Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta

This Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner — it’s so easy and so delicious!

spicy ground turkey pasta

I love spice. And because of this love, if you open my refrigerator and look on the door shelves, you’ll see a ridiculous variety of  different jars and bottles of various spice blends, sauces, and pastes. When I’m ready to cook, I unload this mass of ingredients onto my counter and I begin. This makes me sometimes think twice about making my favorite spicy dishes when I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

But, now… things have gotten way easier…

I found my new spice blend obsession: Ayoba-Yo Spice Blend.  It’s a rare thing for me to be willing to give up my trusted spice jars, but this spice blend is so good that I’ve been able to streamline my cooking so much. This single jar is a blend of sea salt, coriander, worcestershire powder, and black pepper. And, it’s flavorful enough to use on it’s own without adding a ton of other ingredients.

As an aside, I should tell you that Ayoba-Yo makes amazing bags of Biltong (which is their version of jerky). It’s soft and spiced perfectly and really is the perfect on-the-go Paleo snack.

This Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta is so simple to make. I made it this past Saturday morning, stored it in the fridge, and then we ate it later for dinner. It’s so good!

I added some Asian flavors to this pasta, because that’s the mood I was in. The addition of ginger, rice vinegar, and aminos, really complements the spice blend. Yum.

It would be just as easy to customize this pasta with Mexican, Italian, or Indian flavors. So many pastas, so little time…

I used a grain-free chickpea pasta for this dish (see the recipe below for details). Sometimes when I do this, my family is not too happy (they like traditional pasta better), but because of the spice blend, nobody could tell it was chickpea pasta! This is the mark of an awesome recipe.

spicy ground turkey pasta

Serve this pasta with my favorite Caesar salad, and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!

spicy ground turkey pasta

Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this recipe for Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium. And, in Chinese medicine, turkey is thought of as a qi-booster, so it can be good for low energy levels.

Coriander is the main ingredient of the Ayoba-Yo spice blend, and that’s a great thing because it’s so good for digestion.

Ginger is  a Chinese herb. In it’s raw form it’s called Sheng Jiang. This herb is especially good during cold weather months and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. And, when summer is turning into fall, or fall is turning into winter,  those are great times to add ginger into your diet, to prevent those winter colds that seem to pop up often.

Ghee is a clarified butter that has had the milk solids removed and it is lactose free. And, it has the delicious taste of butter.  It has a high smoking point, and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I recommend buying organic ghee if possible. Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.

spicy ground turkey pasta

Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta
Recipe type: grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free
Cuisine: pasta, meat, simple, Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This spicy ground turkey pasta is a great quick meal with tons of flavor and tons of health benefits.
  • 8-oz pasta (I used a grain-free chickpea pasta), cooked al dente, and drained
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling at the end
  • 1 Tbs Ayoba-Yo spice blend
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp date or coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbs ghee
  • fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  1. Heat 2 Tbs oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the meat, and stir, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the meat is not pink any longer, add the Ayoba-Yo spice blend and the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the ginger, sugar, vinegar, and aminos.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer 10 mins.
  7. Remove from heat, and stir in the ghee and the cooked pasta.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!

spicy ground turkey pasta

Paleo Beefaroni

If you liked beefaroni when you were a kid, you will love this healthy grownup Paleo Beefaroni!

paleo beefaroni

Sometimes people who don’t know me really well tell me they are intimidated to cook for me. The prevailing thought is that I only eat gourmet, chef-y kind of foods. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m going to admit something to you now: my all-time favorite go-to comfort food is a bowl of pasta with ketchup. I know… gross, right? Granted, I use chickpea or almond pasta and sometimes I use homemade ketchup, but still… pasta with ketchup. I love it… don’t judge me…

When I was a kid, I ate lots of food from cans. My siblings and I loved it. Our cupboards were filled with canned raviolis, beefaroni, spaghetti-O’s, and more. I remember coming home from school, opening up a can, and eating straight from the can with a fork without even heating it up. I wouldn’t touch that food today, but I do love to take these simple comfort foods and healthy them up.

A lot of people think I’m a vegan or a vegetarian. Nope.  It’s just another common misconception. I’m not a vegan. Not even a vegetarian.  I do go through veg phases, but I feel best with a little meat in my diet. But, I feel strongly about making sure that meat is organic and grass-fed. Non-organic beef has too many hormones in it that increase estrogen in your body… and this is not good for anyone. Combining great quality beef with a paleo pasta (I used a chickpea pasta here), turns old fashioned beefaroni into a nutrient-packed healthy meal. Hmmm…. maybe next time I’ll add a little kale or spinach…

When I made this paleo beefaroni recipe, I made a huge pot of it because instinctively I knew that it would be a bit hit with everyone I came in contact with.

If you know me at all, you know that there is always a pot of something on the stove — oftentimes, something experimental. And, if you open my fridge — which I encourage all of my guests to do freely and often — you will always find a few leftovers. So, I made a huge pot of paleo beefaroni, and I put the big pot in the fridge. Over the next few days, it was gone. It’s really good and it reheats really well.

So, make a big pot of this. I mean, if you have guests or a big family, or some pasta-loving friends, make sure you at least double this recipe. You won’t be sorry.

For another great pasta fix, try my recipe for Paleo Pasta Carbonara.

paleo beefaronipaleo beefaroni

Here are some of the healing powers in this paleo beefaroni recipe:

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular… I used a chickpea penne for this recipe and it was awesome!

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I recommend using grass-fed organic ground beef for this recipe.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. You can add as many fresh tomatoes as you like to this recipe.

paleo beefaroni

Paleo Beefaroni
Recipe type: pasta
Cuisine: paleo, comfort food, beef, meat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This is 100% more delicious than old-fashioned canned beefaroni. This paleo version is delicious, simple, and so healthy!
  • 8 oz pasta (I used this paleo chickpea pasta), but you can use an almond pasta to keep this totally Paleo
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 oz jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce (I like this one)
  • 1 lb grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) (I used a vegan Parmesan)
  1. Cook pasta al dente. Note: when cooking paleo pastas, I recommend checking them at least 2 or 3 minutes sooner than the package recommends; if you overcook it even a little, it turns into glue! When it's done, drain it.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and beef and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring, and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are softened.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the meat sauce. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Ladle into bowls.
  8. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

paleo beefaroni