Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese

This rich, hearty slow cooker turkey bolognese is filled with meat and vegetables, and after simmering for hours, it becomes an aromatic and velvety sauce that’s perfect over pasta.

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Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'Lites

Bolognese sauce is my favorite sauce to order at Italian restaurants.  This rich, hearty slow cooker turkey bolognese is filled with meat and vegetables, and after simmering for hours, it becomes an aromatic and velvety sauce that’s perfect over pasta.  The slow cooker takes the work and mess out of simmering this sauce for hours, which is required to develop its full flavor potential.  All you need is 15-20 minutes of stove top prep to get this dish ready for the slow cooker.  You can even do the prep the night before, then just set up the slow cooker in the morning.  Don’t skip browning the meat and vegetables, it’s an essential step for creating the maximum flavor.  This sauce freezes beautiful once it’s done, so don’t be afraid to double up the recipe!

ingredients2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
1 cup carrots (about 1 large), chopped
1 cup onion, (about 1 medium), chopped
1/2 cup celery (2 stalks), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup good dry red (Bordeaux, Merlot, Cabernet)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bays leaf
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups strained tomatoes, tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

directions

In a pan heated to medium high heat, brown the turkey in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Season the turkey with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once it’s cooked and nicely browned, set it aside.

While the turkey cooks, heat a Dutch oven or large pot to medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped pancetta.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the pancetta starts to get crisp around the edges.

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'LitesAdd the chopped carrots, onions, bay leaves and thyme into the Dutch oven with the pancetta.  Saute for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetable are fragrant.  Add in the tomato paste, and saute for another minute.

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'Lites

Add in the red wine, and allow it to reduce a bit (about 5 minutes).

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'Lites

Add the cooked turkey and 2 cups of crushed tomatoes into the slow cooker insert.  Add the cooked veggies/pancetta/wine mixture, and stir to combine.  Season the mixture with a big pinch (about 1/2 teaspoon) of salt, and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'Lites

Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.  When it’s done, remove the bay leaves and thyme spring, do one final salt check, then serve over pasta.

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'Lites

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese | Delish D'Lites

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Author Delish D'Lites

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta chopped
  • 1 cup carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves or 1 fresh
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a pan heated to medium high heat, brown the turkey in a tablespoon of olive oil. Season the turkey with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once it's cooked and nicely browned, set it aside.
  2. While the turkey cooks, heat a Dutch oven or large pot to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped pancetta. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the pancetta starts to get crisp around the edges.
  3. Add the chopped carrots, onions, bay leaves and thyme into the Dutch oven with the pancetta. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetable are fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, and saute for another minute.
  4. Add in the red wine, and allow it to reduce a bit (about 5 minutes). Add the cooked turkey and 2 cups of crushed tomatoes into the slow cooker insert. Add the cooked veggies/pancetta/wine mixture, and stir to combine. Season the mixture with a big pinch (about 1/2 teaspoon) of salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. When it's done, remove the bay leaves and thyme spring, do one final salt check, then serve over pasta.

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese

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Hola

I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.