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One Pot Lemon Ricotta Ground Turkey Pasta with Broccoli

Who says you can’t have a cheesy pasta situation on a high protein diet? This broccoli and ground turkey pasta has nearly forty grams of protein per serving with only thirty-eight grams of carbs and eleven grams of fat.

It’s super easy to make, with everything coming together in a single pot. And it makes a big batch that’s perfect for simple weeknight dinners or Sunday meal prep.

Dutch oven with lemon ricotta ground turkey and broccoli pasta

How to Make Cheesy Broccoli and Ground Turkey Pasta (Video)

Below you’ll find a quick video tutorial in case you’d like to see a particular step in action. If you still have a question about the recipe, feel free to leave it in the comments at the bottom of this post.

Final Notes

While this recipe makes six big servings, you could easily double up on all the ingredients and add some orzo to your shopping list. That would allow you to make my lemon pepper broccoli and ground turkey orzo. Add butter, mushrooms, and sage, and you’ll have everything to make my brown butter ground turkey and mushroom orzo for a full week’s worth of meals.

I use a 5.5 quart Dutch oven from MadeIn Cookware for all my Dutch oven recipes. It’s enameled cast iron and works wonders for heat retention and cooking larger dishes like this. Different pots may require slight adjustments to cook time, especially in regards to the pasta.

All right, I’ve included everything else you need to know in the recipe card below. If you enjoy this ground turkey and broccoli pasta, I greatly appreciate recipe reviews!

Yield: 6 Servings

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Ground Turkey and Broccoli

lemon ricotta broccoli and ground turkey pasta in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

Pan roasted broccoli and lemon pepper ground turkey pasta with a cheesy lemon ricotta sauce.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
  • 8 oz Broccoli Florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Calabrian Peppers (optional)
  • 4 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 8 oz Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 3 oz Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan, freshly grated

For the Ricotta Sauce

  • 15 oz (1 3/4 cup) Low Fat Ricotta
  • Juice of 2 Lemons + Zest of 1 Lemon


  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the broccoli is vibrant green and slightly charring in spots. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining half tablespoon of oil to the pot, followed by the ground turkey. Brown one side for 3-4 minutes before breaking apart and fully cooking.
  3. To the fully cooked turkey, add the lemon pepper seasoning, garlic, and peppers. Stir together and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute.
  4. Add the pasta shells and chicken broth. Cook, uncovered, for 12-14 minutes until the pasta is just shy of al dente.
  5. While the pasta cooks, use a food processor to blend the ricotta and lemon juice/zest together until smooth.
  6. Once the pasta is nearly cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, followed by the ricotta sauce and cooked broccoli. Garnish with red pepper flakes, black pepper, additional grated parmesan, and lemon juice, if desired.


Nutrition Facts Notes

The macros were calculated with Kroger Private Selection jumbo pasta shells, 99% lean ground turkey, and Lawry's lemon pepper seasoning.

With a high protein pasta like chickpea-based Banza, each serving has 385 calories, 40 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of fat.

Swapping low fat ricotta for whole milk ricotta takes each serving to 425 calories, 35 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of fat.

Modifications & Ingredient Substitutions

The ricotta cheese sauce works fine without blending, but it will have a slightly gritty texture. For the smoothest cheese sauce, blending is necessary.

If you can't find Calabrian peppers, you can use a bit of tomato sauce, sun dried tomatoes, chili garlic sauce or another form of chile paste, or omit altogether.

You can easily turn this dish into a soup by covering the pasta as it cooks and adding a bit of milk to the ricotta sauce. See my cheesy Italian ground chicken soup for an example.

If you'd like a stronger lemon flavor, add fresh lemon zest at the end. I like to start with the zest of just one lemon to avoid an overpowering flavor.

Pan roasting the broccoli is the easiest method, but you can get even better, more evenly roasted broccoli in an air fryer or oven while the pasta cooks. Toss the broccoli florets in olive oil and roast at 450ºF for about 12-15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/6th of pasta

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gProtein: 36g


Tuesday 21st of March 2023

I just made this tonight and it’s tasty but came out much soupier than yours! Do you think the liquid needs adjusting based on the pasta? I didn’t make any substitutions other than using a different pasta.


Thursday 23rd of March 2023

@Mason Woodruff, I used trader joe's organic fusilli corti bucati pasta and just a regular pot on the stove. My leftovers are perfect though! The pasta/broccoli just soaked it all up and the consistency is what I had hoped for!

Mason Woodruff

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

Did you switch to a different shape or a different type of pasta? I could see where the lack of starch in some pastas could prevent the sauce from thickening. It could've also been a difference in cookware/burner temperature, with less water cooking off as the pasta cooks. Sorry it didn't work out for you! Curious to hear back about the type of pasta.


Tuesday 14th of March 2023

I’m loving all the lemon recipes! Just made this one tonight and it was great! Couldn’t find the peppers so used sun dried tomatoes instead like recommended. Thank you!!

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