turkey bolognese

Healthy Turkey Bolognese: A Lighter Take on a Classic Italian Sauce

Hello, my fabulous foodies! Today, I’m so excited to share with you a healthier version of a beloved Italian classic: “Healthy Turkey Bolognese.” This recipe swaps traditional beef for lean turkey, reducing the fat content without compromising on flavor.

It’s a heart-healthy, comforting meal that’s perfect for cozy family dinners or impressing your dinner guests with your culinary prowess.

What Is the Difference Between Meat Sauce and Bolognese?

While both meat sauce and Bolognese are staples in Italian cuisine, there are key differences. A typical meat sauce, or “sugo di carne,” is a tomato-based sauce simmered with ground meat.

Bolognese, on the other hand, is a much thicker, richer sauce. It’s cooked slowly and includes not just meat, but also a combination of vegetables, wine, and sometimes milk or cream, creating a more complex flavor profile.

What Is Bolognese Sauce Made Of?

Traditional Bolognese sauce is made with a mix of finely chopped vegetables (like onions, celery, and carrots), ground meat (usually beef or pork), tomato paste, a splash of wine, and sometimes a touch of cream or milk. In our healthier turkey version, we’ll use lean ground turkey to keep it light yet flavorful.

What Is the Best Pasta for Bolognese?

The best pasta for Bolognese is one that can hold up to the heft and texture of the sauce. Thick, robust pasta shapes like tagliatelle, pappardelle, or even classic spaghetti work wonderfully.

Nutritional Information:

  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 320 per serving
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Fat: 8g


  • 1 lb ground turkey (lean)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
  • Your choice of pasta

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground turkey. Cook, breaking it apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute before adding the crushed tomatoes, red wine (if using), chicken broth, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should thicken nicely.
  5. While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta according to package instructions.
  6. Serve the Bolognese sauce over the cooked pasta, garnished with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.


There you have it – a delicious and healthy Turkey Bolognese that’s sure to satisfy your Italian cuisine cravings. This dish proves that you can enjoy the rich flavors of traditional recipes in a healthier way.

It’s perfect for a nutritious family dinner or a special weekend treat. Enjoy this lighter take on a classic, and remember, the secret to a great Bolognese is patience and love! Buon appetito!

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