Dinner Time Challenges
One of the most challenging things about feeding a family is finding recipes that are healthy as well as quick. Laura Lea, of Laura Lea Balanced, has accomplished that elusive feat with this hearty, kid-approved turkeyburger helper! Most of the ingredients are pantry staples, so this meal will even cut down on your grocery bill! Give it a try and then share the recipe on your Families Connect page for all to enjoy!
Here is Laura Lea’s recipe, in her words:
Family Friendly Dinner :: Healthy Turkeyburger Helper
If I could summarize the goal of my recipe creation process, it’s to make nourishing food that never leaves you saying “well, that was good…for being healthy.” I just want my dishes to be plain ole’ no frills belly-warming GOOD.
I think I accomplish this much of the time, but I’m always kinda nail-bitey when I post a recipe, worried that my version of delicious is a little greener, a little more vegetal-funky than others’.
With today’s recipe though, I don’t have a lick of concern. When I took that first momentous forkful, I knew it certainly satisfied my craving for cozy comfort food. But then I unleashed the recipe to some of y’all who asked for the first-draft, insisting you didn’t mind any imperfections.
Well, y’all made my feel like a million bucks in your similar response to my own. This Turkeyburger Helper has quickly become a family favorite with spouses and children in a range of cities across the country! I am so tickled! Truly, it checks all the boxes you expect with a name like the classic Hamburger Helper, minus the inflammatory and fake ingredients, epic sodium count, poor quality meat and processed noodles. Oof. Instead, it is made with the highest-quality ingredients, is totally junk-free, and it is packed with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients. Also, this version is dairy-free for all my sensitive peeps out there!
Feel free to swap turkey for grass-fed beef or free-range chicken, use different vegetable based on your preference, or even use rice or quinoa instead of noodles! Also, if you don’t have access to Kite-Hill cream cheese, plain full-fat regular cream cheese will be delicious as well :).
TOTAL TIME: 35 Minutes :: Servings: 6
- 8 ounces pasta (shells or elbow work best)
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion
- 1 medium green bell pepper (sub color of choice)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (sweet or smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup plain Kite Hill Cream Cheese (sub regular if you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon white mild miso paste (optional)
- 1 cup low-sodium free range chicken broth (or the best you can do!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb free-range ground turkey (or the best you can do OR grassfed beef)
DIRECTIONS :: PREP
- Cook pasta according to package directions slightly al dente—usually 1 minute less than the lowest time suggested (i.e. 6 mins of the box suggests 7-9 mins). Rinse with cool water and drain, then set aside. If your pasta has a tendency to stick, drizzle some olive oil over it and toss.
- Dice yellow onion and bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces and mince garlic. Set aside, keeping garlic separate. In a small bowl, whisk together nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder, sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a blender, puree cream cheese, miso pasta and stock. Line a plate or shallow bowl with paper towel.
- Heat a large skillet or large pot* to medium heat and add oil. When oil moves quickly around the pan, add turkey. Cook, breaking up with a spatula, until turkey has golden brown edges. Some bits will be sticking to the pan and there should be some browning on the pan as well—this is a good thing! Empty the turkey onto your paper-towel lined plate or bowl and set aside.
- De-glaze the pan by adding enough water that you can scrape up the brown bits, and also add your onions and green bell pepper and turn to medium-low heat. Use your spatula to scrape and mix the de-glazed goodness with the veggies. Cook them, stirring frequently, until they are softened and onions are translucent, approx. 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and spice/nutritional yeast mixture to the pan with another splash of water and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened and fragrant, another 1-2 minutes.
- Add turkey, pasta and the cream cheese mixture. Stir gently to incorporate. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring, until liquid has thickened and doesn’t run around the pan, approx. 5 minutes. Taste for more salt and pepper and serve immediately! This dish should keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 5 days if the meat was fresh upon purchasing. It also should freeze beautifully for around 1 month. *if you choose a pan, it will be a little more difficult to stir everything together at the end, but using a large pot will be a bit more cumbersome for getting the turkey out—the choice is yours!
Hey y’all! I am a Certified Holistic Chef and food writer in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. My company LL Balanced is at your service to provide easy, nutritious, family-friendly recipes that will make eating healthy a pleasure and restore balance to your life. I hope you’ll stay a while!