turkey Bolognese on plate side

turkey bolognese (ish) sauce with spinach

What’s with the “ish” you ask? Well this IS a thick meat sauce BUT adding spinach leaves at the end so they get “just” cooked gives it an extra zest that’s not typical of bolognese sauces but ohhhh does it taste good! Serving this sauce over spaghetti squash is a delicious, crowd pleasing dinner that can be made in under 45 minutes and requires only one pan (+ a dish for cooking the spaghetti squash if we’re being technical).

garlic and tomatoes for turkey bolognese sauce    spinach for turkey bolognese sauce

Not a fan of turkey meat? No problem, other chop meats work well too. And if you’re like many and pressed for time on weeknights you can make the meat sauce, without the spinach, in advance. When you’re ready to reheat pour the meat sauce into a sauté pan and add the spinach once the sauce is thoroughly heated and you’re almost ready to eat. This keeps the spinach from getting overcooked.

the sauce 

Chop the onion and tomatoes and set aside. Pour the olive oil into the pan, add the onion and crush the garlic into the pan. Sauté, stirring regularly, for a few minutes until the onions and garlic are light brown, then add in the tomatoes. Keep stirring until the tomatoes start to look a little soft and the juices begin to come out.

onions for turkey bolognese sauce    adding oil for turkey bolognese sauce adding garlic for turkey bolognese sauce   chopped tomatoes for turkey bolognese sauce

Once there’s tomato juice covering the bottom of the sauté pan add the turkey meat. Break apart the turkey meat as you stir. Continue stirring and breaking the chop meat until the meat is in small pieces. Add the wine, dried oregano and basil, lower the heat and let simmer stirring regularly until the turkey meat is completely cooked and the sauce has reduced.

turkey meat for turkey bolognese sauce adding meat for turkey bolognese sauce sautéing with meat added for turkey bolognese sauce basil oregano for turkey bolognese sauce cooking down for turkey bolognese sauce

Once the meat is cooked and the sauce has thickened add in the parmesan cheese, stir thoroughly and cook for 3 minutes. Then gently fold in the spinach leaves and remove from heat. Continue folding the leaves in with the sauce until the spinach is “just” cooked.

adding parmesan for turkey bolognese sauce sauteeing with herbs for turkey bolognese sauce adding spinach for turkey bolognese sauce sauteeing with spinach for turkey bolognese sauce

You’re ready to serve and enjoy!

turkey bolognese sauce over spaghetti squash

4.5 from 2 reviews
turkey bolognese sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • olive oil - 3 tablespoons
  • garlic - 5 cloves crushed
  • onion - 1 medium, chopped
  • tomatoes - 6 medium size, roughly chopped
  • lean ground turkey - 1.3 lbs
  • red wine - ¼ cup
  • parmesan cheese - ⅓ cup
  • oregano - 1 teaspoons, dried
  • basil - 2 teaspoons, dried
  • fresh spinach leaves - 2 cups loose leaves (1 large handful)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Chop onion and tomatoes
  2. Crush garlic
  3. Pour olive oil into large skillet
  4. Add onions and garlic
  5. Sautee onions and garlic until slightly browned
  6. Add tomatoes and sauté 5 minutes stirring regularly
  7. Add turkey meat, sauté and break up meat as you stir
  8. Add wine and stir
  9. Add basil and oregano and salt and pepper to taste and stir
  10. Let simmer, stirring regularly for 15 -20 minutes or until turkey meat is thoroughly cooked, tomato juices have reduced and sauce has thickened
  11. Mix in parmesan cheese and cook for 3 minutes
  12. Add spinach and gently fold meat sauce mixture over spinach leaves
  13. Remove from heat and continue folding meat mixture over spinach until leaves are cooked
  14. Serve


4 thoughts on “turkey bolognese (ish) sauce with spinach

  1. everyone loved it! i made this using ground beef & spaghetti squash. i added a pinch of sugar too, i think this depends on the tomatoes you use.

    I also doubled the recipe and used the sauce in stuffed peppers and over pasta later in the week. :))

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