slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce

You have to try this recipe because it is freakin’ amazing!!!  I’ve been legit eating this slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce every day for lunch during the last week, it’s THAT good!!!  Apart from it being delicious, it’s also healthy, crazy easy to make and it’s a great make ahead recipe and perfect for food prep Sunday.  How many more reasons do you need to try this?  None, I promise, you won’t regret pulling your slow cooker out of the box and spending 20 minutes prepping this recipe.

Slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce at laughlovekiss.comI know that bolognese isn’t exactly a summer recipe but the addition of zucchini noodles give it a summer twist and sometimes I just crave this type of dish even in the middle of July!  This slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce is so tasty that I don’t even miss the beef.  This recipe came about because I’m following a nutritional program that’s based on flexible dieting so I’ve been trying to find macro-friendly recipes that I can make ahead and they have to taste good so it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out.  I’ve got a nutrition coach that belongs to Working Against Gravity (WAG) and I can’t say enough good things about this program.  

Flexible dieting takes some extra time because I have to weigh and measure my food so preparation is really important in order for me to stick to my goals.  Sundays are my food prep day and this slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce is now a regular on my food prep list.

Slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce at laughlovekiss.comI also recently discovered zucchini noodles or zoodles and I’m also totally loving this!  I’m not going to lie and say they substitute pasta but I’ve found them to be a great filler instead of pasta.  I get way more volume with zoodles and they’re neutral so they just taste like whatever you’re serving them with.  I spiralize a few zucchinis on Sunday and just grab some for my lunch.  I nuke them for 1:30 min. on high by themselves and then I add my sauce and reheat again and it’s done! 

Slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce at laughlovekiss.comYou could just throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker but I’m not a fan because I think browning the meat and sautéing the veggies before add a serious level of flavour to the dish that you won’t get if you just go straight to the slow cooker.  It’s an extra 10-15 minutes that make all the difference so go ahead and dirty that sauté pan because you will thank me after your first bite of this slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce.

Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce
Serves 4
A delicious, healthy, and easy recipe for a slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce that even the biggest skeptic will love.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr 45 min
Total Time
4 hr 55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr 45 min
Total Time
4 hr 55 min
  1. 1 lb/500 gr. ground turkey meat*
  2. 1 Tbsp./15 ml extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/170 gr. onion, finely chopped
  4. 3/7 gr. garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 6/40 gr. white mushrooms, finely chopped
  6. 1/170 gr. green pepper, finely chopped
  7. 1/85 gr. carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  8. 1 28 oz./830 gr. of whole canned tomatoes, with the juice, crushed with a spoon
  9. 1 tsp./5 gr. dried oregano
  10. 1 tsp./5 gr. dried parsley
  11. 1 tsp./5 gr. dried basil
  12. 1 bay leaf
  13. Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Heat a non-stick sauté pan on high and brown the ground turkey until it's brown and no longer pink on the inside (approx. 5-7 min.) Make sure to properly crumble the meat with a spoon. Remove the meat and add to the slow cooker.
  2. Use the same sauté pan and lower the heat to medium. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the onions and cook for about 5 min. Make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the meat because this adds flavour.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add the rest of the veggies (carrots, green peppers and mushrooms) and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked veggies to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients (canned tomatoes, herbs, and salt and pepper). Make sure you break up the whole tomatoes with a spoon.
  6. Stir all the ingredients so they are well incorporated.
  7. Set your slow cooker to high and program for 4.5 hours. Remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  1. *I used a ground turkey meat composed of 90% turkey breast. You need some dark meat and fat in this sauce for it to be as flavourful as possible.
  2. **Don't skip the browning or sauté steps before adding your ingredients to the slow cooker because these steps are crucial to a flavour packed sauce.
Slow cooker turkey bolognese sauce at laughlovekiss.comI’d love to hear if you loved this recipe as much as I do.  Is anyone interested in hearing about my experience with WAG?  If so, just let me know in the comments or on social media and I’ll prep a post about flexible dieting and the WAG magic.


  1. Cat says:

    This sounds and looks amazing. Totally my kind of Sunday meal prep and I’m sure I can double this batch and freeze one for quick and easy suppers!

    • Carla says:

      It hasn’t lasted me long enough to freeze but I definitely think it’s a freezer friendly recipe. You can also double it because it doesn’t even fill up my slow cooker half way so it shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure to tell me how it works out!

  2. Cathy says:

    Carla-im so going to try this! I’m starting to track my macros as well as with a busy lifestyle I don’t think im eating enough! I will definitely let you know how this turns out!

    • Carla says:

      Tracking my macros has been really working for me and worth the extra effort of weighing and tracking my food. You´re probably not eating enough and if you´re like me, you’ll need to eat more protein. I can’t wait to hear if you like this recipe as much as I do. It’s seriously one of my faves.

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