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Simple and Flavorful Turkey Meat sauce

Thick and hearty and full of flavor, along with a nice kick, this Ground Turkey Meat Sauce is sure to please. This is a simple recipe to make, and adding just a few flavor enhancing ingredients makes this a delicious meat sauce your kids will love, and they won’t even know you are using turkey instead of beef!

turkey meat sauce image.

This healthy ground turkey recipe is every bit as tasty and flavorful as meat sauce made with beef. It is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve this delicious turkey meat sauce with your favorite pasta.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Delicious flavor, you won’t miss the ground beef.
  • Healthier using ground turkey rather than beef.
  • Comes together from start to finish in under an hour.
  • Readily available ingredients.
  • Kid Friendly.
  • Make ahead and freezer friendly meal.
  • The Best Turkey Meat Sauce ever!!!
second feature image of turkey meat sauce.

Main Ingredients

This recipe uses super easy ingredients that can be purchased from a local grocery store if they are not already in your kitchen. Read the Recipe Card for the measurements.

  • Ground Turkey – This recipe uses lean ground turkey (93%) because it is a healthier option than beef and pork and also is readily available.
  • Garlic/Oregano – These aromatics add a nice mild and sweet flavor to the mix.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – This sauce adds a powerful unami flavor – a combination of sweet, sour, and spicy.
  • Cayenne Pepper – We like the extra kick this gives. If you prefer not to have any heat, this is completely optional.
  • Pasta Sauce – For convenience, we use a good quality store bought pasta sauce. Feel free to use homemade or your personal store bough favorite as well.
  • Wine – Using wine adds some nice depth to the flavor profile of this meat sauce. The alcohol will burn off while cooking so no need to worry about serving it to the kids. You can substitute sherry for wine. If you prefer no alcohol to be used; beef or chicken stock can be used as well as water.
  • Beef Base – Adds another layer of depth and meaty flavor to this sauce.
turkey meat sauce ingredients.

How to make This Simple and Flavorful Turkey Meat Sauce:

Step 1: Brown It

  • In a large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat, add olive oil.
  • Once oil is heated, add ground turkey meat. Cook until all the water has evaporated from the meat and it starts to brown.
brown the meat sauce.

Step 2: Spice It

  • Once brown, add garlic to the pot, cooking for an additional minute.
  • Add oregano, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add spices to the meat sauce.

Step 3: Deglaze It

  • Pour in the wine to deglaze the pot. Deglazing will help remove all of those caramelized tasty brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the pot is deglazed, reduce the wine until the pot starts to look dry again. The alcohol will burn off in the cooking process.

Note: If you prefer, beef or chicken stock can be used instead of wine. Water is also an option if stock is not available.

deglaze the pan to scrape up the bits.

Step 4: Re-wet It

  • Once the wine is reduced, add water and the beef base.
  • Reduce the liquid that’s in the pot to half.

Note: Adding the beef base gives the turkey meat a little extra meatiness that it’s missing. If you prefer, a cup of beef stock can be added instead of the beef base.

Add liquids again to the pot.

Step 5: Sauce It

  • Add your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, leaving it slightly opened. Simmer for 15 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken. Taste and adjust for spices.
Add the pasta sauce to the pot.

Step 6: Basil It

  • Once your sauce has thickened, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Add the chopped basil and stir to incorporate. The basil can be chopped, ripped or chiffonade (cutting into thin long strips).
chop the basil and add it to the pot.
final feature image of the ground turkey meat sauce.

Serve with your favorite pasta, topped with a healthy serving of Parmesan cheese and warm garlic bread to mop up any remaining sauce. This dish pairs perfectly with a salad such as our kale crunch salad.

Simple and Flavorful Turkey Meat Sauce

Simple and Flavorful Turkey Meat Sauce

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A quick and easy weeknight meat sauce made with ground turkey instead of beef and the result is just as delicious! Serve this healthy, hearty sauce with your favorite pasta!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (24 oz)
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese

Instructions

    1. In a large pot over medium high heat, add olive oil. Once oil is heated, add turkey meat. Cook until all the water has evaporated from the meat and it starts to brown.
    2. Once brown, add garlic to the pot, stirring and cooking for a minute. Add oregano, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
    3. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Deglazing will help remove all of the tasty brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. If you prefer, beef or chicken stock can be used instead of wine.
    4. Once the pot is deglazed, reduce the wine (or stock / water) until the pan starts to look dry again. The alcohol will burn off in the process of cooking, so no need to worry about using it. Once the wine is reduced, add water, beef base and reduce the liquid that's in the pot to half. If you prefer, a cup of beef stock can be added instead of the beef base.
    5. Add your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, leaving it slightly opened. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, reducing a bit to thicken. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
    6. Once your sauce has thickened, turn off stove and remove pot from burner. Then, add chopped basil and stir to incorporate.
    7. Serve with your favorite pasta, topped with a healthy serving of Parmesan cheese and warm garlic bread to mop up any remaining sauce.

Notes

If you prefer, beef or chicken stock can be used instead of wine. Water is also an option if stock is not available.

Adding the beef base gives the turkey meat a little extra meatiness that it's missing. If you prefer, a cup of beef stock can be added instead of the beef base.

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