This healthy, lightened up Bolognese Sauce is made with ground turkey instead of ground beef or pork, and instead of the traditional pancetta, I added mushrooms for flavor and depth. Either make in a slow cooker, set on the lowest setting and cook low and slow for 6 hours, or alternatively, simmer on the stove for 1 hour if you prefer. There are a few secrets to getting flavor and depth into this sauce without adding the beef and pork, which is a good thing to learn, and can be used in many other applications as well. Make a big batch, perhaps even a double batch, and freeze in smaller portions for quick and easy dinners. Serve over pasta, fluffy quinoa ….or my favorite, over roasted spaghetti squash, keeping it gluten free.
Six Tips to adding depth to Turkey Bolognese:
1. Brown the onions
2. Brown the turkey
3. When adding the tomato paste, make a well in the pan, and saute it in oil until it deepens in color, for 2 minutes, before mixing it in.
4. Add a little soy sauce ( or, as weird as it seems, a splash of fish sauce)
5. Add a parmesan rind to the bolognese
6. Add browned mushrooms, or even dried mushrooms to the slow cooker.
Once the stove top work is done, place it in a slow cooker, on lowest setting for 5-6 hours.
Or alternatively, keep simmering on low on the stovetop for 1-2 hours.
One of my dear friends loaned me her slow cooker while she is away galavanting around Italy for four months. She swears by this thing, but truth be told, I’ve had my doubts about the whole slow cooker craze. I worried about how things would actually taste after cooking for that long, and how it would affect texture. This was my first project, and it turned out surprisingly great. Next up, beans.
Thanks for reading! For more Feasting at Home …
Thank you for being here…thank you for sharing.
Slow Cooker Turkey Mushroom Bolognese
Slow Cooker Turkey Mushroom Bolognese...flavorful easy recipe!
Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
Recipe type: main
- 1 onion -diced
- 2 T oil
- 2 carrots- diced
- 2 Celery stalks - diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms- sliced
- 6-8 cloves garlic- rough chopped
- 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ¼ Cup Red Wine
- 28 ounce can whole peeled Tomatoes, preferably San Marsano
- 3 Tablespoons half and half
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce ( or a splash fish sauce, caper juice, or 2 mashed anchovies)
- 1Bay leaf
- Parmesan Rind ( optional)
- Garnish: Fresh basil ribbons or chopped parsley and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- In a very large skillet or dutch oven, over medium high heat, saute the onion in the olive oil, for two minutes.
- Add carrots, celery and mushrooms and garlic. Continue sauting and stirring, turning heat down to medium, cooking the veggies until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Remove veggies, set aside, wipe out pan, and add little oil.
- Add ground turkey, and brown over med high heat, breaking up turkey with a metal spatula. Add salt, oregano, pepper, chile flakes, fennel seeds and nutmeg. Once turkey is browned, make a well in the skillet and add tomato paste, frying it for 1-2 minutes, which will give the sauce depth. Mix it all together, add the veggies back into the pan, then add wine, scraping up all the brown bits.
- Let simmer on medium heat until wine is reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and their juice, breaking them up with the metal spatula. Stir in the half and half and soy sauce. Toss in the parmesan rind (optional) to add even more depth, and a bay leaf.
- Place this in a slow cooker on its lowest setting for 6 hours. ( or medium heat for 3 hours) Adjust seasonings, discard parmesan rind and bay leaf. Alternately you can continue to simmer in the dutch oven on the stove, covered, for 1-2 hours, on lowest heat, adding chicken stock if necessary.
- Serve over cooked pasta, quinoa or roasted spaghetti squash with grated parmesan, sprinkled with fresh basil or Italian parsley.
- Make 8 x 1 Cup servings of Bolognese Sauce