Like many people I suspect that I consider a turkey as being just for Christmas, and not for all year round consumption. Which is a shame, as turkey is delicious – I think it tastes like a gamey chicken – low in fat, high in protein and affordable. When I was recently challenged to develop a family friendly turkey recipe to feed 4 for under £10, I relished the chance to make a delicious dish that everyone could enjoy, and came up with a turkey pasta bake with a creamy ham and mushroom sauce.
I love pasta bakes, including this turkey version – you can prepare them ahead and cook the next day, or freeze for up to a month. If times are hard you can easily eek them out by adding more pasta and a handful of frozen peas and corn. The sauce tastes deliciously creamy, but is lighter on calories and fat as I made it with a mixture of milk and chicken stock.
This turkey pasta bake makes the perfect weekend lunch. If you are extra hungry then some crusty bread would go with it perfectly. Leftovers are boxed up ready for the microwave for a work lunch.
Total cost (according to Ocado) £6.73 plus the vegetables. Certainly enough left over for some fruit for pudding and a dishwasher tablet!
- 25 g / 1oz butter 11p
- 25 g / 1oz flour 3p
- 100 ml chicken stock 9p
- 300 ml / 1/2 pint milk 21p
- 15 ml olive oil dessert spoon, 6p
- 1/2 medium onion – chopped 10p
- 100 g / 40z mushrooms – sliced 40p
- 500 g / 1lb diced turkey breast £2.99
- 100 g / 4oz cooked ham or bacon – cut into small squares £1.50
- 200 g / 8oz pasta shapes 40p
- 1 slice bread – lightly toasted and crumbled 8p
- 50 g / 2oz cheddar – grated 27p
- Salt and pepper
Sauce – In a medium saucepan melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook over a gentle heat for a few minutes. Slowly add stock and milk a little at a time, stirring all the time to stop lumps forming. Allow to gently simmer and thicken for 10 minutes taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan.
Place the oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the onion on a medium heat for a few minutes until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a plate. Add the turkey and ham to the pan and fry for 10 minutes until cooked.
Meanwhile boil the pasta in a large pan until cooked. Drain, reserving some of the water, and return to the pan.
Add the sauce, onions, mushrooms, turkey and ham to the pasta and mix well. Add in some of the pasta water if needed to loosen.
Transfer to an oven proof gratin or lasagna dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, top with the cheese and bake at GM4 / 180C / 350F for about 12 minutes until piping hot and the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately with your choice of vegetables.
Omit the mushrooms and add peas and corn to the bake.
For a more grown up version add chorizo in place of the ham and top with blue cheese.
Lean on Turkey is all about inspiring families to use more fresh turkey in their weekly meals. As well as being great value, fresh turkey is really simple to cook with, high in protein, low in saturated fat and a good source of natural vitamins and minerals. For more fresh turkey recipes visit Lean on Turkey.
This turkey pasta bake recipe was commissioned by Lean on Turkey.