Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pesto Turkey with Zucchini Ribbons and Fennel

Although this meal may not sound like anything special, it really hits the mark when you are looking for a quick and tasty weeknight meal. I used frozen pesto that I had made a few months back when my basil was growing like crazy. But it should't be too hard to find a paleo-friendly pesto in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. The addition of cayenne and lemon give this dish a subtle kick and a refreshing finish. We really enjoyed this meal and hope you do to!

Serves 4.

1 pound ground turkey
4 large zucchini squash
1 large fennel bulb
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp prepared pesto
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted

  1. Prepare the zucchini by shaving one side with a peeler (I use one like this OXO Y-peeler) or mandoline (like this OXO slicer). Discard (or compost) the outer layer and continue shaving long, thin strips until you reach the seedy core. Flip the zucchini and repeat the process on the opposite side. When you reach the center, repeat the same process on either side until all you have left is the core. Save the core to chop up and mix in with your eggs in the morning. 
  2. Slice fennel into matchsticks, discarding the core. Dice onion and mince garlic.
  3. Warm two large skillets over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil to each pan. Add turkey and onion to one pan. Saute for 5-10 minutes or until turkey is cooked through and onion is translucent.
  4. In the other pan, add fennel and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini is tender and garlic is fragrant, about 5 more minutes. Both pans should be ready at about the same time.
  5. Transfer turkey mixture into zucchini mixture and add pesto. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Toss to combine. Drizzle with lemon juice and toss again.
  6. Transfer to bowls and garnish with walnuts.


  1. This was outstanding, of course, as has been everything else we have made from Paleo table! Fantastic with eggs the next day too..

    1. Thanks, Heidi--I'm glad you enjoyed it! I appreciate your nice comments. Oh, and I think all leftovers taste better at breakfast with eggs, don't you? :)

    2. Loved this one! 1st Paleo recipe we tried :)

    3. Yay! So glad your paleo cooking is off to such a great start! Thanks for the note, Anon!

  2. Thanks for this recipe...our family loved it!

    1. I'm so glad! Thanks for letting me know!

  3. At what point should the pesto be added? I don't see that info in the instructions.

    1. Hi, Rachel! The pesto is added in step 5...but how would you know that since I forgot to tell you! :) I've updated the recipe. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for letting me know about my oversight.