This Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Pasta Sauce is perfect for weeknight meals – make a double recipe and freeze it.
Today I am sharing a recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Pasta Sauce, a simple, easy meal that can be started in the morning and left to simmer all day long. The best part about this recipe is that it can also be made ahead, and frozen.
My Italian friend tells me she lets her Bolognese Sauce simmer all day long. Traditionally, Bolognese Sauce is made with a variety of ground meat (ground beef, veal, pork). Sometimes milk is also added, and pancetta is used for flavoring. This version that I made uses lean turkey meat, and does not contain any dairy.
This is my go-to dinner on a busy day. On days when I know I will be driving the kids around right around dinnertime, I throw this Turkey Bolognese Sauce in the crockpot and let it simmer away. Sometimes I start it in the morning, sometimes not until early afternoon, but one thing is for sure, a hot dinner will be waiting for us when we walk in the door and my boys are starving. Served over whole grain or gluten-free pasta, and a simple salad, this is an easy, satisfying weeknight dinner.
Although I did saute the vegetables and brown the meat on the stove before putting it in the crockpot, I think it’s well worth the extra effort for maximum flavor. Sometimes crockpot recipes can be bland (I’ve made a meat sauce in the crockpot without any browning and was sorely disappointed), so I would definitely suggest this extra step, you won’t be disappointed.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups strained tomatoes, tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a few sprigs fresh basil (reserve a few leaves for garnish)
- Heat oil in a large saute pan on medium. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking up pieces.
- Add red wine and continue cooking until there is no more liquid in the pan.
- Spoon meat into crockpot. Add thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
- Cook for 4-6 hours.
- Add fresh basil sprigs half an hour before serving.
- Serve with your favorite cooked pasta.
More Crockpot Recipes:
Easy Crockpot Lentil Chili, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Easy Five-Spice Braised Chicken, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Turkey Black Bean Chili, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken, The Perfect Pantry
Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Vegetarian Stew with Quinoa , Butternut Squash & Coconut Milk, Cookin’ Canuck
Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker, The Little Kitchen
This post has been linked up to Basilmomma’s Budget and Freezer Meal Link Up.