Monday, 20 May 2013

RECIPE: Healthy, vegetable-packed turkey bolognese

Continuing my healthy eating kick (and feeling better than I have for a long time as a result), I recently bought turkey mince for the first time because it's much leaner than beef. Tonight was the night, the chosen one, the momentous night on which I was going to use said mince to make a bolognese. Yup, it was pretty exciting.

First things first, don't expect it to look like regular bolognese, because it doesn't. The meat is much paler, so your bolognese won't resemble the brown mush you're used to (mmm... sounds appealing.) However, I threw in a load of different veggies so that I wouldn't have to cook any on the side, and the ones I chose made mine look delightfully colourful. Colourful mush. Much better, am I right?

The size to which you chop your veggies really is up to you - it depends whether you prefer a chunky or smooth spag bol. I know a lot of people put mushrooms in bolognese sauce, but I am not a fan of the slimy little things, so stayed well clear. With bolognese you basically have free reign to throw in whatever you want though - be as authentic or original as you like. #yolo

Loads of veggies, lean protein and wholewheat spaghetti make this recipe a super healthy (but still filling) version of a more calorific classic. #summerbod, I'm coming for ya. (Am I ironically using hashtags a bit much?)

This recipe serves four, so makes a nice family meal. Or, if you're comme moi, it gives you tonight's dinner and three more portions for the freezer. Hoorah!


Low-cal cooking spray (use oil if that's all you have, but see here to find out why I prefer spray!)

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
500g extra lean turkey mince
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
A handful of green beans, chopped
1 carton chopped tomatoes
A squirt of tomato purée
Vegetable stock powder
A handful of frozen petits pois
Wholewheat spaghetti, to serve


1. Heat a few sprays of low-cal cooking spray in a large pan on a medium heat and chop all the veggies.

2. Fry the onion and garlic in the pan for a few minutes until the onion starts turning clear, stirring frequently.

3. Turn up the heat, season the mince with salt and pepper and add it to pan. Stir quickly and continuously to break up any lumps, mix it into the onions and ensure it cooks evenly. (It will seem a lot mushier than beef mince at first.)

Meat and onion just starting to brown, in goes the veg
4. When the mince is browning, turn the heat down again. Add the pepper, carrot and green beans. Stir it all in and leave for a few minutes.

5. Add the carton of chopped tomatoes and squirt of tomato purée, then make some vegetable stock in the empty carton and add that to the pan, along with salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Add a sprinkling of frozen petits pois. Stir it all together, put a lid on the pan, bring back to the boil then turn the heat down and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes, giving it the odd stir here and there.

All ingredients in, time to cover and leave to simmer.
6. Cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions, serve it all up and dig in (guilt-free, yippee!)


  1. I'm a fan of turkey mince, my favourite recipe is spiced turkey burgers. They're so delicious and healthy :D

    Elanor xxx

    1. Ooh yes, turkey burgers sound amazing! Thanks for reading my blog - I just had a casual peruse of yours and it's really lovely :) x


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