Confession: I do not like “meat sauce” when it comes to my pasta. I prefer plain marinara over meat sauce any day of the week. However, once I tried bolognese, I was hooked. Its muuuuuuch more flavorful than it’s impostor meat sauce. Instead of tasting like you added meat to your spaghetti sauce, it has it’s own, rich, deep flavor. It’s about as comforting as you can get. The one downside to bolognese though – it takes forever to cook. With this recipe I set out to make a lighter version of your typical bolognese using ground turkey instead of ground beef. I also set out to make it as hands off and easy cooking as possible without sacrificing any of the depth of flavor you get from a traditional bolognese. Enter your crockpot. It does the simmering for you and once you’ve got your ingredients thrown in there – you can walk away and come back to a delicious, home cooked, bolognese. Trust me, this one’s a winner.
This recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. You can throw it in your crockpot and forget about it. Once dinner time rolls around all you have to do is boil your pasta, add some Parmesan cheese to the top and enjoy! I promise you, this one is a no brainer. It also reheats like a dream for those nights where all you have time for is to microwave dinner and serve it before your off running your kids to soccer practice.
I know you will love this crockpot turkey bolognese!
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 pound ground turkey (I used dark meat)
1 garlic clove, minced
14 1/2 oz crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup broth (chicken, vegetable – whatever you have on hand)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Chop carrots, celery and onion, garlic
2. To a pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil, vegetables and garlic. Cook until soft – about 5 minutes. While the vegetables cook, add the milk, wine, broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and oregano to your crockpot
3. Remove vegetables from the pan, and add in one tablespoon of olive oil and the ground turkey. Cook for 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. While the meat cooks, break it up meat into smaller pieces.
4. Add vegetables and turkey to your crockpot and stir everything to combine. Cook on high for 4 hours.
Once the sauce is finished, server over pasta (I used papardelle) and top with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!