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Simple Dairy-Free Turkey Bolognese

Simple and comforting, this dairy-free and meaty bolognese is the perfect quick weeknight dinner or ultimate weekend comfort food.

This quick and easy turkey bolognese recipe is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights or and ultimate comforting meal on a Sunday night. The recipe can be made 3 different ways: stovetop, slow cooker, or InstantPot.

The turkey bolognese is made with simple ingredients and is a dish everyone will enjoy. It can be served over your favorite pasta or in a lasagna. A glass of red wine makes it even better!

When I make traditional pasta sauce, I use my Nonna’s recipe, so I used this recipe as a base and essentially just added ground turkey for a meaty sauce.

I used Trader Joe’s brown rice and quinoa pasta but you can use your favorite kind. This recipe would also be great with some fresh crusty bread to dip in the excess sauce.

I personally like to purchase packaged mirepoix (onion, carrots & celery) from Trader Joe’s because if I buy a full package of carrots and celery, it almost always goes to waste. Plus, it cuts down on prep time, since there is nothing to chop. Win-win in my opinion! If you don’t purchase pre-packaged, use one medium-sized yellow onion, 2-3 carrots and 2-3 celery sticks, depending on size.

Turkey Bolognese

How to store turkey bolognese leftovers

This recipe makes 4-6 servings. If you don’t think you will use all of it at one time, it can be stored in a freezer safe container of storage bag for a few months. Let it defrost, in the refrigerator or on the counter for a few hours before reheating.

What you need for this turkey bolognese recipe

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ground turkey
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Crushed tomatoes

How to cook the bolognese

This recipe can be made traditionally on the stove, in a slow cooker if you have the extra time or in an InstantPot (pressure cooker) if you’re in a rush. All methods are included below!

Turkey Bolognese

Simple Dairy-Free Turkey Bolognese

Simple and comforting, this dairy-free and meaty bolognese is the perfect quick weeknight dinner or ultimate weekend comfort food.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 333kcal
Author: Sarah Holt

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, optional & not dairy-free
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb. organic ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup red wine, optional
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Stovetop

  • Heat olive oil & butter (if using) in large pot over medium-high heat
  • Add onion, carrots & celery and sauté until onion is translucent
  • Add salt & garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes
  • Add the ground turkey and cook for 10 minutes, until browned, crumbling and stirring occasionally
  • Pour in red wine (optional), deglaze the pot & allow to cook for ~5 minutes
  • Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme & basil
  • Bring to boil, turn down heat & simmer for ~45 minutes
  • Serve over your favorite pasta

Slow Cooker

  • Heat olive oil & butter (if using) in large pot over medium-high heat
  • Add onion, carrots & celery and sauté until onion is translucent
  • Add salt & garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes
  • Add the ground turkey and cook for 10 minutes, until browned, crumbling and stirring occasionally
  • Add ingredients to slow cooker, including wine, tomatoes and spices
  • Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours
  • Serve over pasta

Instant Pot

  • Set InstantPot to Sauté
  • Heat olive oil & butter (if using)
  • Add onion, carrots & celery and sauté until onion is translucent
  • Add salt & garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes
  • Add the ground turkey and cook for 10 minutes, until browned, crumbling and stirring occasionally
  • Pour in red wine (optional), deglaze the pot & and allow to cook for ~5 minutes
  • Add in tomatoes and spices ands stir for 1-2 minutes
  • Cover and pressure cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure
  • Serve over pasta
  • Enjoy!!
Keywords: bolognese, crockpot recipe, dairy free, gluten free, instant pot recipe, italian, pasta, slow cooker recipe

If you make this, tag me on Instagram! xo, Sarah

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