An easy turkey bolognese recipe that can be made with low-fat turkey mince or leftover roast turkey from Christmas. Ready in just 45 minutes, it’s the perfect dinner for busy weeknights and a recipe the whole family will love.
We all love bolognese around these parts, and this turkey bolognese recipe is not only low in fat and easy to make but tastes absolutely delicious! The kids always ask for seconds when I serve this up for dinner.
✔️ Why should you try it?
- Easy to make
- Leftovers can be frozen
- Lower in fat than normal beef bolognese
- Tasty and delicious
- Olive Oil – a light olive oil is best for this recipe.
- Onion – 1 white onion finely chopped.
- Garlic – we like things garlicky so I used 3 garlic cloves.
- Carrot – 1 large carrot, finely chopped.
- Celery – 1 stick of celery, finely chopped.
- Turkey Mince – 500g is needed or alternatively use leftover roast turkey, chopped into small pieces.
- Streaky Bacon – 3 rashers help give the bolognese a lovely depth of flavour.
- Tomato Puree – 2 tablespoons.
- Worcestershire Sauce – 2 teaspoons.
- Dried Italian Herbs – 3 teaspoons gives the bolognese sauce a herby flavour injection.
- Passata – 500g is needed for this recipe. Alternatively use chopped tomatoes.
- Chicken Stock Pot or Cube – 1 stock pot or cube (no need to dilute with water)
- Milk – helps to tenderise the meat.
- Sugar – helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Basil – gives the sauce a lovely fresh flavour at the end of cooking.
- Parmesan – essential for any bolognese!
- Salt & Pepper – for seasoning purposes.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post
One – Heat the oil in a shallow casserole and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until soft. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
Two – Turn the heat up and add the chopped bacon and turkey mince (if you are using leftover cooked turkey this needs to be added at the end of cooking) and cook until the mince has changed colour and the bacon is cooked.
Three – Stir in the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, dried Italian herbs, passata and chicken stock pot or cube. Give it a stir then add the milk and sugar.
Four – Simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes until cooked (if you are using leftover cooked turkey add it for the last 5 minutes of cooking), then season and scatter over the basil and grated Parmesan before serving.
🍴 Serving suggestions
I usually serve the turkey bolognese with spaghetti or linguine, with garlic bread and a side salad. Leftovers are delicious as a topping for jacket potatoes or made into a pasta bake.
- Add more vegetables to the bolognese. Chopped mushrooms, courgettes (zucchini) and peppers would all work really well.
- If you like your food spicy you could add half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes at the same time as the dried Italian herbs.
- Make it vegetarian by using Quorn mince instead of turkey.
The cooked bolognese sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave before serving. Alternatively the bolognese can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.
Milk helps to tenderise the meat and give the bolognese a richer depth of flavour.
Turkey bolognese is lower in fat than normal beef bolognese. Serve with wholewheat spaghetti for extra health benefits.
If your sauce requires a bit of thickening, you can simply simmer (without a lid) on a low heat for 10 more minutes. You could also add a tablespoon of thickening granules (which can usually be found in the baking aisle at the supermarket).
Some more delicious pasta recipes to try!
- Pork Bolognese – another lighter alternative to traditional beef bolognese.
- Chorizo Bolognese – smoky and rich, this delicious chorizo bolognese packs a punch in flavour and elevates the humble (but still very tasty) bolognese to the next level.
- Easy Chorizo and Pepper Pasta – easy, tasty and made in just 30 minutes.
- One Pan Chicken Penne Arrabbiata – tender cooked chicken, in a garlicky tomato sauce with pasta, spiked with red pepper flakes and chilli.
- Caramelised Shallot Pasta – sweet caramelised shallots, tangy tomatoes and salty anchovies.
- Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Pasta – proper winter comfort food!
- Easy Cheesy Pasta – using a cheat’s crème fraiche cheese sauce pepped up with smoked paprika and Dijon mustard. Best of all it only takes 15 minutes to make and 15 minutes to bake.
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🍽️ More family-friendly recipes
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves finely chopped
- 1 Carrot finely chopped
- 1 Celery Stick finely chopped
- 3 Streaky Bacon rashers chopped
- 500 g Turkey Mince or use leftover roast turkey
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 tsp Dried Italian Herbs
- 1 Chicken Stock Pot or cube
- 500 g Passata
- 100 ml Milk full-fat
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Basil chopped
- 75 g Parmesan grated
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oil in a shallow casserole and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until soft. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Turn the heat up and add the chopped bacon and turkey mince (if you are using leftover cooked turkey this needs to be added at the end of cooking) and cook until the mince has changed colour and the bacon is cooked.
- Stir in the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, dried Italian herbs, passata and chicken stock pot or cube. Give it a stir then add the milk and sugar.
- Simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes until cooked (if you are using leftover cooked turkey add it to the sauce for the last 5 minutes of cooking), then season and scatter over the basil and grated Parmesan before serving.
I’m linking this recipe up to #CookBlogShare which this week is hosted by Lost in Food.