Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta

This Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta is an easy way to use up leftover holiday turkey! With bowtie pasta, basil pesto and lemon zest, carbonara style

Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta
Elise Bauer

Leftover turkey anyone? Welcome to my new favorite way of putting turkey leftovers to good use.

This is a quick and easy "carbonara" style pasta dish, with bow tie pasta, onions, chopped cooked turkey, and a couple of eggs mixed with basil pesto and lemon zest to help make a creamy sauce.

So good!

I ate the whole batch. Not in one sitting, mind you, as much as I wanted to, but over several days.

It reheats well. I used prepared basil pesto, but any good green pesto would work well, as long as it includes Parmesan cheese and garlic.

Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta
Elise Bauer

Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings


  • Salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • Zest from one lemon

  • 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto

  • 1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 heaping cup chopped onion (about one medium onion)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat (leftover turkey thigh meat works great)

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Boil salted water for pasta:

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp of salt for every 2 quarts of water. (While the water is coming to a boil, prep the ingredients to save time.)

  2. Make egg, zest, pesto sauce:

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and pesto. Set aside.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Cook the pasta:

    Add the pasta to the boiling water. The pasta should take 10 minutes to cook to al dente, cooked through but still a little firm. Cook on a rolling boil, uncovered.

  4. Cook onions, add chopped cooked turkey:

    While the pasta is cooking, cook the onions in a large sauté pan in olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and chopped cooked turkey meat. Cook until heated through, then remove from heat.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  5. Drain pasta:

    When the pasta is ready, reserve 1/2 a cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

  6. Add pasta, sauce to onions and turkey:

    Add the hot, drained pasta to the pan with the onions and turkey. Pour the egg mixture over everything and quickly stir to combine. The heat of the pasta will cook the eggs sufficiently, though keep the pan off the heat or the eggs in the sauce will curdle.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  7. Season to taste:

    Salt to taste (depending on the saltiness of your leftover turkey and the saltiness of the pesto, you may not need any additional salt).

    Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve. (If you want, sprinkle with a little fresh lemon juice as well.) Add back a little of the reserved pasta water if you want the pasta a little more loose, or if it is too dry.


Easy Roasted Lemon Pesto Turkey from Sarah's Cucina Bella

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
510 Calories
25g Fat
45g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 510
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 33%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 169mg 56%
Sodium 413mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 110mg 548%
Calcium 171mg 13%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 661mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.