Easy Turkey Bolognese

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My family loves pasta and they love meat sauce. I buy all my meat at the local farmers market in order to avoid antibiotics & growth hormones, but after too many nights of turkey meatballs and turkey burgers, I decided to make meat sauce with it instead. I add a lot of veggies to add bulk, nutrients and flavor, which no one even notices and I use good quality store bought tomato sauce to cut the prep time.

I love that this recipe can be served with or without pasta and that I can freeze it in portions to make for quick weeknight meals when time is limited. I also like that I can maintain all the flavor of a red meat sauce by using white meat turkey to keep the saturated fat and overall calories down. This is a big hit with young and old alike!  A family favorite!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

The lean protein from the turkey mixed with whole grain pasta (or a gluten-free pasta) and veggies is the perfect combination to keep you satisfied and energized thanks to the protein, carb and fiber combination. It is also easily adaptable for gluten-free diets and can remain dairy-free unless you like to top yours with Parmesan. By adding veggies to the meat during cooking, you instantly add antioxidants and nutrients. This simple protein instantly becomes a nutrition powerhouse!

By Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN
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Easy Turkey Bolognese

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey meat

½ yellow onion (finely chopped)

1 carrot (chopped)

½ zucchini (chopped)

1 – 2 garlic cloves (minced)

½ teaspoon red chili flakes (or to taste)

1 – 2 cups good quality jarred spaghetti sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add onions & carrots and saute until softened about 5 – 7 minutes. Add water as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Add zucchini halfway into cooking the onion and carrots and cook until softened.
  5. Add ground turkey meat, breaking it up into small pieces for even cooking.  Cook till turkey meat is no longer pink.
  6. Add red sauce and mix well.  Cook until heated through.
  7. Let cool slightly, then add mixture to food processor.  Process lightly, just until texture is even.
  8. Serve over whole wheat spaghetti (or use a gluten-free version if need be) w/ peas or sauteed spinach.  Freeze up to 4 months.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add onions & carrots and saute until softened about 5 – 7 minutes. Add water as needed to prevent sticking. Add zucchini halfway into cooking the onion and carrots and cook until softened. Add ground turkey meat, breaking it up into small pieces for even cooking.  Cook till turkey meat is no longer pink. Add red sauce and mix well.  Cook until heated through. Let cool slightly, then add mixture to food processor.  Process lightly, just until texture is even. Serve over whole wheat spaghetti (or use a gluten-free version if need be) w/ peas or sauteed spinach.  Freeze up to 4 months.

Nutrition Information

(note: for the sauce only) 

Per Serving:  Calories: 160; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 53mg; Sodium: 190mg; Potassium: 136mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 16g

Nutrition Bonus:    Vit A: 26%; Vit C: 19%; Iron: 6%

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One thought on “Easy Turkey Bolognese

  1. Ale Zozos

    So glad I found this, such a simple recipe in a pinch. I added more vegetables so I didn’t need pasta, the sauce was a perfect dinner alone with plenty of leftovers!

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