One of favorite pasta sauces is the Bolognese meat sauce that is a meat-based sauce also referred to as Ragu’. It is a chunky meat sauce that is very filling and deliciously satisfying. In this recipe we use ground turkey or mince instead of beef for a lower calorie version of this scrumptious sauce.
Serve with a side salad and some nice fresh bread but keep the pasta servings smaller as this pasta is very filling. Don’t forget to put the freshly shredded Parmesan cheese on the table!
Why we Love this Ground Turkey Bolognese Recipe
This is an awesome recipe for both adults and kids, and one of our favorite pasta sauce recipes! We love a good hearty meat sauce with tomato purée, onions, garlic and veggies. You can also add some heavy cream or a nice dry white wine to this Bolognese recipe for added texture and flavor.
How to make the best meat sauce with ground turkey. We love a good meat sauce recipe, and this is one of our favorites. Simply sauté veggies and then the ground turkey. Add in the rest of the ingredients and let cook on the stove! Easy!
Ingredients Needed for Ground Turkey Bolognese
- Ground turkey
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Celery stalk
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Tomato purée (tomato passata)
- Beef stock
- Heavy cream or Dry white wine (optional)
- Dried thyme
- Ground pepper
- Fresh basil leaves for serving
How to Make Perfect Ground Turkey Bolognese
Step 1. Boil the spaghetti in salted water according to the package directions. Drain the water and set the spaghetti aside.
Step 2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil and butter for about 5-7 minutes. Stir with a spatula so that the vegetables do not burn.
Step 3. After 5 minutes, add the ground turkey to the pan. Lightly salt and pepper ground turkey. Fry, stirring, on medium heat for another 7 minutes.
Step 4. Add a little more salt, and the spices and herbs. Stir and cook for 3 more minutes.
Step 5. Pour in the tomato purée and beef broth; stir, cook covered for 20 minutes on low heat. (If the sauce is low on liquid, add a little more beef broth. Especially if you want the Bolognese sauce to be thinner. Now is the time to add the heavy cream if you are using.)
Step 6. Place some cooked spaghetti in a bowl and ladle some of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Add fresh basil and serve immediately.
You can definitely let this sauce cook a little bit longer. Add more of the tomato purée and some beef broth and let simmer on low for up to an hour or two. Add the dry white wine before cooking longer as well if you are adding wine.
Great Family Meal of Spaghetti Bolognese using Ground Turkey
- 12 oz. spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 3 garlic cloves finely diced
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 1 celery stalk finely diced
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 16 oz. tomato purée tomato passata
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 tsp dried thyme
- 1/3 tsp ground pepper
- fresh basil for serving
Boil your spaghetti in salted water according to the package directions. Drain the water and set the spaghetti aside.
Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil and butter for about 5 minutes. Stir with a spatula so that the vegetables do not burn.
After 5 minutes, add the ground turkey to the pan. Lightly salt and pepper. Fry, stirring, on medium heat for another 7 minutes.
Add a little more salt, and the spices and herbs. Stir and cook for 3 more minutes.
Pour in the tomato purée and beef broth; stir, cook for 15 minutes on low heat under the lid. (If the sauce is low on liquid, add a little more beef broth. Especially if you want the Bolognese sauce to be thinner. Now is the time to add the heavy cream if you are using.)
Place some cooked spaghetti in a bowl and ladle some of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Add fresh basil and serve immediately.
What Type of Pasta Works Best for Turkey Bolognese?
We like using a thinner spaghetti like Vermicelli or thin spaghetti to let this scrumptious sauce shine through. You can also use a smaller pasta for the kids like small pasta shells.
What Ground Turkey is Best for this Bolognese Sauce Recipe?
There are different options for ground turkey and the one we like the best for this Bolognese recipe is 85% lean and 15 % fat. Jennie-O is a great brand with all-natural ground turkey. You can also use 93% lean and 7% fat ground turkey with less fat and calories but for a pasta sauce, we like the 85% lean the best.
Can you Use Ground Chicken for this Recipe?
We don’t typically use ground chicken for this recipe as it tends to be a bit drier and does not sauté as well as ground turkey.
How to Cook the Best Spaghetti Noodles:
Make sure to salt the water enough. Do a taste test to before adding noodles. Before you drain your noodle, taste a noodle to see if the texture it is done to your liking. Rule of thumb is to cook noodles about 8-10 minutes. Drain the noodles and add a couple of tablespoons of butter and a little bit of olive oil. Stir to coat all of the noodles. This will add extra flavor to the noodles and also prevent them from sticking.
What to Serve with Ground Turkey Bolognese?
- We like to serve a Caesar salad. Here is a clever way to make an easy Caesar Salad in a bag.
- Garlic Toast
- Bread Sticks
- Wedge Salad
- Tossed Salad
How to Freeze Extra Sauce
You can double this recipe and store the extra in freezer bags. Sauce will last for about 3 months in your freezer. When ready to use, thaw the sauce in your refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or a saucepan. If it becomes too thick you may need to add a little bit of broth.
You will LOVE some of our other Family Friendly Pasta Recipes: