially love that there is no messy clean up either!
Why I LOVE this recipe
- So Fast! – You will only need 10 minutes to prep, and another 20 to cook this entire meal.
- Easy Ingredients – Summer squash, canned tomatoes, and spinach are easy to find at any supermarket. Add some basic pantry seasonings and dinner is served!
- Family Friendly – This is a really tasty skillet recipe, but it is also really wholesome. Turkey is lean and full of protein, and adding veggies right in makes it even healthier without taking a lot of extra time. You will feel great feeding this to your kids!
- One Skillet – The less I have to clean up at the end of a busy day, the better! One pan cooking means one pan clean up and that is always a win in my house.
- Versatile – This is so easy to make work for YOUR family. Kids can enjoy it over pasta while adults can opt to serve it over cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, or to eat it as lettuce wraps.
- Awesome meal prep – This is the type of skillet meal you can whip up and use through the week for really tasty lunches.
What to Serve with a Ground Turkey Skillet
This easy dinner recipe has classic Italian flavors, so it will pair well with many of your favorite traditional side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Bread – Top your ground turkey spinach skillet with cheese and serve it with my pesto cheese bread or garlic cheese bread for a super simple, yummy meal.
- Pasta – Serve it over any pasta, even ravioli or tortellini, for a kid-friendly dinner. Spaghetti squash is also tasty and a great keto-friendly alternative.
- Grains – Quinoa, brown or white rice, or cauliflower rice are all perfect for soaking up the flavors of the Italian seasoned ground turkey.
- Italian quinoa salad is an easy prep ahead salad with complimentary flavors.
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Italian ground turkey vegetable skillet recipe is as simple as promised! Just one pan and 30 minutes for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Summer squash – I like to use one zucchini and one yellow squash to add color to my ground turkey skillet, but you can use any combination of yellow, dark green, or light green summer squash. You just need 2 pounds total.
Pro tip!! The smaller ones actually have more flavor and less water, which can make browning much faster. So go for those instead of the super large squash!
- Ground turkey – Any type, either lean or extra lean, will work perfectly for this recipe.
- Onion – You will only need ½ of one and you can use any variety your family likes. We like yellow onions.
- Oil – I use olive oil, but canola, vegetable, or any other neutral-flavored cooking oil can be used instead.
- Garlic – We really want a big garlic flavor, so go for 4 fresh cloves. Your garlic press is a great way to skip all the mincing, but it is also totally fine to chop it finely with your knife too.
- Seasonings – The combination of garlic powder, paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper make this an Italian seasoned ground turkey recipe come to life.
- Canned tomatoes – I love and highly recommend fire-roasted tomatoes if you can get them. If not, use any diced tomatoes that you like. Be sure not to drain them, we want all those tasty juices.
- Fresh Spinach – Fresh spinach is super healthy and it cooks really fast. The amount we use in this recipe will seem like too much, but I promise it wilts down into the skillet quickly to be just the right amount.
- Prep everything first – This recipe moves FAST once you get started. Measure your seasonings and cut the veggies beforehand to make cooking stress free.
- Keep the pan HOT – The big secret to browning the squash perfectly is using a really hot pan. Keep the skillet over medium high heat.
- Don’t stir! – The veggies will brown much better if you can resist that urge to stir! Just let them cook in the hot pan and oil for 2-3 minutes, then flip and repeat for yummy caramelization.
- Drain the turkey – Sometimes packaged ground turkey can have extra liquid in it. In order for you to get the tasty brown crust, drain that off before adding it to your pan.
- Use a large pan – Use the largest, high-sided skillet you have. It gives the ingredients enough space to brown instead of steam, plus it keeps things much neater! A small pan can make a mess on your stovetop as you stir.
- Drain again! – If any liquid has accumulated in the pan after browning the turkey then drain it off before you move on to the next step.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Use a seasoning blend – If you have pre-mixed blends in your pantry, like my Italian seasoning mix then you can use that! Use about 2 teaspoons (plus the salt called for in this recipe) as a substitute.
- Prep veggies ahead – You can chop the squash and onions 3 days in advance and save time on a night when you are cooking dinner in a rush. Get ahead even more by prepping extra to make another Italian favorite like my quick pesto roasted vegetables another night!
- Prep the turkey ahead – It is also totally fine to pre-cook your turkey. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge and makes your Italian turkey vegetable skillet a real snap to throw together.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Italian Ground Turkey Pasta Skillet – Make the recipe as directed, then mix in drained, cooked pasta and top it with shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheeses. Cover the pan to melt the cheese and then serve.
- Italian Ground Turkey Green Bean Skillet – Make as directed but swap in fresh green beans for the zucchini and yellow squash. I recommend trimming off the stem end and cutting the beans in half to make them easier to mix into the skillet. You could also use frozen green beans, no need to thaw them first!
- Cheesy Italian Ground Turkey Skillet – Cook your ground turkey skillet as directed then mix in ricotta and parmesan. Top with mozzarella and cover the pan to let it melt. Or, pop it under the broiler (make sure you are using an oven safe pan first if you try it this way!) to caramelize the cheese.
Freezer Meal Instructions
This Ground Turkey Skillet can make a great freezer meal. You can make it up to 6 months in advance of when you want to serve it.
- Cook the recipe completely.
- Allow it to cool all the way.
- Package in a freezer bag or container.
- When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat with a splash of water in a large skillet over medium high heat. When it is hot throughout, serve.
Italian Ground Turkey Skillet Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making your ground turkey skillet, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Stuffed Shells – Layer the bottom of an oven safe casserole dish with your favorite marinara sauce. Fill pre-cooked pasta shells with the leftover turkey and arrange them so they are filling side up on top of the marinara. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Grilled Wraps – Place a scoop of leftover ground turkey and vegetables into a large flour tortilla and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll the tortilla up so it is closed on both ends like a burrito, then place it in a hot, lightly oiled grill pan. Let it toast on both sides and serve hot.
- Stuffed Peppers – Either top or half bell peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Mix your ground turkey skillet leftovers with shredded parmesan cheese and fill the peppers. Top with more cheese if desired, either mozzarella or parmesan would be delicious. Bake covered at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
- Quinoa Bowls – Scoop warm leftovers over a bowl of cooked quinoa and serve for an easy lunch or dinner.
- Lettuce Wraps – Simply warm the leftovers and layer into a lettuce leaf. Bibb, butter, or romaine are all good choices!
More One Skillet Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Cheesy Skillet Lasagna
- Taco Skillet Dinner
- Chicken Burrito Skillet
- Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Skillet
- 1 pound zucchini
- 1 pound yellow squash
- 1.5 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes, (1 can) not drained
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- Quarter each zucchini and squash, then cut into chunks.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the zucchini and squash to the skillet. Let cook on the first side 2-3 minutes or until the side facing the skillet browns. Flip the squash and cook on the other side 1-2 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the ground turkey, diced onion, and fresh garlic to the skillet and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the turkey is no longer pink (165˚F) stirring and breaking apart the turkey as it cooks.Drain any excess liquid and return to the stove.
- Stir in the spices (garlic powder, salt, dried oregano, pepper, paprika) and stir until coated. Add in the tomatoes (entire can, not drained) and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the zucchini and squash, then add the spinach and cook 3-5 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
- Serve warm over pasta, spaghetti squash, or just in a bowl topped with a little parmesan cheese and garlic bread. Enjoy!