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Bolognese Sauce with Ground Turkey

I actually don’t eat ground beef so I tend to shy away from a bolognese sauce.  But, I’ll replace any recipe that calls for ground beef with ground turkey and I almost always love the results!  We eat turkey burgers and more recently tried turkey meatballs which were awesome.

This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Lasagna.  I made the lasagna too, which is incredible and I’ll post soon, but I wanted to share this amazing sauce first.  Tyler uses ground pork and ground beef in his sauce, so I just substituted those for an 85% lean ground turkey.  When we were eating it, my husband said if I had told him I used ground beef he would’ve believed me.  Yeah!

A true bolognese begins with a soffrito – which is onions, carrots, and celery.  This recipe combines those 3 with garlic and sage and then processes to a vegetable pulp.  An entire 750 milliliter bottle of dry red wine is added (yup!), along with 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and then cooked slowly for over an hour until it becomes thick.

It is SO good!  It definitely has a tangier flavor than a true, red tomato sauce because there is so much more wine used than tomatoes.  It’s best served with a wider pasta, something like a tagliatelle, but pappardelle and fettucine would be good too.


Bolognese Sauce with Ground Turkey

Serving Size: 8

1/2 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

2 tablespoons flour

1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place onion, garlic, carrots, celery and sage in a food processor and process on low until it becomes smooth vegetable pulp. Coat a large pot with oil and set over medium heat. Add the vegetable pulp and saute until fragrant and some of the moisture has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to one side of the pot. Season the ground turkey with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Stir and break up the meat until it is browned and mixed in with the vegetable pulp.

Dust the meat and vegetable mixture with the flour, then add the wine, tomatoes and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, uncovered, until sauce is thick. Add Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with fresh pasta or dried pasta, a wider noodle like tagliatelle, pappardelle or fettucine.


(Adapted from Tyler Florence’s cookbook My Place for Dinner)


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