Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Looking for a twist on the classic spaghetti carbonara? This turkey pasta carbonara recipe is a delightful variation. Using tender turkey and a creamy gravy-based sauce, this unique dish is sure to be a hit. Whether you're cooking for a holiday gathering or a simple weeknight dinner, this pasta dish is a hearty and satisfying meal.

Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe
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While most of the ingredients for this recipe are readily available in a typical kitchen, a few may need to be sourced from your local supermarket. The key ingredient that sets this dish apart is the mccormick simply better turkey gravy. This rich and flavorful base gives the carbonara sauce its unique taste. Another special ingredient is the turkey, which can be leftover from a holiday meal or bought fresh.

Ingredients for Turkey Pasta Carbonara

Spaghetti: This forms the base of the dish and is the item that the sauce clings to.

Bacon: Adds a salty, smoky flavor that complements the creamy sauce.

Onion: Provides a slight sweetness and texture to the dish.

Garlic: Gives a rich and aromatic flavor that deepens the taste of the sauce.

Turkey gravy: The main component of the sauce that provides a rich, savory flavor.

Heavy cream: Adds creaminess and richness to the sauce.

Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty, nutty flavor and helps thicken the sauce.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Black pepper: Adds a slight heat and enhances the flavors.

Peas: Provides a pop of color and a slight sweetness.

Turkey: The protein of the dish that adds heartiness.

Parsley: Used for garnishing. Adds a slight peppery flavor.

One reader, Effie Nathan says:

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This turkey pasta carbonara recipe is a game-changer! The combination of turkey, bacon, and creamy sauce is simply divine. The flavors blend perfectly, and the dish is so comforting. It's become a family favorite in no time. Highly recommend trying it out!

Effie Nathan

Key Techniques for Perfecting Turkey Pasta Carbonara

How to cook the spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package directions.

How to crisp the bacon: Place the bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, then drain them on paper towels.

How to sauté the onion and garlic: Add the onion to the remaining bacon fat in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Then, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

How to make the gravy sauce: Add McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy and the cream to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until just thickened. Stir in the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

How to combine the pasta and sauce: Drain the pasta and add it to the gravy sauce along with the turkey, peas, and bacon. Toss to combine.

How to serve: Sprinkle with parsley, serve, and enjoy!

How To Make Turkey Pasta Carbonara

Pasta lovers are going to love a plate of this savory pasta carbonara! It comes with filling pieces of turkey and crunchy bacon for a delectable meal.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • 12ozspaghetti
  • 6slicesbaconchopped
  • ¼cuponionminced
  • 2tspgarlicminced
  • 12ozMcCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy
  • ½cupheavy cream
  • ½cupparmesan cheesegrated, plus more for serving
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ¼tspMcCormick Ground Black Pepper
  • ½cuppeasthawed from frozen
  • 2cupsturkeycooked, diced
  • 2tbspparsleychopped


  1. Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package directions.

  2. Place the bacon in a large pan over medium high heat.

  3. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and crisp.

  4. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, then drain them on paper towels.

  5. Add the onion to the remaining bacon fat in the pan.

  6. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened.

  7. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

  8. Add McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy and the cream to the pan.

  9. Bring to a simmer.

  10. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until just thickened.

  11. Stir in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

  12. Drain the pasta.

  13. Add the pasta to the gravy sauce along with the turkey, peas and bacon.

  14. Toss to combine.

  15. Sprinkle with parsley, serve, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 558.54kcal
  • Fat: 26.80g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.66g
  • Trans Fat: 0.07g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.58g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.53g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.45g
  • Fiber: 2.86g
  • Sugar: 3.60g
  • Protein: 28.30g
  • Cholesterol: 89.47mg
  • Sodium: 754.62mg
  • Calcium: 188.90mg
  • Potassium: 428.05mg
  • Iron: 2.06mg
  • Vitamin A: 128.25µg
  • Vitamin C: 7.42mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Mastering Turkey Pasta Carbonara

When cooking the bacon, ensure it's crispy but not burnt. The crispiness will add a delightful texture to the pasta dish, while overcooking it can result in a bitter taste. Also, when adding the pasta to the gravy sauce, ensure the pasta is drained well. Excess water can dilute the sauce and affect the overall flavor of the dish. Lastly, when tossing the pasta, turkey, peas, and bacon together, do it gently to avoid breaking the pasta strands.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and measure ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that allow you to cook everything in a single pot or pan to minimize cleanup.

Kitchen organization: Keep your kitchen tidy and organized to easily locate ingredients and utensils while cooking.

Time-saving tools: Utilize kitchen gadgets like food processors and slow cookers to expedite meal preparation.

Efficient multitasking: Plan and execute tasks simultaneously to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe

  • turkey - Substitute with chicken: Chicken can be used as a substitute for turkey in this recipe, providing a similar texture and flavor profile.

  • bacon - Substitute with pancetta: Pancetta is a suitable substitute for bacon, as it offers a similar salty, savory flavor and texture.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for onions, providing a milder and slightly sweeter flavor to the dish.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a convenient alternative with a slightly milder flavor.

  • turkey gravy - Substitute with chicken gravy: Chicken gravy can be used as a substitute for turkey gravy, offering a similar savory and rich flavor to the dish.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with half and half: Half and half can be used as a substitute for heavy cream, providing a lighter option with a slightly lower fat content.

  • parmesan cheese - Substitute with pecorino romano: Pecorino Romano can be used as a substitute for Parmesan cheese, offering a similar sharp and salty flavor to the dish.

  • peas - Substitute with edamame: Edamame can be used as a substitute for peas, providing a similar pop of color and texture to the dish.

  • turkey - Substitute with chicken: Chicken can be used as a substitute for turkey in this recipe, providing a similar texture and flavor profile.

  • parsley - Substitute with chives: Chives can be used as a substitute for parsley, offering a mild onion flavor and a pop of color to the dish.

How to Beautifully Present Turkey Pasta Carbonara

  1. Elevate the pasta: Gently twirl the spaghetti into a nest shape using tongs for an elegant presentation. This creates a visually appealing base for the carbonara.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the dish to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the rich flavors of the carbonara.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crispy element, such as a delicate parmesan crisp or a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs, to provide a delightful contrast to the creamy pasta.

  4. Utilize elegant serving ware: Present the turkey pasta carbonara in a sophisticated, shallow bowl or on a sleek, modern plate to enhance the visual appeal and elevate the dining experience.

  5. Artful drizzling: Before serving, delicately drizzle a touch of high-quality olive oil in a circular motion over the pasta for a luxurious finishing touch.

  6. Balance and symmetry: Arrange the peas and turkey evenly throughout the dish, ensuring a harmonious balance of ingredients in each serving.

  7. Attention to detail: Wipe the rim of the plate clean and ensure that the presentation is flawless, reflecting the precision and care put into crafting this exquisite dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Turkey Pasta Carbonara

  • Cutting board: A flat, sturdy surface used for cutting, chopping, and preparing ingredients.

  • Chef's knife: A versatile, all-purpose knife used for slicing, dicing, and chopping various ingredients.

  • Large pot: A deep cooking vessel used for boiling pasta or other ingredients.

  • Large pan: A wide, shallow cooking vessel used for sautéing, frying, or simmering ingredients.

  • Slotted spoon: A spoon with slots or holes that allow liquids to drain as you lift and serve food.

  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen tool with perforations used to drain liquids from food, such as pasta or vegetables.

  • Grater: A tool used to grate or shred ingredients like cheese, vegetables, or spices.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Tools used to accurately measure and portion ingredients for recipes.

  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for blending, whipping, and incorporating air into ingredients.

  • Tongs: A versatile tool used for gripping, lifting, and turning food items while cooking.

  • Pasta pot: A specialized pot with a strainer insert designed for cooking and draining pasta.

  • Saucepan: A medium-sized, deep cooking pot with a handle and often a lid, used for heating and cooking sauces, soups, and other liquids.

  • Garlic press: A tool used to crush and mince garlic cloves quickly and efficiently.

  • Gravy boat: A serving vessel designed for pouring and serving gravy or sauces at the table.

  • Pasta server: A utensil with a flat, wide head and long handle, specifically designed for serving and portioning pasta.

Storing and Freezing Turkey Pasta Carbonara: A Guide

  • Allow the turkey pasta carbonara to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, transfer the cooled pasta to an airtight container. It will keep well for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the turkey pasta carbonara:
    • Divide the cooled pasta into individual serving-sized portions and place them in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags.
    • Squeeze out any excess air from the bags to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    • Place the containers or bags in the freezer, where they will keep for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat the frozen turkey pasta carbonara:
    • Remove the desired portion from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Transfer the thawed pasta to a microwave-safe dish and reheat in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
    • Alternatively, you can reheat the pasta in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, stirring gently to prevent sticking and burning.
  • If the reheated pasta appears dry, you can add a splash of heavy cream or chicken broth to help restore its creamy texture.
  • Garnish the reheated turkey pasta carbonara with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese before serving for a fresh flavor and presentation.

The Best Methods for Reheating Leftover Turkey Pasta Carbonara

  • Reheat the turkey pasta carbonara in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until it's heated through. This method helps to preserve the creamy texture of the sauce and prevents the pasta from becoming mushy.
  • If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of heavy cream or milk to loosen it up and restore its original consistency.
  • For individual portions, place the desired amount of turkey pasta carbonara on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the sauce to separate.
  • To reheat larger portions, transfer the turkey pasta carbonara to a baking dish, cover it with foil, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  • For a crispy top, remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking and sprinkle some extra parmesan cheese on top.
  • To add a fresh touch to your reheated turkey pasta carbonara, garnish it with some freshly chopped parsley or basil before serving.
  • If you have any leftover bacon, crisp it up in a pan and crumble it over the reheated pasta for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

Interesting Fact About Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe

The turkey pasta carbonara recipe is a delicious twist on the classic carbonara, using turkey and turkey gravy for a unique flavor. It's a great way to use up leftover turkey from holiday meals. This recipe is a perfect combination of creamy, savory, and comforting flavors, making it a popular choice for family dinners. It's also a versatile dish that can be easily customized with different ingredients such as mushrooms or spinach. Enjoy this hearty and satisfying meal any time of the year!

Is Making Turkey Pasta Carbonara at Home Cost-Effective?

This turkey pasta carbonara recipe is fairly cost-effective for a household. The use of turkey as a protein source is budget-friendly, and the addition of peas provides a nutritious and affordable vegetable option. The incorporation of bacon and parmesan cheese adds flavor without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it a reasonable choice for a family meal. Overall, this recipe rates a solid 8 for cost-effectiveness, offering a satisfying and economical option for a delicious dinner.

Is Turkey Pasta Carbonara Healthy or Unhealthy?

The turkey pasta carbonara recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • The recipe includes high-fat ingredients such as bacon, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease.
  • The use of processed turkey gravy may contain added sodium and preservatives, which can be detrimental to overall health when consumed in excess.
  • The dish is high in calories due to the combination of pasta, meat, and creamy sauce, which may lead to weight gain if consumed frequently or in large portions.

However, the recipe does include some nutritious elements, such as the use of turkey (a lean protein source) and the addition of peas (a vegetable that provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals).

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap the bacon for a leaner alternative, such as turkey bacon or prosciutto, to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Use whole wheat pasta instead of regular spaghetti to increase the fiber content and provide a slower release of carbohydrates.
  • Replace the heavy cream with a lower-fat alternative, such as half-and-half or evaporated skim milk, to reduce the calorie and fat content without sacrificing creaminess.
  • Prepare a homemade turkey gravy using low-sodium broth and natural thickeners like arrowroot or cornstarch to control the amount of salt and avoid processed ingredients.
  • Increase the amount of peas or add other vegetables, such as spinach or mushrooms, to boost the nutrient content and provide additional fiber.
  • Use a smaller amount of Parmesan cheese or opt for a lower-fat variety to reduce the overall fat and calorie content of the dish.

Editor's Opinion: Thoughts on Turkey Pasta Carbonara

This turkey pasta carbonara recipe is a delightful twist on the classic carbonara. The combination of turkey, bacon, and creamy gravy sauce creates a rich and savory flavor profile. The addition of peas adds a pop of freshness, while the parmesan cheese and parsley provide a nice finishing touch. The use of McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy adds convenience without sacrificing taste. Overall, this recipe offers a satisfying and comforting meal that is sure to please the whole family.

Enhance Your Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: A warm and crispy garlic bread would be the perfect accompaniment to this creamy turkey pasta carbonara. The garlic flavor will complement the savory bacon and turkey, while the crunch of the bread adds a delightful texture to the meal.
Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, and bell peppers, would provide a colorful and nutritious side to balance out the richness of the carbonara. The caramelized edges of the vegetables will add a touch of sweetness to the dish.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple, would offer a light and fruity contrast to the creamy pasta. The natural sweetness of the fruits will cleanse the palate between bites of the savory carbonara.

Delicious Alternatives to Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken and rich alfredo sauce will leave you wanting more.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: These colorful and flavorful vegetable skewers are perfect for a summer barbecue. The charred veggies are a great addition to any meal.
Berry Cobbler: This sweet and fruity dessert is the perfect way to end a meal. The warm, bubbling berries topped with a buttery crust will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Turkey Pasta Carbonara

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Combine creamy spinach and artichoke with a blend of cheeses for a rich and savory dip that pairs perfectly with crispy tortilla chips or warm bread.
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs to stuff into tender mushroom caps, then bake until golden and delicious for a satisfying and flavorful appetizer.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and creamy texture will melt in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender cinnamon-spiced apples and a crispy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch.

Why trust this Turkey Pasta Carbonara Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful twist on the classic carbonara, using turkey as a lean and flavorful alternative to traditional pancetta or guanciale. The rich and creamy turkey gravy adds depth of flavor, while the addition of peas brings a pop of color and freshness. With the perfect balance of parmesan cheese and heavy cream, this dish promises a luscious and satisfying dining experience. Trust in the combination of quality ingredients and expertly crafted flavors to elevate your pasta carbonara to new heights.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let us know if you have any tips or variations for this delicious Turkey Pasta Carbonara recipe!
What can I use as a substitute for turkey gravy?
You can substitute the turkey gravy with chicken or vegetable broth for a lighter flavor, or with a cream-based sauce for a richer taste.
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer, such as fettuccine, penne, or rigatoni. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the sauce and toss it with freshly cooked pasta.
Can I omit the bacon from the recipe?
Absolutely! If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can omit the bacon and sauté the onions in olive oil or butter for a delicious meat-free carbonara.
How can I make this dish creamier?
To make the dish creamier, you can increase the amount of heavy cream or add a bit of cream cheese to the sauce for a richer texture.

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