This healthy turkey bolognese is a healthier take on a traditional beef bolognese sauce. It's a great alternative when you are looking for a nutritious, easy recipe for a weeknight dinner. It is rich, comforting and delicious. Each portion of the turkey mince bolognese contains two portions of veg.
What you'll love about the recipe
- This turkey ragu is a flexible family favourite - serve with rice, pasta, potatoes or more veggies
- Great for meal prep - easy to reheat
- Ideal for batch cooking, freezes well
- Turkey bolognese is healthy meat recipe with two portions of veggies in every serving
- Simple to make in 30 minutes with everyday ingredients
- Low in fat and calories (if you use turkey breast mince)
A healthier bolognese
This healthy turkey bolognese recipe includes haricot beans and spinach. This increases the amount of fibre, vitamins and minerals in the dish. In total, each portion of the bolognese sauce provides two servings of vegetables. Adding extra veggies also means that you'll be eating slightly less meat.
Generally, turkey mince contains lower levels of saturated fat than minced beef. However, some minced turkey has 7% fat, and some minced beef has 5% fat. So if you are concerned about the levels of fat that you are eating, choose carefully.
Onion and garlic. As well as adding extra vegetables, onion and garlic add plenty of flavour to this sauce. You can use white or red onions. I used a clove of fresh garlic, but you could also use roasted garlic puree.
Carrots and spinach add colour as well as veggie goodness. I use frozen spinach in this recipe as it is quick and easy and I usually have it in the freezer. But if you prefer, you could use fresh spinach.
Turkey mince. You can use either turkey thigh mince or turkey breast mince for this healthy bolognese recipe. Turkey breast is lower in fat, but turkey thigh has a little more flavour.
Tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Using both types of tomato adds an extra rich tomato-y flavour. Crushed or whole tomatoes are fine.
If you don't have or like Worcestershire sauce, feel free to leave it out. But don't forget to add some seasoning in its place. Or add a teaspoon of Marmite instead.
Dried herbs add another layer of flavour. Instead of mixed herbs, you could also use thyme. Or add a handful of fresh herbs such as parsley or basil.
Haricot beans. Adding a tin of beans to a bolognese is a great way to add loads of extra goodness, and make the turkey go further. Tinned beans are already cooked, if you want to use dried beans they'll need to be cooked first. You could also use other beans such as cannellini or butter beans if you prefer them.
How to make healthy turkey bolognese
Place a pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes until starting to brown slightly.
Add the garlic and turkey and fry for a few minutes more.
Tip in the tomatoes and puree, carrot, herbs and Worcestershire sauce. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Add the haricot beans and spinach and stir through. If you are using frozen balls of spinach you may have to wait a few minutes for them to defrost.
Serving and storage
Healthy turkey bolognese can easily be substituted in other recipes where you'd use a minced beef bolognese. Try it in hidden veg cottage pie or gluten free beef lasagne. Or for an even quicker alternative, simply serve with some wholemeal rice, pasta and/or veggies. It's also delicious with these gluten free dumplings for stew. Just simmer the bolognese with a lid for a total of 25 minutes with the dumplings on top.
Healthy turkey mince bolognese can easily be prepared ahead of time and stored for a day or two in the fridge. It also freezes perfectly.
Frequently asked questions
This healthy turkey bolognese recipe has 222 calories per serving if you make the recipe with turkey breast.
Bolognese can be good for weight loss, but that does depend on both the sauce, and what is it served with. Make the sauce with low fat meat, and bulk it out with extra low calorie veggies. If you are serving the sauce with pasta, watch your portion sizes and try to go for a wholegrain option which is more filling.
Turkey breast and turkey thigh can both be healthy options, and are a good source of protein. Turkey breast is lower overall in fat, but there's not a huge difference in the amount of saturated fat between the two types of meat. The dark meat of turkey thigh is higher in iron and zinc.
Other healthy family dinners
You can make this turkey cobbler recipe either with turkey mince or leftover cooked turkey.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Healthy Turkey Bolognese
- 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large carrot grated
- 500 g turkey mince
- 1 clove garlic peeled and very finely chopped or crushed
- 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce certified GF if required
- 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
- 200 g frozen chopped spinach or use fresh
- 400 g canned haricot beans
- Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and fry the onions for a few minutes.
- Add the turkey and garlic and stir over the heat for a few minutes.
- Add the carrot, tomatoes and puree, Worcestershire sauce and herbs, cover and simmer gently for 20 mins.
- Add the spinach and haricot beans and mix well.
- If you want a low fat turkey bolognese, use turkey breast mince rather than thigh
- Use fresh herbs if you have them - either thyme, parsley or basil all work well
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.