This Healthy Turkey Bolognese Recipe aka Turkey Meat Sauce is quick, easy, healthy, and so delicious! Ground turkey (or meat of choice) is cooked with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, spices: basil, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, and nutmeg – tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth!
I LOVE pasta and red sauce.
Any kind of noodle + the 99 cent jar of spaghetti sauce and I’m a happy camper.
Please don’t judge me. 😉
We have a food blog, so there’s always food around.
You just need a big ‘ol bowl of noodles smothered in sauce, amiright?!
But don’t worry, today’s recipe isn’t:
- “Step 1: boil noodles
- Step 2: toss with sauce” . . .
it’s healthier, *almost* as easy, and oh my GOSH so delicious.
Enter: turkey bolognese.
How do you make a healthy turkey bolognese sauce aka a turkey meat sauce?
You guys. This turkey bolognese is soooooo easy.
- Heat a touch of olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat
- Stir in lean ground turkey, yellow onion, carrot, celery, garlic, dried basil, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and nutmeg
- Cook until the meat has cooked through and the carrots are cooked to your liking
- Stir in tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes
That’s it! How easy is that?! Plus, helllloo healthy delicious. I LOVE the lean ground turkey with all those amazing veggies and spices.
If you have picky kids, chop the veggies really small and I swear to you, you won’t even taste them!
What do I serve this turkey meat sauce with?
The serving options for this turkey meat sauce are endless. You can serve this with:
- Traditional pasta – any shape works!
- Gnocchi (pictured) – I used a whole wheat sweet potato variety <– YUM
- Veggie noodles – zoodles (zucchini noodles), swoodles (sweet potato noodles), spaghetti squash, etc.
- Mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower
- And more!
What would YOU serve this healthy turkey bolognese with?
Can I make this turkey bolognese in the slow cooker?
Probably! I haven’t tested it, but I imagine if you cooked the turkey on the stove in the olive oil, then threw the cooked meat + all the other ingredients into a greased slow cooker, it would come out delicious!
I’d suggest cooking on low for 6-8 hours. If you give it a try, let me know in the comments below!
Can I use ground chicken to make this chicken bolognese?
Absolutely! I personally just love the taste of turkey in this recipe, but feel free to use chicken!
You could also use beef or pork, but then this wouldn’t be quite as healthy. 😉
This sauce comes together in less than an hour and really is as simple as throwing some meat, veggies, and spices into a pot, adding a few more ingredients, and simmering until DELICIOUS.
Lean turkey, tender veggies, spices, and tomatoes make for a flavor bomb, healthy meat sauce.
Do you want more healthy twists on traditional recipes like this meat sauce? Show Me the Yummy!
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 - 1.5 pounds lean ground turkey
93% lean, 7% fat
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 6 cloves garlic
minced or pressed
- 3-4 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
plus more to taste (I did 1.5 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 (28 oz) can peeled and crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat.
- Once hot, add in turkey, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Cook, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey has cooked through and the carrots are cooking to your liking, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly.
- Once simmering, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste and re-season if necessary, and serve!
*I like a little texture to my carrots, so 10 minutes was perfect for me. If you want them softer, cook longer until carrots are cooked to your liking, before moving onto the next step of adding in the tomato paste, tomatoes, sauce, and broth.
**Nutritional information is for 1/2 cup.
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