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Low Sodium Southwest Cavatappi

If you know me, you know I love an easy meal for week nights. But I also like cooking things with a lot of flavor. Well this low sodium southwest cavatappi is a smash hit in my humble opinion.

I know I've talked about it before, but there is something about how the chili powder and lime juice react with the tongue to mimic the sensation of saltiness. And this recipe really capitalizes this and takes it to a whole different level with the ancho chili powder, which adds a whole smoky dimension.

This whole thing is about 600mg. There should technically by 4 servings, but it somehow magically disappeared. So much for leftovers for lunch :) So it's about 150mg per serving.

Low Sodium Southwest Cavatappi recipe


  • 16oz ground turkey

  • 8oz cavatappi pasta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch green onions, finely sliced with white and green parts separated

  • 1 tablespoon no salt added chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tsp sodium free beef bouillon

  • Pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 oz cheddar cheese

  • Lime juice


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta for about 7-8 minutes. Retain 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the turkey, jalapeno, the whites of the green onion. Cook, breaking up the meat, until nice and browned.

  3. Add the chili powder and ancho chili powder to the skillet and cook until nice and fragrant. Add tomato paste and continue to constantly stir until the tomato paste starts to darken slightly, about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the retained pasta water and beef bouillon and stir until everything is combined. Bring to a simmer until the sauce starts to come together.

  4. Reduce the heat and add the cheese and stir until melted and incorporated into the sauce. Repeat with the sour cream. Add pepper to taste.

  5. If your sauce is getting a little thick, add the rest of the retained pasta water.

  6. Add the cavatappi and stir until nice and coated. Top with lime juice and the greens of the green onion.

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