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Creamy Turkey & Artichoke Bake – Recipe!

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Easy weeknight dinners is something I am pretty good at, having raised a son while working full time.  I think sitting down at the table over a simple, but delicious meal is very important – a time to catch up on activities and social events.  During the week I like to keep it a little lighter, so I can indulge a bit more on the weekends and eating lean protein is a good way to go, especially if you can combine it with some seasonal vegetables like artichokes and peas.  In this easy recipe for Creamy Turkey & Artichoke Bake, these fresh simple flavors make a delightful weeknight meal.

I use Jenny-O Roasted Turkey in this recipe because its perfectly cooke – they have already done the work for you.  Simply dice up the roasted turkey into chunks, and add it along with the artichoke hearts and peas to the light creamy sauce.  Brown rice pasta adds a whole grain twist, for  an even healthier take on this dish.  You can make the pasta bake ahead and warm it up in the oven right before serving.  I like to pair this Creamy Turkey & Artichoke Bake with a freshly tossed green salad.

Ingredients

1 pound brown rice penne pasta

2 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 cups low-fat milk

4 ounces Neufchatel cheese or light cream cheese

1 1/4 pounds Jenny-O Roasted Turkey Breast

14 ounces canned or frozen artichoke hearts, drained

1 /2 fresh or frozen peas

1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups Pecorino cheese, divided

(Serves 6)

To Prepare:

1. Boil brown rice pasta for 8 minutes, drain and reserve.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Slice the artichokes, rinse the peas, remove the Neufchatel from packaging and grate the cheese.  In a large pot over medium heat, add butter and cornstarch.  Whisk until combined, about 1 minute.

2.  Add the milk and Neufchatel cheese to the pot and whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes.  The milk mixture will thicken slightly.  Then, add the oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper and mustard, whisk until combined.

3.  Dice up the turkey and add it to the sauce, along with the artichokes and peas.  Stir to warm and combine the flavors, about 2 minutes.

4.  Toss in the cooked pasta and 1 cup of Pecorino cheese, stir to combine.  Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and lightly browned.  Serve family-style on the table.  Enjoy!

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