Lighter Fare / Main Dishes / Pasta / Skillet Meals / spring

Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas

Spring has finally arrived! The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. And I’m definitely ready to put those hearty winter meals behind me for now – my tastebuds are yearning for some lighter, fresher flavors!

Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas

So in honor of spring and all of its gloriousness, here’s a pasta dish that’s just perfect for a light spring supper. It’s creamy and cheesy, but still bright and fresh with a generous helping of vibrant green peas. I kept it a little on the lighter side by using milk and chicken broth instead of heavy cream and then added in some lean ground turkey (which you could totally omit for a vegetarian version).

I like to serve this as a main dish accompanied by a simple green salad. And you can’t go wrong by adding a glass of wine (or sparkling water) and a piece of homemade garlic toast.

Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas

Cook’s Tips:

  • If you can get your peas fresh from your spring garden, that’s just fabulous, but frozen peas work just as well. And if you aren’t a fan of peas then just substitute another seasonal spring veggie like asparagus or artichokes.
  • Change it up by using chicken sausage instead of ground turkey. Leave out the meat entirely and double the veggies for a vegetarian option.
  • I used extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, but use any light-colored cheese that you enjoy. Swiss, gruyere, mozzarella, or Havarti are good choices (avoid yellow cheeses unless you don’t mind a yellow sauce). You can even use a blend of cheeses like a mix of Italian-style cheeses.
  • I use milk in the recipe to keep it light, but you can make it a bit richer by substituting half and half.
  • It’s totally optional, but I like to add a squeeze of lemon and a handful of chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, dill, and/or chives) before serving.
  • The recipe calls for mini-penne pasta, but use whatever shape you like.
  • Be generous with the salt and pepper to avoid a bland-tasting sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.


Happy Spring and I hope you enjoy!

My Homemade Roots

Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas

Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas


  • 8 ounces mini penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar (or substitute your favorite melty cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup frozen peas (precook if using fresh peas)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of chopped fresh herbs (optional)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon


  1. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and ground turkey. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Use a spatula to break up the ground turkey and cook until lightly browned and fully cooked through.
  3. Add garlic to the browned turkey and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the butter and flour. Cook and stir gently for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken broth and milk. Allow the liquid to come to a gentle boil then reduce heat to low.
  6. Add the shredded cheese and stir until melted into the sauce. Add ground mustard, nutmeg, and peas. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
  8. Garnish with lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped fresh herbs (optional but highly recommended).
Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas - perfect for spring!

For more great recipes, visit my friends at:

Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Meal Plan Monday at Southern Bite

Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook


  • Jean | Delightful Repast
    April 18, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Melissa, mini penne is my favorite and most frequently used pasta, so I’ll definitely use it for this. Your photos make me want to dive right into a big plate of it for breakfast! Pinning. #FullPlateThursday

    • Melissa
      April 18, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Thank-you for the kind words! I hope you enjoy!

  • Miz Helen
    April 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Your Creamy Turkey Pasta with Peas looks delicious, I love the addition of the peas! Thanks so much for sharing your post with us this week and hope you have a very special weekend!
    Miz Helen

    • Melissa
      April 22, 2019 at 12:30 am

      Thank-you, Miz Helen. I hope you had a very Happy Easter!

  • Miz Helen
    April 26, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Your post is one of our Top Ten Post this week on Full Plate Thursday. Thanks so much for sharing it with us and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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