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Feed body and soul by giving your next Italian meal a nutritious twist

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Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:40 am, Sat May 17, 2014.

(BPT) - It is said that Italian food nourishes the body and soul by celebrating fresh ingredients prepared with love. Using care when selecting ingredients for your next Italian meal can be the difference between heavier fare and something family members can feel good about, especially at a time when many are striving to eat more nutritious foods. With some simple adjustments, such as switching to lean ground turkey in recipes that call for ground beef, it’s easy to eat well without sacrificing taste.

Through its Make The Switch campaign, Jennie-O Turkey Store challenges people across America to make more nutritious decisions by replacing ground beef with JENNIE-O Lean Ground Turkey or Lean Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey in their favorite recipes. A delicious and versatile protein, ground turkey is an easy substitute in recipes that typically call for ground beef.

Lean ground turkey lends itself to a wide range of meals, from mouth-watering pasta dishes to spicy meatball dinners. Here are some simple tips for giving your recipes a satisfying and nutritious twist using lean ground turkey.

Tasty tips for easy Italian meals with lean ground turkey

Baked turkey rigatoni: If you’re looking for a quick and tasty weeknight meal that is sure to please your family, try baked turkey rigatoni.Fill your house with the tantalizing aroma of baked rigatoni pasta made with prepared spaghetti sauce, provolone and mozzarella cheeses, browned lean ground turkey and fat free sour cream. Delizioso.

Mini turkey meatballs: Instead of making meatballs out of sausage, substitute lean ground turkey and combine with your favorite seasonings. Shape into 1-1/4 inch balls and bake until well done, add to spaghetti sauce and serve atop steaming pasta. Or make a hearty and satisfying Italian Meatball Sub: split a submarine roll and top with four piping hot turkey meatballs, spaghetti sauce and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Savory turkey Tuscan bean and tomato soup: Food is love when it comes to family, and there’s nothing that delivers comfort more than a bowl of delicious homemade soup. Give your next batch of soup a Tuscan twist using Lean Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey. Cook turkey as specified on the package, add canned Great Northern beans, a can of diced tomatoes and reduced sodium chicken broth for a spicy, steamy treat that you’ll feel good about feeding your family.

Turkey tips: Always remember to cook turkey to 165 F. as measured by a meat thermometer. Cooking turkey to the right temperature not only ensures a safe meal, but it also achieves the most delicious taste and the perfect, never-dry tenderness that your family will love.

Share the love and feel the love. Do you have a favorite recipe idea that includes nutritious ingredients like lean ground turkey? Share your love of tasty lean ground turkey with #jennieo or by submitting recipes to http://www.facebook.com/jennieoturkey.

Make your next Italian meal a masterpiece by making these simple more nutritious choices. And remember, Italian dishes are best enjoyed when surrounded by family and friends. For more delicious recipes made with lean ground turkey, ideas, tips and food safety information, visit jennieo.com.

Baked Turkey Rigatoni

Makes: 8 servings

Prep time: Less than 30 minutes

Total time: Less than 1 hour

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) package rigatoni pasta

1 (20-ounce) package JENNIE-O Lean Ground Turkey

1 cup diced onion

2 (26-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

6 slices Provolone cheese

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat oven to 350 F. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook 12 minutes or until al dente; drain. Return to same pan. In large skillet, cook turkey as specified on the package. Always cook to well-done, 165 F. as measured by a meat thermometer. Add onion and sauce; simmer 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened and onion is soft. Mist a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add turkey mixture to pasta. Stir to combine. Layer half of turkey mixture in dish. Top with Provolone cheese. Spread with sour cream. Top with remaining turkey mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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