Baked Penne with Ground Turkey

Are you looking for a nutritious meal for your family that won't break the bank? Cooking healthy doesn't always have to be super expensive. A lot of items we buy regularly can be used to make inexpensive healthy meals. This Baked Penne recipe is not only healthy but it's a quick meal on a budget, coming at just about $9.50 and can feed a family of 4 to 6 people. Switch white pasta for whole wheat pasta and use fresh ingredients as opposed to canned. Now don't be afraid of pasta.
According to Dr. Oz: Diet Myth #3: Pasta Makes You Fat
The problem with pasta is not the pasta itself – it’s more about portions. If you eat too much of anything, and don’t burn it off, your body will store it as fat. So whether it’s bread or pasta or rice, it’s about the volume and extra calories, not about the carbohydrates themselves. Add to that the heavy sauces and high-calorie cheeses, and no wonder pasta has such a bad rap.

The key here is practicing portion control. Pasta is okay in moderation. Dietitians recommend 2 or 3 ounces of uncooked noodles per person – or half of a one-pound box to serve a family of four.
5 Diet Myths Making You Gain Weight


1 box whole wheat penne - $1.62
1 lb ground turkey - $1.72
2 cups diced plum tomatoes - $1.36
1 small red onion - $0.97/lb
1 tsp garlic - $0.75/head
Salt - $1.56/lb
Pepper - $1.48/2oz can

Dinner costs $9.46 and yields 4 to 6 servings.


  • Cook penne until al dente and set aside
  • Cook turkey  in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned
  • Drain excess liquid then add salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
  • Combine turkey, cooked penne and tomatoes
  • Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
Optional: if you have some shredded cheese in you fridge, go ahead and sprinkle some on top of your pasta!