Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese is stuffed with veggies and lean turkey, and is delicious over noodles and zoodles!
A month ago my sister-in-law came over to our house for all-day of freezer meal prep. She recently had a baby and just went back to work so we are both in need of some super simple meals. Bonus points if we can pull it out of the freezer and let the slow cooker do the work for us.
I couldn’t make a batch of freezer slow cooker meals without including this recipe for bolognese sauce. Bolognese sauce is typically made on the stovetop, and simmered for hours. However, I think it is absolutely made for the slow cooker. The reason it’s so good and flavorful is because it is cooked so long. With the slow cooker, it can cook all day!
This recipe does require a little pre-slow cooker prep. The veggies need to be sauteed and the turkey needs to be cooked prior to putting it in the slow cooker. This part of the recipe could definitely be done the night in advance. You could do like we did and freeze it, making it ready to be put in the slow cooker at any time!
How to Make Turkey Bolognese
I made ours with ground turkey, but I’ve also made it the more traditional way with ground beef before. So this recipe works just as well with either. I topped it with freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese. I’ve also heard some people like to stir in a splash of heavy cream at the end as well, for additional richness. I’d say if you have some cream in your refrigerator – give it a try!
Regardless, this bolognese is delicious and is the perfect way to kick spaghetti night up a notch. Even my meat-averse toddler ate it up!
One note about this recipe: it makes a LOT! If you have a smaller family, perhaps you could definitely freeze half of it. Just cook the other half right away in the slow cooker.
Like this recipe? Check these out, too!
Instant Pot Spaghetti from The Salty Marshmallow
Crock Pot Spaghetti Casserole from The Chunky Chef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion finely diced
- 3 carrots peeled and finely diced
- 3 stalks celery finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- 2 lbs ground turkey or ground beef
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine or chicken broth
- 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper, and Worcestershire and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into smaller pieces as you go.
- Add tomato paste and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add red wine, and deglaze the pan.
- Add crushed tomatoes, and salt and pepper.
- Transfer to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Serve over spaghetti noodles, pappardelle noodles, or even spaghetti squash!