Turkey, pasta and leek crisp

    1 hour 15 min

    This warming dish appeals to children and adults alike, so it makes an ideal family meal. It is a good example of an everyday dish in which vegetables, pasta and breadcrumbs extend a modest portion of a protein food, which, being turkey or chicken or chicken breast, means the dish is low in fat too. Serve with a salad, and a fruity pudding to follow.

    117 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 carrots, sliced
    • 400g (14 oz) leeks, sliced
    • 450ml (15 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
    • 300ml (10 fl oz) white wine or additional stock
    • 300g (10½ oz) cavatelli (fluted pasta shells) or other shapes such as fusilli (spirals)
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 400g (14 oz) turkey or chicken breast fillet, skin removed, then cut into thin strips
    • 300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • 45g (1½ oz) plain flour
    • salt and pepper
    • Topping
    • 50g (1¾ oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
    • 2 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Place the carrots and leeks in a saucepan. Add the stock and the wine, if using, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender but not soft.
    2. Drain the vegetables, reserving the stock. Place the vegetables in a large ovenproof dish. Return the stock to the pan and boil it until it is reduced to about 300 ml (10 fl oz). Set aside to cool.
    3. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain well and add to the vegetables; mix together. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5).
    4. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the sliced turkey or chicken and cook, stirring, for 5–10 minutes or until lightly browned. Use a draining spoon to remove the turkey from the pan and mix it with the pasta and vegetables.
    5. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the milk and cooled stock. Whisking constantly, sprinkle the flour into the liquid. Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil, still whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add seasoning to taste.
    6. Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture, coating it evenly. Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley, and sprinkle this evenly over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crisp and golden.

    Some more ideas

    Use spinach-flavoured pasta shapes. * The leeks and carrots can be replaced by 450 g (1 lb) broccoli florets and 170 g (6 oz) button mushrooms. Simmer the broccoli for only 4–5 minutes; cook the mushrooms – sliced if large – with the turkey.

    Plus points

    Turkey is one of the lowest-fat meats available, and most of the fat is in the skin, which is removed here. * Being a starchy carbohydrate, pasta is an excellent energy-giving and satisfying food for all the family. The energy is slowly released as the pasta is digested, so helping to prevent between-meal hunger pangs.

    Each serving provides

    A, B12, C, niacin, calcium * B1, B6, folate, copper, iron, potassium, selenium * B2

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    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (8)


    This recipe is delicious. The creamy sauce is just the right consistency. I only used one stock cube for the 750ml of stock (I didn't use any wine) but I'll use an extra half a stock cube next time. I had the breadcrumbs in the freezer so that saved time.  -  10 Nov 2008


    Used different ingredients. I used two large chicken breasts and about 3oz cheddar cheese for the topping  -  10 Nov 2008


    Great dish for me as a novice. Family enjoyed it too. Recipe which can also be altered easily to suit the family. Result.  -  16 Feb 2014