I have a delicious recipe Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce I’m excited to share with you today. I adapted it Italian slow cooker By Michel Ciccolone where he calls it “Slow Cooker Turkey Ragu alla Bolognese”
When I was growing up in Connecticut in the 1970s, Ragu was a brand of spaghetti sauce that is still widely available in grocery stores today. But in Italy, ragù is used to describe a meat-based sauce with a small amount of tomato sauce added to it. The meat in an authentic Italian ragù can be veal, beef, lamb, pork, poultry or even fish.
Michele explains in her recipe captions that while Bolognese-style ragout is usually made with veal or beef, turkey makes a flavorful substitute. If you prefer, you can always use ground beef, veal, or a combination of the two instead.
How many calories and Weight Watchers are in this Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce?
By my calculations, each ½ cup serving has 76 calories. To see your WW points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or website, click here.
I reduced the fat and calories by almost 50% by making a few changes to the recipe. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and ½ cup of heavy cream, all of which are high in calories, total fat, and saturated fat.
I cut the butter and olive oil down to 1 tablespoon. I also substituted half and half for the recommended cream. Also, the recipe also called for 4 ounces of pancetta, which I left out.
Always remember that specific nutritional values may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and serving size.
Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon of fat butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1-½ pounds ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 glass of dry white wine
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 1 28-ounce can Italian skinned tomatoes, drained and finely chopped (I included the tomato puree)
- ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg (I didn’t leave)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream (I used half and half because that’s what I had)
How to make Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce step by step
Step 1: Gather and prepare your ingredients.
Step 2: In a large pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until golden, about 20 minutes.
Step 3: Stir in ground turkey and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, wine and stock and bring to a simmer.
Step 4: Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and add the tomatoes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. (I added ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.) Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until thickened.
Step 5: Mix half and half and cook for another 15 minutes.
This was delicious! It’s definitely going into regular rotation. I love the ease of this recipe. It takes a while to cook the vegetables and meat, but then you put it in the slow cooker and let it cook until dinner time.
I made a few changes to the original recipe based on what I had on hand and to reduce the fat, calories and WW points;
- They used 1 tbsp of butter instead of 2
- Used 1 tbsp olive oil instead of 2
- Skip 4 oz chopped pancetta
- Use ½ cup half and half instead of cream
What to serve with Spaghetti Bolognese sauce?
Traditional Bolognese sauce is usually served over fresh pasta, such as fresh spinach or egg fettuccine. I served ours over dried spaghetti because that’s what I had on hand. This sensational sauce would also be delicious over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
I usually serve a simple salad on the side. For those who aren’t concerned about calories or carbs, warm crusty Italian bread or roasted garlic bread will be delicious.
Ways to Use Leftover Bolognese Sauce in the Slow Cooker
There are so many delicious ways to use up leftover Bolognese. Here are some ideas that are perfect for weight watchers:
- Baked pasta. Use Bolognese sauce to make baked pasta dishes like lasagna, lasagna rolls, baked ziti, or this Baked Gnocchi Bolognese Lighter. Simply layer the sauce with cooked macaroni and cheese, then bake until heated through and bubbly.
- Zucchini boats. Cut the courgettes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds to form a ‘boat’. Top each zucchini half with the Bolognese sauce and top with some low-fat cheese. Bake in the oven until the zucchini is soft and the cheese is melted.
- Spaghetti Squash. Fry the spaghetti squash and mash the flesh with a fork into “noodles”. Toss spaghetti squash noodles with Bolognese sauce for a low-carb, high-fiber meal.
- Cauliflower Rice Bowls. Prepare the cauliflower rice by processing the cauliflower (affiliate link) until it resembles rice. Stir-fry cauliflower rice with Bolognese sauce and any vegetables you like, such as bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
- Stuffed mushrooms. Remove the stems from the portobello mushrooms and fill the caps with Bolognese sauce. Top with low-fat cheese and bake in the oven until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is melted.
- Shepherd’s pie. Use Bolognese sauce as a base for shepherd’s pie. Pour the sauce with mashed potatoes and bake until golden brown.
- Sloppy Joes. Turn bolognese sauce into an Italian sloppy joe by serving it on a hamburger bun or roll.
- Pizza topping. Use the sauce as a pizza topping. Spread it on the prepared crust, top with cheese and any other desired toppings, and bake until the crust is golden brown.
- Skillet Lasagna Use the sauce to make this easy stir-fry lasagna.
- Calzones or Empanadas. Use the sauce as a filling for calzones or empanadas. Simply fill pre-made dough or 2-ingredient dough with sauce, cover and bake until golden brown.
You can also portion the remaining sauce into airtight containers and freeze it for future quick and easy meals.
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Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce
This Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce is made with it Italian slow cooker By Michel Ciccolone where he calls it “Slow Cooker Turkey Ragu alla Bolognese”. I made a few changes to reduce calories and Weight Watchers Points without sacrificing taste.
Services (adjustable): 20:00 ½ cup portions
In a large pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until golden, about 20 minutes.
Stir in ground turkey and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, wine and stock and bring to a simmer.
Pour the mixture into your slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low for 6 hours or until thickened.
Stir halfway through and cook for another 15 minutes or until heated through.
The size of the service. ½ cup
Click here to see your WW points for this recipe and track it on the WW app or website.
2: * Points Plus (old plan)
**Always note that specific nutritional values may vary based on specific ingredients used and serving size.
Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce
Amount per serving (1/2 cup)
Calories from fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5 g8%
Carbohydrates 2 g1%
fiber 0.2 g1%
the protein 8 g16%
* Daily percentage values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The source of the recipe: Adapted from The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Ciccolone
* Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All ingredients in a recipe, except optional items, are included in determining the nutritional values. SmartPoints® values are calculated EXCLUDING each plan ZeroPoint Foods (Green Plan, Blue Plan, Purple Plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
If you like this Skinny Slow Cooker Bolognese, you may also like:
Martha is the founder and main content author of Simple-Nurished-Living.
A WW goal for many years, she is committed to balancing her love of food and her desire to stay slim while enjoying life and helping others do the same.
He is an author Smart Start 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and a self-confessed cookbook addict, when she’s not experimenting in the kitchen, you’ll most likely find Martha on her yoga mat.
More about Martha McKinnon
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