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family friendly dinner healthy turkeyburger helper

Family Friendly Dinner :: Healthy Turkeyburger Helper

Dinner Time Challenges

family friendly dinner turkey burger helperOne 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 family friendly dinner turkey burgerhelpery’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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In a blender, puree cream cheese, miso pasta and stock. Line a plate or shallow bowl with paper towel.


  1. 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.
  2. De-glazefamily friendly dinner turkeyburger helper 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.
  3. 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!

laura lea healthy turkeyburger helperLaura Lea Balanced

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!

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