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Turkey and tomato pasta cake recipe

Turkey and tomato pasta cake recipe

24 ratings

Lasagne isn't the only pasta bake to make as this 'cake' with rigatoni and a turkey ragu reminds us. Turkey mince with passata and softened carrot and onion makes a lighter-than-usual pasta sauce. It's layered in a cake tin between spoonfuls of pasta and hunks of mozzarella before baking. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 20 mins to prepare and 50 mins to cook
  • 498 calories / serving


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g lean turkey mince
  • 430g tomato passata
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 400g dried rigatoni pasta shapes
  • 200g mozzarella, drained and cubed
  • 4tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
If you don't have mince, cut open some sausages instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    15g 22%
  • Saturates

    7g 37%
  • Sugars

    11g 12%
  • Salt

    1.5g 24%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 60.5g Protein 32.8g Fibre 4.8g


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, 170°C fan, 375°F, gas 5. Line the base of a 23cm (9in) round, springform cake tin with nonstick baking paper or foil and grease the base and sides with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and carrot over a low-medium heat for 8 minutes, until soft and lightly coloured. Turn up the heat and add the garlic and turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When the turkey is no longer pink, add the passata and chicken stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than the pack instructions suggest. It should be almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain in a colander, refresh under a cool tap and drain again. Toss with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Spread a third of the rigatoni over the base of the tin and top with a third of the turkey sauce. Top with another third of rigatoni, another third of sauce and half the mozzarella cheese. Finish with the last of the pasta, the last of the sauce, the remaining mozzarella and all of the Parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden on top. Rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges. If the pasta is to be eaten warm, release the tin at this stage and cut the pasta into wedges with a sharp knife, like a cake. If it is to be eaten cold, allow to cool completely in the tin before cutting – it will be easier to slice that way.

Tip: This is an extremely versatile bake; it can be eaten warm for supper, cut into wedges, and/or cooled and enjoyed as part of a picnic or packed lunch. Using low-fat turkey mince instead of beef means the bake is still really nice cold, with no unpleasant, solidified fat in the meat. It also freezes well, making it easy to portion up any leftovers and freeze for a later date.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Once the dish has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To re-heat: Loosely cover with foil and bake until dish is thoroughly heated through. Re-heat until piping hot.

See more Turkey recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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