With the right seasonings, a turkey meat sauce can be flavorful and delicious. *BONUS* — it’s also leaner and more environmentally friendly than a traditional beef sauce. Make this turkey meat sauce in a slow cooker and serve atop your favorite pasta noodles (or freeze for later). We also use this sauce in our Turkey Lasagna recipe.
Makes 10 cups of sauce
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
2 T olive oil
2 lbs ground turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp Large Flake Salt (divided in half)
1 T Italian Seasoning
2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or as spicy as you like)
2 T tomato paste
28 can whole peeled tomatoes (no herbs or seasonings added)
15 oz can tomato sauce (no herbs or seasonings added)
2 small Bay Leaves
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 T butter
¼ tsp fresh ground Black Peppercorns
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven on stovetop over med-high heat. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring as needed until fragrant. Add onions and 2 tsp of the salt. Cook for another 3-5 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon, until onions become soft and translucent.
Add the ground turkey to the Dutch oven. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into crumbles and mix well with the garlic and onions. Now add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste — stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the meat is no longer pink.
While the meat is cooking in the Dutch oven, put a slow cooker on high and add the can of whole peeled tomatoes and the can of tomato sauce. Use your spoon to crush the whole tomatoes a bit and combine with the sauce. Add the bay leaves and cover.
Remove your Dutch oven (meat mixture) from heat and pour its contents into the slow cooker sauce. Add the remaining 2 tsp of salt, the butter, and the red wine vinegar. Mix well and cover. Leave on high for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. You might want to uncover partly or completely to allow some of the liquid to evaporate (only if it’s looking watery).
Serve atop your favorite pasta noodles with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!