All Day Turkey Bolognese

All Day Turkey Bolognese

(This is my first post using my “real” camera:  a Canon Rebel with a 50mm lens.  It was originally posted back in 2016 with some godawful pictures, and now I have some I’m proud of!)

Every home cook has a spaghetti dinner recipe.  Spaghetti was one of the first things I really made.  Pasta is so easy and versatile, and if you keep a stocked pantry and freezer, it’s something you can make without going to the grocery store at all.  I’d consider all the ingredients in my spaghetti to be kitchen essentials, with the exception of the wine and mushrooms.

I make my sauce in the slow cooker for several reasons.  First, it’s hands-off.  So you can get it going and then leave for the day.  Second, it keeps the calories lower because the ingredients essentially cook in their own juices, and you don’t need any extra oil.  Third, all ground meat should be cooked for a long time to avoid getting food poisoning.  So the longer the ground turkey cooks, the better.  Speaking of the turkey, it’s just what I always use.  You could always use ground beef or chicken instead.

My spaghetti recipe has developed over time.  Each time I tried adding something different, the flavors just got better and more complex.  Of course every spaghetti sauce has garlic and onion, but I think you’ll like the unexpected ingredients, too.  The red wine enhances the depth of flavor for the dish.  Since I do use turkey, I like to turn up the other flavors, and wine gives it a strong back note.  Worchestire sauce is a “secret” ingredient to lots of savory dishes.  It has umami that you can’t get from anything else.  Then there’s the cinnamon.  It sounds weird, but I got the idea after trying Greek spaghetti, and it tastes so good!

I always use whole wheat pasta.  Not only is it healthier, but I like the nuttiness that’s in the whole wheat.  Last, the basil; I add this only right before serving.  Fresh, delicate herbs like basil should always be added at the end.  Dried herbs should always be added in the beginning to get the most flavor from them. 

Total Time: 6 hours16832279_437085866630055_3889349833823699474_n.jpg

Serves: 8-10

Difficulty Level:  Easy


1 onion

4 garlic cloves

8 ounce box of fresh mushrooms

20 ounce package of lean ground turkey

8 ounces red wine

2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce

1 dash of Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pound whole wheat spaghetti

Fresh basil

Freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Dice onion.  Finely chop garlic.  Slice mushrooms.  Add the veggies to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the ground turkey to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the red wine, marinara sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and cinnamon.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for at least 5 hours.
  5. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Toss with the sauce and freshly torn basil.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

[originally posted 8/9/2016]