Turkey Bolognese – a rich and hearty sauce is paired with cooked turkey for a quick and delicious dinner that tastes gourmet! It’s perfect for using up your leftover holiday turkey, and is a family favorite!

A close up of a plate of food, with Noodles and cheese and a fork

Hey there y’all, how was your Thanksgiving? Have you worked your way through all of your leftovers yet?! We had a substantial amount of leftovers ourselves, which I always enjoy. My in-laws came from Georgia to spend the holiday with us, and my sister-in-law and her husband  drove down from Oklahoma, too. It was so nice to have everyone under one roof for a few days, and our kids soaked up all of the special attention they could get!

Since we had a good-sized group of us for the big feast, we ended up having a turkey and a ham, so I’ve had double-duty leftovers! I made Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup with some of the ham last night and it really hit the spot. I make it a lot as it is,  but it always tastes so good with leftover holiday ham.

As for the turkey, we had a LOT of it leftover. My husband was in charge of picking it up from the store, and he graced us with a 15 pound bird! Not to worry though, because I had plans for that turkey, and it included this Turkey Bolognese recipe!

A close up of a plate of food, with pasta and cheese

I love traditional leftover recipes just as much as the next girl, but I decided I wanted to to try something different this time around. Anything that involves pasta is a sure-fire way to get my kids to eat something new, so that was a plus, too. I love bolognese sauces, and they typically take a bit of time to cook to develop those yummy flavors, but this one is excellent and is ready in under 30 minutes! It uses up a whole pound of leftover turkey, and you can use white or dark meat, or a combination of the two like I did.

You can use your favorite marinara sauce here, store-bought or homemade. If you’re looking for a good prepared one, then I highly recommend Rao’s brand, which is what I use when I make this recipe. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s full of simple, delicious flavors and no junk ingredients. I got hooked on it when we did the Whole30 a couple years ago, and I keep a jar on hand for recipes just like this Turkey Bolognese!

Hope y’all enjoy this! It’s our go-to leftover turkey recipe. If you don’t have leftover cooked turkey, then you could also make this with shredded chicken, or ground turkey. If using ground turkey, just add it to the vegetables after they’ve cooked for a couple of minutes, brown the meat completely and drain any grease before adding the sauce and spices. ????

A dish is filled with pasta and Sauce
5 from 24 ratings

Recipe: Turkey Bolognese Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Turkey Bolognese – a rich and hearty sauce is paired with cooked turkey for a quick and delicious dinner that tastes gourmet! It’s perfect for using up your leftover holiday turkey, and is a family favorite!


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound shredded cooked turkey, (I use a mixture of white and dark meat)
  • 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce (I prefer Rao's brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz spaghetti noodles
  • chopped fresh basil,, for garnish
  • grated parmesan cheese,, for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turkey meat and cook for another minute, mixing all the ingredients well.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the marinara sauce, thyme, oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often for 10-15 minutes so that the flavors can blend.
  • While sauce cooks, make the spaghetti. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the large pot of sauce and stir well, evenly coating the noodles. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Main
Calories: 410kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 671mg, Potassium: 713mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2250IU, Vitamin C: 10.7mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.

Adapted from Food Network

A pasta dish with turkey and cheese

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