Turkey Bolognese (Guest Post!)


November 17, 2010 by Dana

Since I knew I was going to be out of the country last week, I decided to feature the first ever guest post on Food for Thought in my absence.   I immediately knew that I would ask my friend Jill to cover for me.  She is an awesome cook and baker, and I wanted to see what deliciousness she would come up with.  (BTW, she is also a great graphic designer, and just started her own design blog…. Check it out here!!)

As expected, she made something that sounds so amazing, which I can’t wait to try out on my own… Turkey Bolognese!  This definitely would have been the perfect guest post while I was away… if I had remembered to post it.   Jill knows better than anyone that I’m never on time, so I’m sure she’s not surprised that this is going up after my trip.  But hey, better late than never, right??

Thanks, Jill!!


Dana’s on vacation! You know what that means?

Time to cook bad-for-you things!!

Just kidding!! ;)

I’m here to guest blog for Dana…I thought I’d make something that she normally wouldn’t, so my mind went to ground meat. But before I could think much about that, I got distracted by the thought of turkey bolognese…one of my favorites, especially as the weather is getting chillier!

Of course you COULD make this with beef/pork instead of turkey (which Dana wouldn’t ;)), I think the turkey works great here. The trick is the fennel seeds – makes it seem like there must be bad-for-you sausage in the sauce, but really there’s not!

Let’s chat about quantities of things for a second so you know what to expect… This recipe makes about 4 quarts of sauce. I used 2 quarts of it with one box of pasta, and froze the other 2 quarts for another time. But keep in mind the pasta I use is Barilla Whole Grain, so they are 12 oz boxes, not a full pound.


1 1.3-lb pack of ground turkey
1/4 cup olive oil
2 yellow onions, minced
10 cloves of garlic, minced
2 28-oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1.5 tbsp oregano
1.5 tbsp parsely
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup graded romano (or similar) cheese
1 12-oz can tomato paste


1. In a pot 4 quarts or larger, brown until cooked. (If you have fresh nutmeg, grate some over the cooking turkey.) Turkey won’t need to be
drained, but if you use a different meat, drain excess grease. Remove turkey and set aside.

2. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to the pot. Cook until onion is translucent over medium-high.

3. Add crushed tomatoes, all spices, sugar, and cheese. Heat through over medium-high heat.

4. Once boiling, add in turkey and tomato paste. Lower heat to medium-low. The tomato paste will cause the sauce to stick in the bottom of the pot, so stirring every 10 minutes is necessary. Heat sauce for at least 30 minutes; a couple hours is even better if you have the time!

18 thoughts on “Turkey Bolognese (Guest Post!)

  1. This looks great! You or she should submit it to Presto Pasta Nights, I’m hosting this week. Get it in by Friday morning to be part of the round up!


  2. Faith says:

    Mmmm, love turkey bolognese! Yours looks wonderful and I love the addition of fennel…I’m definitely going to try that!

  3. they look so heavenly…yum!!

  4. Yum. Love the fennel seed addition with explanation (always better!). Great guest post!

  5. I’ve always wanted to make a bolognese! Love the addition of fennel to the turkey! YUM!

  6. RavieNomNoms says:

    Looks awesome! Great guest post!

  7. A classic -fantastic! I’d like that for dinner tonight.

  8. Ruth says:

    Great guesting! Terrific post and a very delicious sounding recipe. I do hope you plan on sharing it with Presto Pasta Nights this week.

  9. Claudia says:

    I love replacing beef with turkey and it works so well in this recipe. Utterly packed with flavor.

  10. For some reason I just love pasta. This sounds amazing! Turkey sure is popular. I had some turkey burgers this summer and I can see why…made right ground turkey is SO tasty.

  11. Monet says:

    What a great guest post! I love bolognese, and I’m all about using turkey…this sounds and looks delicious. Thank you for sharing your friend and her recipe. I hope you are having a relaxing Wednesday night!

  12. Tes says:

    Great guest post! I love turkey bolognese. This sounds like a perfect comfort food for the holiday season :)

  13. Evan @swEEts says:

    Great post! I love the idea of incorporating fennel seeds so you think you’re eating sausage. I could totally go for a big bowl of this right now :)

  14. I love how you added the fennel seeds to make the turkey taste more like the less than healthy sausage. This looks delicious.

  15. what a great guest post! and considering thanksgiving is around the corner, im sure a lot of people will want recipes on what to do with all that leftover turkey!

  16. Rich says:

    That is a great stand-in! I don’t use fennel seeds enough in … well, anything. And that needs to change. This looks absolutely fantastic!

  17. […] is Jill’s sister.  (You remember Jill, right?  I’ll jog your memory… she made that yummy Turkey Bolognese for us when I was away).  Anyway, Steph is great… and lucky for us, she has a blog of her own […]

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