Turkey Bolognese

Turkey Bolognese, Turkey Bolognaise, healthy, poultry, low fat, Italian, easy, delicious, garlic knorr flavour potIt 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 rarely have minced beef and I can’t say that any of us miss it. 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 turkey dishes. Unlike red meat, turkey has a subtle flavour and therefore other ingredients can really shine in a dish.

So I thought I’d share with you this Turkey Bolognese that has become a staple in our house and is far tastier than anything you’ll buy in a jar and cheaper to make. 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!

4.8 from 8 reviews
Turkey Bolognese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A tasty Turkey Bolognaise made with bacon, celery, carrot and a dash of sherry.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 1 Onion, large, finely dice
  • 1 Carrot, large, finely diced
  • 2 Celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1 Garlic Knorr Flavour Pot or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 Unsmoked back bacon slices, chopped
  • 450g Turkey thigh mince
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 400 mls Chicken stock (made with half a stock cube)
  • 1 x 400g Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt (but only if using fresh garlic otherwise not necessary)
  • 2 tbsp Sweet sherry
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan and sweat the onion, carrot, celery and garlic if using under a lid for about 10 minutes until onions translucent (stirring occasionally).
  2. Push the vegetables to the outer edge, add another tbsp of oil and fry the bacon until cooked.
  3. Add the turkey mince and continue to fry until lightly browned.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic Flavour Pot, herbs, pepper and stock.
  5. Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, popping the lid on after 10 minutes.
  6. Check seasoning.
  7. Add the sherry and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with spaghetti and parmesan cheese.

Turkey Bolognese, Turkey Bolognaise, healthy, poultry, low fat, Italian, easy, delicious, garlic knorr flavour pot

For more turkey mince inspiration you might like to check out some recipes from fellow bloggers: Sundried Turkey Meatballs in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Polenta Crust Turkey Burgers with Heirloom Tomato Salsa, Turkey Koftes with Cous Cous Salad & Tzatziki, Quick Turkey Kofta Kebabs with Spanish Smoked Paprika or my Turkey Meatloaf and ActFry Roast Potatoes, Turkey Chilli with Baked Beans, Flavours of Brazil Turkey Burgers with Bacon and Pineapple or Turkey and Chorizo Meatballs.

As this dish is so thrifty I am entering it into Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Helen and is being hosted this month by Elizabeth. I am also adding my Turkey Bolognese to Karen’s Cooking with Herbs linky.

Credit Crunch MunchCooking with herbs new badge






Disclaimer: I was sent a box of ingredients and Knorr Flavour Pots by Unilever Kitchen with which to create a recipe.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/turkey-bolognese/


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  1. Rosie

    I must say I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I make my meatballs with minced turkey thigh and I much prefer it as no fat comes out whilst browning them off.

    1. Camilla

      I think I prefer turkey thigh mince but I got a pack of turkey breast mince reduced to 4p tonight so can’t complain:-)

  2. Lisa Williams

    I love turkey mince in things so healthy 🙂

  3. amy fidler

    what a great idea,i’ll try this with my left over turkey

  4. Maya Russell

    Turkey is much lower in fat than beef too. Love the recipe.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Maya:-)

  5. colin Anderson

    sounds and looks very tasty

  6. dawn obrien

    I use turkey mince nowadays instead of beef mince, as my husband doesn’t like to eat red meat , but I find it’s quite a lot drier…..going to try this recipe though as it looks and sounds fab!

    1. Camilla

      Try using Turkey Thigh mince as the breast mince is very dry!

      1. dawn obrien

        ah..good tip, thanks x might have to invest in a mincer!

        1. Camilla

          Not sure why as you can buy Turkey Mince both thigh and breast meat in most supermarkets?

          1. dawn obrien

            unfortunately not in Ireland, I’m lucky to get turkey breast mince at all, it’s not stocked in all supermarket!

          2. Camilla

            Oh no, maybe time to lobby them!

  7. Karen Adlam

    We have bolognese often but haven’t used turkey mince in a long while. Will give it a go again as your recipe & pictures look tasty!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Karen. I was a bit sniffy about turkey mince a few years ago but we have it once a week now and it’s such a great base for adding flavours to:)

  8. Kirsty Fox

    This looks delicious, I love spaghetti Bolognese but don’t eat minced beef so this would be ideal for me!

  9. Jane Davies

    This looks lovely and probably much healthier than the usual bolognese !!! Will have to give this a try soon 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jane, hope you give it a go:-)

  10. Ursula Hunt

    Nice to have a less fattening bolognese recipe

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Ursula:-)

  11. Heather Haigh

    I have never used turkey mince. Looks good, must give it a go.

    1. Camilla

      Wow Heather, you must get into turkey mince, far healthier than beef and far cheaper if you buy thigh mince:-)

  12. Sarah Cooper

    This looks tasty.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Sarah, we love it:-)

  13. tiggerific1973

    I love using turkey mince, its so much cheaper and leaner 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Exactly, we’re having it again tonight:-)

  14. Tracy Nixon

    This does sound nice and I suppose you could easily use chicken instead of turkey! I will bookmark for after Christmas – another idea to use up the turkey leftovers x

    1. Camilla

      This actually uses turkey mince rather than cooked turkey leftovers so no need to wait until Christmas:-)

  15. Emily Leary

    Sounds good and something my family would happily eat.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Emily, we had it again this week only I’d run out of spaghetti so pasta spirals came to the rescue:-)


    Yum! I love bolognese (always make my own sauce – am a good girl!) but have never made it with turkey. In fact never used turkey mince before! Will definitely give it a try next week (having quorn bolognese this week) x

    1. Camilla

      Oh Danielle, turkey mince is so good, lots more recipes using it on here once you take the plunge:-)

  17. Elizabeth

    A lovely, proper comfort food recipe, this! 🙂

  18. Jen

    I don’t cook with turkey mince that often but I did make a really nice version of chilli with it last year so I really should buy it more often. I’ve not tried sherry in bolognese, I usually go for red wine, sounds like a nice variation.

    1. Camilla

      It’s so much cheaper than mince beef and healthier which is why we love it. Do try the sherry it works in beef bolognese too:-)

  19. Sarah James

    Turkey mince is certainly under rated, your turkey bolognese sounds delicious Camilla. Bookmarking your recipe 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Aaw thanks Sarah:-)

  20. Jeanne Horak-Druiff

    I only got to know turkey mince when I moved to the UK and I have to admit I was a little suspicious at first… but it is such a versatile ingredient and once you have added seasonings, it’s hard to distinguish from pork mince! Hubby would love your Bolognese…

    1. Camilla

      You’ve given me an idea now to try it in my Frikadella which are usually made with pork!

  21. Kavey

    I think turkey is oddly associated with Christmas in the UK. In France I know they enjoy turkey escalopes at any time of the year, it’s not considered a Christmas dish anyway. Turkey mince very healthy too! Must use it more often!

    1. Camilla

      Yes I associate the whole bird with Christmas but not the portions or mince and they are so versatile:-)

  22. Claire @foodiequine

    Loving the addition of Sherry, definitely going to give that a go next time I make Spag Bol. I used to use turkey mince a lot but have reverted back to beef and I’m not quite sure why.
    Don’t get me started on that Eat Well for Less programme. Everyone on it seems to be lacking in common sense!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Claire. Well of course they pic the most ridiculous extremes for that programme to make it more interesting but that couple that threw away stuff from their freezer after only a few weeks really got my goat!

  23. Margot⚓Coffee & Vanilla

    Sounds very good Camilla… turkey mince is such a versatile, low in fat ingredient I’m always in look out for turkey recipes so thank you for sharing this (and mentioning my recipe as well).

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Margot and a pleasure:-)

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