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Simple and Healthy Italian Skillet Dinner Recipe

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Leah is a follower of the 21-Day Fix. She works in mental health.

The finished product.

The finished product.

Eating Healthy Without Getting Bored

Who says that eating healthy has to be boring or bland? Not this girl!

Have you ever had one of those nights where you're starving but exhausted—and have no leftovers in the house? I know I have. I did a quick check of my pantry and fridge and decided to make a creative blend of some of my favorite ingredients.

Pasta? Check. Ground turkey? Check. Diced tomatoes? Well, duh. I always have that in the house. Artichoke hearts? Heck yeah! Most importantly, however, is the seasonings. That's what really elevates a dish. I've known people who exist on brown rice, broccoli, and grilled chicken. While I don't mind that once in a while, my inner fat kid demands variety and flavor! This dish satisfied all of that.

Cook Time

Cook timeReady inYields

20 min

20 min

4 servings


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts
  • 1 bag (~14 oz) broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon basil leaves
  • 1/2 box whole wheat rotini pasta, or whatever kind you prefer
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Optional: crushed red pepper flakes
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  1. Boil water for the pasta, following directions on the box.
  2. Steam the broccoli as directed on the package.
  3. While the broccoli is cooking, add the extra virgin olive oil and ground turkey to a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil leaves (torn) and stir often until the turkey is cooked all the way through (no pink).
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, broccoli, and artichokes to the skillet.
  5. Drain the pasta and portion out 1/2 cup per serving. Top with 1/4 of the skillet mixture. Garnish with crushed red pepper if desired. Enjoy!

21 Day Fix Container Counts

The 21 Day Fix container counts for 1/4 of this recipe with 1/2 cup of pasta is:

  • 1 yellow container
  • 1 red container
  • 2 green containers

If you double the pasta (like I did), make sure to count the extra yellow. If you add or remove any ingredients, please be sure to adjust the container counts as well.


Since this dinner was basically thrown together, it can be altered in about a million different ways. The only thing limiting your creativity is your imagination. Below I have listed some of the ideas I came up with, but I'd love to hear yours!

  • Protein. I used ground turkey because I wanted to keep it lean and allow the protein to soak in the flavor, plus it's what I had ready to go. You don't like turkey? Don't have it handy? No worries. This dish can be made with ground beef, ground chicken, chicken breast or thighs, ground pork, or even shrimp (if you don't keep kosher). Basically any kind of protein would work.
  • Vegetarian/vegan options. This dish could benefit from any kind of beans, peas, tofu, or your favorite plant-based protein substitute. I tend to love anything made by Gardein, and most of the options are vegan, some of which are also gluten-free. Make sure to read the labels though. If you don't like those, swap the pasta out for some quinoa - did you know that it's a complete source of protein?
  • Low-carb. Cut out the pasta completely. If you have low-carb pasta, that could be tasty. If not, use cauliflower rice or just serve without the pasta. I'd probably add more broccoli or other vegetables to keep you satisfied.
  • Vegetables. I happen to love broccoli and artichoke hearts, but I understand that not everyone does. If you're one of the people who don't, feel free to use any other vegetable you like. Some that I thought of are: onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, spinach, kale, squash, or escarole. I know there's a ton more, but I'm drawing a blank.
  • Carbs. Instead of pasta, try this over a different type of carbohydrates. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, or rice would be an interesting combination with this dish.
  • Toppings. This can be dressed up with different toppings or seasonings to accommodate your palate. I think it would pair well with some sliced olives, especially. I added hot sauce to the skillet to give it an extra kick, which worked out well since we like spicy. If you want a more authentic Italian flavor, add some nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy spin. For people who don't keep kosher, a sprinkle of parmesan would be perfect! Other spices like paprika or saffron would add a vibrant color and nice flavor. I used a tiny bit of hot paprika, which was a gem that I found on my recent trip to Israel.

That's my list of variations, but I know there's a lot of others. I can't think of them right now, since it's been a very long day, but I would love for you to comment some ideas below.

What Do You Think?

© 2018 Leah

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