Turkey Bolognese – utterly delicious!

This easy Turkey Bolognese recipe is a healthy way to use turkey mince (ground turkey) and is a lightened up Bolognese compared to a beef one! Lower in fat and higher in protein (compared to standard minced beef) this delicious Italian inspired recipe won’t disappoint! The addition of sherry at the end makes for an exquisite pasta sauce!

Turkey Bolognese in a bowl with spaghetti & grated Parmesan in background.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that my family would turn their noses up at minced turkey as if it was somehow inferior to minced beef but now the tide has turned and we have it all the time.

I think the more we use an ingredient the more empathy we get for it and that’s probably why my family now love my minced turkey dishes.

Unlike red meat, turkey has a subtle flavour and therefore other ingredients can really shine in a dish.

So to answer the questions “what can you make with turkey mince?” look no further than this Bolognese sauce recipe. It’s become a staple in our house and is far tastier than anything you’ll buy in a jar.

Turkey Bolognese in a bowl with spaghetti & grated parmesan with garlic bread & tomatoes in background.

I watched with interest Greg Wallace’s latest show Eat Well for Less where the couple were taking a jar of sauce, adding a tin of tomatoes and all manner of extra herbs and spices. As Greg said “you’re making a sauce, you don’t need the jar”.

It’s so very true, if you have a tin of tomatoes you basically have the building block of a sauce with just a few simple additions!

The secret ingredient that makes this Bolognese extra special is the sherry which is added towards the end, forget red wine, it’s so last year!

How long does Turkey Bolognese take to make?

It takes just 50 minutes to make and most of that is hands off time so it’s a great midweek meal!

Turkey Bolognese in a bowl with spaghetti & grated parmesan with garlic bread & tomatoes in background.

What are the Ingredients?

You will need:

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • garlic
  • turkey thigh mince (ground turkey)
  • back bacon
  • chicken stock
  • tomato puree
  • tinned chopped Italian plum tomatoes
  • Italian mixed herbs
  • sherry
  • salt and pepper

Can you use Turkey Breast Mince?

You can use turkey breast mince but for the best flavour I recommend turkey thigh mince which has more fat in it to carry the flavours.

How do you make Turkey Bolognese? (Full recipe at bottom of page)

Turkey Bolognese steps 1 - 6
  • Start by gathering and preparing the ingredients.
  • Heat olive oil and sweat finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic over a medium heat (Soffrito).
  • The vegetables should be soft after about 8 minutes.
  • Push vegetables to the side, add more olive oil and add the chopped bacon.
  • Fry until cooked through.
  • Add the minced turkey.
Turkey Bolognese steps 7 - 12
  • Fry the minced turkey (ground turkey) until browned.
  • Add the vegetable stock, tinned Italian chopped plum tomatoes, tomato puree, Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Pop a lid on and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  • Add sherry and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve the Turkey Bolognese Sauce with spaghetti or mix into your favourite pasta shapes and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
Turkey Bolognese in a bowl with spaghetti & grated parmesan with tomatoes and Parmesan cheese in background.

What are the health benefits of Turkey?

It’s great source of protein, full of vitamins and minerals and is lower in fat than beef. It’s rich in B-complex vitamins niacin, B6 and B12 as well as the essential nutrient choline.

Turkey is a good source of magnesium and phosphorus and also provides iron, potassium and zinc. It’s also high in selenium.

How long will Turkey Bolognese Sauce keep for?

This Bolognese Sauce will keep for 3 days in the fridge and actually tastes better the following day!

Can you freeze this Bolognese Sauce?

Yes, you can freeze this Turkey Bolognese in a plastic container. Use within 3 months and thaw in the fridge overnight.

Turkey Bolognese in a bowl with spaghetti & grated parmesan with garlic bread & tomatoes in background.

What can you serve with Turkey Bolognese?

Apart from serving it with spaghetti or pasta shapes of your choice and grated Parmesan, you cab also serve it on a jacket potato or in a bun as a Sloppy Joe.   

Sides that go well include garlic bread and salad such as my Tomato, Red Onion & Coriander Salad!

Can you batch cook Turkey Mince Bolognese?

Yes, double the recipe and freeze in portions for when you’re busy!

Turkey Bolognese in a bowl with spaghetti & grated parmesan with garlic bread & tomatoes in background.

More Turkey Mince Recipes

For more turkey mince recipes check out the following:

I’m sure you’ll love this Turkey Bolognese spaghetti so please leave a comment and rating below when you try it.

Better still share a snap with me by tagging @FabFood4All on Instagram! Plus you can now find me on TikTok!

Pin for later!

Turkey Bolognese Pinterest image.

Previously published 23/2/2015

Turkey Bolognese

A tasty Turkey Bolognese using turkey thigh mince and enhanced with bacon and sherry!

Keyword bolognese, minced turkey, Pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion large, finely dice
  • 1 carrot large, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 back bacon slices (smoked or unsmoked) chopped
  • 450 g turkey thigh mince
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 400 ml vegetable stock made with 1 good quality stock cube
  • 1 400g tin Italian chopped plum tomatoes (use top quality, makes all the difference)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree heaped
  • 2 tbsp sweet sherry
  • freshly ground salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan and sweat the onion, carrot, celery and garlic under a lid for about 10 minutes until onions translucent (stirring occasionally).

  • Push the vegetables to the outer edge, add another tbsp of oil and fry the bacon until cooked.

  • Add the turkey mince and continue to fry until lightly browned.

  • Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, pepper and stock.

  • Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, popping the lid on after 10 minutes.

  • Check seasoning.

  • Add the sherry and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

  • Serve with spaghetti and parmesan cheese.

Notes

You could use turkey breast mince but would need to add extra olive oil as it’s quite dry.



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