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Ground Turkey Orzo in Tomato Sauce

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Ground Turkey Orzo in Tomato Sauce is a hearty meal packed with flavor! Ground turkey, orzo pasta, heavy cream, tomato sauce, and a few other savory goodies combine to make a creamy comfort meal that is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.

Ground Turkey is one of the cheapest meats you’ll find in the meat aisle. Its versatility allows it to take on additional flavors and it can be used in many different recipes like my Teriyaki Ground Turkey With Rice, or this delicious Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet.

Bowl of ground turkey orzo in tomato sauce.

Creamy Tomato Ground Turkey Orzo

This Ground Turkey Orzo in Tomato Sauce recipe welcomes your choice of vegetables to be incorporated. If you have some extra veggies lying around they’ll likely fit right at home soaking up the flavors of the tomato sauce, turkey, and parmesan cheese.

This dish is easily paired with a side of Dutch Oven Bread and/or salad. And, leftovers are easily stored in the fridge or freezer for future meals.

Recipe ingredients in bowls including ground turkey, spinach, chopped onion, tomato sauce, heavy cream, grated parmesan, orzo, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Recipe Ingredients

The best part of this recipe is how very little the ingredients cost. The second-best part is how easy it is!
The following is a quick overview of the recipe ingredients.

Detailed ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

  • LEAN GROUND TURKEY – You can buy lean ground turkey fresh or frozen. If using frozen, be sure to thaw completely before frying.
  • ORZO PASTA – Orzo pasta adds texture to many dishes. Something I always have on hand.
  • PARMESAN CHEESE – I love freshly grated parmesan cheese, but you can use any parmesan found at your grocer.
  • BABY SPINACH – If you can’t find baby spinach, just slice bigger leaves in half.
  • YELLOW ONION – I used yellow onion for this recipe, but red or white onions will also work.
  • GARLIC – Fresh garlic is best but if you’re on the go, pre-minced garlic is an option.
  • ITALIAN SEASONING – Italian seasoning can be made by dicing basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
  • TOMATO SAUCE – Canned tomato sauce is cheap and easy to use.
  • HEAVY CREAM – Anything with heavy cream is sure to taste amazing. You can use coconut milk, but the flavor will change.
  • WATER – I just used regular tap water.
Four images showing various steps to make recipe. First is raw ground turkey and onion, second is liquid with ground beef, third is spinach and grated parmesan dumped over tomato sauce mixture, fourth is ground turkey orzo recipe.

How To Make Ground Turkey Orzo in Tomato Sauce

With a few simple and cheap ingredients, this dish can be prepped and served in under 45 minutes.

For full instructions in the recipe card, scroll to the bottom of the page.

  1. FRY – Place a frying pan on the stove at medium-high heat and add a little cooking oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Give that a stir and cook until the onions become translucent.
  2. ADD – Add the ground turkey to the pan and break apart using a wooden spatula. Cook until the turkey has browned and no longer pink.
  3. DRAIN – Drain the excess grease by folding a single sheet of paper towel a few times and with your wooden spatula, stir it along the bottom of the pan.
  4. COOK – Add the Italian seasoning and orzo pasta. Allow that to cook for 1 minute.
  5. SIMMER – Keeping the heat at medium-high, add the tomato sauce, water, and heavy cream. Stir, and bring that to a boil. Now, with the heat at low medium, simmer for around 10 minutes or when the orzo is soft. Be sure to stir often to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. MIX – Once finished, remove the pan from heat, and add then mix the grated parmesan cheese and spinach. Cover, and let that sit for about 3-4 minutes, then serve.

PRO TIP: Dice up a fresh sprig of parsley and sprinkle over the top as a garnish.

Close up of ground turkey orzo in a tomato sauce, sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese.

Storing Leftovers

  • FREEZER – This recipe contains cream which may separate during the thawing process. A slow heat over the stove will bring it back to life. Store frozen for 2-3 months.
  • FRIDGE – Store in the fridge covered for 1-2 days. Reheat with a microwave or stovetop.
A pot of ground turkey orzo with tomato sauce.

Recipe Tips

  • DON’T RINSE – Orzo should only be rinsed if you are adding it to a baked dish or, served cold, like in a salad. Washing it removes the starch coating which helps to hold onto sauces. For this recipe, we want the orzo to hold onto the sauce.
  • AL DENTE – For a firmer orzo pasta, reduce simmering time to 8 minutes.
  • THICK SAUCE? – As the sauce cools, it will continue thickening. Add a tbsp of water to loosen it up.

Ground Turkey Orzo in Tomato Sauce should be added to everyone’s, “delicious and easy to make”, list. It’s cheap, simple, uses nourishing ingredients, and takes no time at all to prep, cook, and serve.

Bowl of ground turkey orzo in tomato sauce.

Tomato Ground Turkey Orzo

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to a pot over medium high heat with a bit of cooking oil. Cook until onion turns translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
    Pot of cooked chopped onions.
  • Add in the ground turkey and break apart using a spatula. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease by swishing a paper towel along the bottom of the pan with the spatula.
    Ground turkey with onions, first uncooked, second cooked in a pot.
  • Next add the tomato sauce, water, heavy cream, italian seasoning and orzo. Stir together, bring to a very gentle boil then reduce heat to let simmer. Stir frequently with a spatula, scraping along the bottom to prevent the orzo from sticking. Cook until the sauce has reduced and orzo is cooked, about 10 minutes. 
    Two images of recipe ingredients dumped into pot in various stages.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, then mix in the grated parmesan and spinach. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
    Two images of a white pot, first with tomato mixture, second with spinach and parmesan dumped in.
  • The sauce will begin to thicken as it cools. Scoop into bowls and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.
    A pot with ground turkey orzo recipe


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 713IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving.

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