Cellentani pasta with ground turkey and tomato sauce

If you are looking into what to make with ground turkey, today’s recipe will not disappoint. Simple cellentani pasta with lean ground turkey and seasonal tomato sauce – this recipe is ideal for a quick meal on a weekday. It’s also a kid-friendly dinner the family will love.

Cellentani pasta with ground turkey and Sicilian tomato sauce

Simple cellentani pasta with ground turkey ( lean ground turkey calories: approx. 160 calories per 100gr), hugged by a lovely tomato sauce with olives. This easy weekday dinner is a family favourite. My boys request it on a regular basis. Psst, did you know that you can make the same dish with a different type of pasta. It will still be the same.

What I like about this pasta dish is it’s quick and super super easy without being deprived of taste. The type of meal I cook on weekdays. Hope you like it too.

Cellentani pasta – Recipe Ingredients

  1. Cellentani pasta – the brand that I like and often use is called Barilla (see here on Amazon). It’s one of the most famous (dry) pasta brands throughout Europe.
  2. Onions – onions add extra flavor to any meal, especially when sautéed in olive oil for a bit.
  3. Olive Oil, extra virgin – for sautéing onions.
  4. Lean ground turkey – you can use fresh turkey mince or frozen if preferred. I like to buy a few packs when on sale and freeze for future meals. Just make to thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.
  5. Sicilian tomato sauce – you can use a store-bought tomato sauce or a homemade version. Check out my Homemade Sicilian Tomato Sauce Recipe with fresh tomatoes, veggies and olives. It’s really good.

What is cellentani pasta

Cellentani pasta is a type of pasta, sold usually dried though out Europe (by the Barilla pasta brand). It has corkscrew shape, with tubular center and ridged surface. It stands close to Cavatappi pasta (meaning corkscrew in Italian). The main difference is the shape – taste and nutritional value is usually similar, if not the same. Due to it’s shape it’s usually consumed as dinner meal (like this one), with cheese ( as mac & cheese) or in salads.

Cellentani pasta recipe that is better than the gigi hadid pasta recipe. Easy homemade cellentani pasta dish with ground turkey (can be made with ground beef as well), basil tomato sauce with green and Kalamata olives.

How to thicken tomato sauce?

Depending on the sauce you decide to use, it might be too runny for a pasta dish. Don’t worry, here’s a proven easy method for making a tomato sauce thicker. In a saucepan (with lid) add 1-2 tbsp. of all purpose flour. Add equal amount of oil olive oil or vegetable oil). Bring to medium heat and stir until flour changes it’s colour (approx. 2-3 min.). Then add tomato sauce and stir well to combine. Let simmer for about 5-10 min max. Remove from stove and use accordingly.

If you want to explore additional ways for thickening soups, stews and sauces, check out my pretty extensive guide: HOW TO THICKEN SOUPS, STEWS, CHILI AND SAUCES (THE ULTIMATE GUIDE – 14 WAYS).

Cellentani pasta recipe with ground turkey and Sicilian tomato sauce. The perfect 30 minute dinner recipe for a cheap weekday meal.

Cellentani Pasta with ground turkey and Sicilian tomato sauce

The European Dish
Easy homemade Cellentani pasta with ground turkey and Sicilian tomato sauce. Quick weekday meal that is rich in flavour and kid- friendly too.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine European, Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 14 oz (400g) lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion peeled and minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 8-10 oz (half pack) Cellentani Pasta (Barilla brand)
  • 18 oz (400g) Sicilian tomato sauce with olives get recipe in comments


  • In a saucepan add minced onion and olive oil. Sauté until onions become golden (approx. 5 min on medium heat). Stir frequently.
  • Then add ground turkey and by constantly stirring divide into smaller chunks. Let cook completely and add tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and let simmer for additional 10 minutes on low heat.
  • In the meantime in a large saucepan with lid bring water to a boil. Add cellentani pasta (and a pinch of salt) and let simmer until cooked. Drain well from water and add to sauce.
  • Combine sauce and cooked pasta and serve warm.


  • do not add oil to water when cooking pasta, otherwise tomato sauce would not stick to pasta later on. 
  • Cook in broth (bullion cube) or add salt to water where pasta is cooked to enhance flavor. 
Keyword ground turkey, pasta, tomato sauce
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