This Slow Cooker Bolognese needs to be on your dinner rotation! It is of course delicious, but also with just 45 minutes of prep you can serve a healthy weeknight meal that tastes like it took you all day to prepare. It freezes well for a great make-ahead option and this healthier version is made with ground turkey without sacrificing any of that amazing cooked all day Bolognese flavor.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds 93% lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 pound carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about 3 cups or 6 medium)
2 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), peeled and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
6 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste
1 1/2 cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half
Cooked whole wheat pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash strands
- Cook The Turkey or Beef: Lightly coat a 6-quart slow cooker or larger with nonstick spray. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the turkey, breaking up the meat with a spatula until it is starting to brown, 5-7 minutes. Place the turkey into the slow cooker.
- Cook The Vegetables: In the same skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat and add the carrots, zucchini, onion and salt. Saute for 3-5 minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the wine and stir. Return to a simmer and let the wine cook until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker with the turkey. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Uncover and stir in the half-and-half.
- To serve: Taste and add additional salt, black pepper or red pepper flakes as desired. Serve over hot cooked pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash strands.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 2/3 cups
- Calories: 140
- Fat: 6 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 13 g