Craving a dish that’s both comforting and nutritious? Look no further than Turkey Bolognese! This delightful spin on the classic Italian favorite is perfect for cozy family dinners or gatherings with friends.

Turkey Bolognese in large serving bowl.Pin

Why I Love Turkey Bolognese

  • Healthier and Delicious: Made with lean ground turkey, this Bolognese is a guilt-free indulgence that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
  • Kid-Approved Goodness: With its rich and savory taste, even the pickiest eaters will be asking for seconds, making it a family favorite in no time.
  • Quicker Than Traditional Bolognese: Using ground turkey in this bolognese reduces the cook time majorly so you can have this meal on the table in less than an hour! Perfect for busy nights.
Fork with bite of turkey bolognese.Pin

The Ingredients

  • Ground turkey
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Chopped tomatoes with juice
  • Italian herbs
  • Tomato paste
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fettuccine
  • Salt
Overhead of serving platter with turkey bolognese over fettuccine.Pin

How to Make Turkey Bolognese

  1. Sauté Onion and Garlic: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, add onions and sauté for 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add Ground Turkey: Add ground turkey meat and salt and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through, using a wooden spoon to break apart the meat and stirring continuously.
  3. Add vegetables: Add carrots, chopped tomatoes (with its juice), Italian herbs and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to boil, then simmer: Partially cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Add parmesan: Add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Continue to cook: Cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered, until the mixture thickens and the liquid reduces.
  7. Cook the fettuccine: During the last 20 minutes of cooking the sauce, bring a pot of water to a boil, cook noodles according to package directions and drain.
  8. Serve: Serve bolognese sauce over cooked noodles.
Large pot with turkey bolognese sauce.Pin

FAQs for Turkey Bolognese

What ground turkey is best? I would opt for 93% lean ground turkey (I’ve used 85% before too) for this recipe. Using less lean turkey provides tons of flavor and helps mimic the ground beef and pork that’s used in traditional bolognese sauce.

Best pasta for serving Turkey Bolognese? I prefer fettuccine or any type of long flat noodle like pappardelle or tagliatelle for turkey bolognese. You could also use spaghetti or bucatini.

How long should I simmer? With bolognese, the longer the better! You’ll want to simmer at least 30 minutes covered and then 20 minutes uncovered to thicken.

Close up of turkey bolognese.Pin

Make-Ahead, Storage and Freezing Tips

Storage: To preserve any leftover pasta bolognese, simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will stay fresh for about 5 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, easily reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until it’s warmed through, adjusting the texture with a splash of stock or water as needed to achieve your preferred consistency.

Make-Ahead: Turkey Bolognese is a great recipe for making ahead because it stores really well and it get better while flavors meld as it sits. To make ahead, simply prepare according to steps 1-7 of the recipe directions, below. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat bolognese sauce on the stovetop. Once simmering, finish according to 8-9 of recipe directions below.

Freezing: To freeze, allow bolognese to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the container in room temperature water to speed up the thawing process. Reheat on the stovetop. Once simmering, make the noodles according to package and serve.

Fork with Turkey bolognese.Pin

Sides to Serve with Turkey Bolognese

Turkey bolognese in bowl.Pin

Bolognese doesn’t have to be a day long affair. Whip up this bolognese with ground turkey for a simple, delicious weeknight dinner that the whole family will love! Let me know in the comments what you think of this recipe and tag me on social media if you make it!

Images by Ivan Solis

Pin

Turkey Bolognese

Craving a dish that's both comforting and nutritious? Look no further than Turkey Bolognese! This delightful spin on the classic Italian favorite is perfect for cozy family dinners or gatherings with friends.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, add onions and sauté for 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add ground turkey meat and salt and continue to cook for 4 minutes or until cooked through, using a wooden spoon to break apart the meat and stirring continuously.
  • Add carrots, chopped tomatoes (with its juice), Italian herbs and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  • Partially cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  • Cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered, until the mixture thickens and the liquid reduces.
  • During the last 20 minutes of cooking the sauce, bring a pot of water to a boil, cook noodles according to package directions and drain.
  • Serve bolognese sauce over cooked noodles.

Notes

Storage: To preserve any leftover pasta bolognese, simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will stay fresh for about 5 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, easily reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until it’s warmed through, adjusting the texture with a splash of stock or water as needed to achieve your preferred consistency.
Make-Ahead: Turkey Bolognese is a great recipe for making ahead because it stores really well and it get better while flavors meld as it sits. To make ahead, simply prepare according to steps 1-7 of the recipe directions, below. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat bolognese sauce on the stovetop. Once simmering, finish according to 8-9 of recipe directions below.
Freezing: To freeze, allow bolognese to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the container in room temperature water to speed up the thawing process. Reheat on the stovetop. Once simmering, make the noodles according to package and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 860mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

Comments

  1. I agree with Jeannette. I like it more saucy so I added another can of diced tomatoes. I have made this soo many times. It is a staple in my house and I freeze cubes of it so that I can warm it up whenever my little ones are hungry. yummmmmm

  2. Tried this for dinner tonight, and my 3yr old son practically licked the plate clean. delish!

  3. I just made this yesterday and it is delicious! I added and extra can of tomatoes because I wanted it to be more saucy. I have a hard time getting my 21 month old son to eat meat so this was perfect. I used it to make pizza and he gobbled it up. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  4. When I use turkey instead of beef I always use worcestershire sauce on it to give it a ‘beefy’ flavor. I found a vegan brand that doesn’t use HFCS and it’s great!

  5. This sounds so good my mouth is watering for Italian.
    Do yo think I can substitute the can of tomatoes for fresh? If so how much do you think?
    Thanks

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