Recipe: Turkey Bolognese

Last year I worked with Lean on Turkey to develop some versatile turkey recipes and we’re back doing the same thing this year.

One of the food issues we’re facing at the moment is making sure that Rich is stocked up with enough slow energy releasing food before he heads off for a night shift. Pasta has become a regular on our menu plan which is a huge change for my only just tolerating pasta husband. Add turkey to that and we’re on to a winner.

Turkey is a high protein meat, meaning that it can help you feel fuller for longer and is rammed with nutrients that ticks the boxes for Izzy was well.

turkey bolognese

If I’m honest about the sauce then you know it’s not beef. But the idea was never to make anyone think it was. In its own right it’s tasty and guarantees empty plates at our house. I imagine that there would be some sharp intakes of breath in some areas that I have called this turkey Bolognese as traditionally it should be beef, or perhaps pork.

I used conchiglie (shells) as I find they’re easier for small hands wielding forks and hold the sauce more easily but use any type of pasta you have in the cupboard. The sauce can be prepared quite quickly and once everything is simmering then, apart from an occasional stir, you can pretty much leave it to its own devices. The longer you leave it to simmer then the thicker and tastier it will be. And of course you can make a double batch and sling half in the freezer for another day.

Turkey Bolognese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 beef stock cube or stock pot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 350g pasta of your choice
  • Grated parmesan (optional)


  1. In a large shallow frying pan heat the oil over a low heat and add the onion and celery. Fry for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add the turkey mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Fry the mince until browned. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, half fill with the tin with cold water and add that too. Add the tomato puree and stock cube and mix well.
  3. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, but longer if you have time, until the sauce has thickened and most of the liquid has absorbed. Taste for seasoning, if your stock is salty you may not need to add any salt.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and serve with the sauce and grated parmesan.


I am assuming that you already have oil, stock cubes, salt and pepper in your store cupboard so am not including these in the costings.

Onion – 12p

Celery – 10p

Turkey mince – £1.79

Chestnut mushrooms – 45p

Chopped tomatoes – 34p

Tomato puree – 8p

Pasta – 60p

Total – £3.48

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