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Turkey meat sauce in a staub dutch oven with a wooden spoon in the sauce

Fast and Easy Pasta Sauce with Ground Turkey

  • Author: Gitta Grether-Sweeney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10-1 cup servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian


This pasta sauce with ground turkey meat is a thick and flavorful meat sauce. It only needs to simmer for 20 minutes and is ready to serve. Perfect for weeknight meals!  


Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup olive vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey ((ground beef can be substituted))
  • 1 pound ground turkey Italian sausage (Pork Italian sausage can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup diced green, orange, yellow, or red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 each fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1-6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Pour oil into a Dutch oven (or pan holding 3-4 quarts of liquid)—heat oil over medium heat until it is warm.  Add ground turkey and turkey Italian sausage.  Stir the meat with a wooden spoon to break it into smaller pieces.  Cook until meat is no longer pink and the liquid is gone, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and diced bell peppers.   Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Season sauce with Worcestershire sauce, oregano leaves, sweet basil, thyme leaves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.  
  4. Stir crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, and water into the pan.
  5. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Add enough water to achieve your desired consistency if the sauce is too thick.


  •   Chicken broth or water can be substituted for the red wine.
  •    This recipe is adapted from

*Nutrition Disclaimer


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 250
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 446.3 mg
  • Fat: 14.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.9 g
  • Protein: 18.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 57.6 mg

Keywords: pasta sauce, spaghetti meat sauce, turkey meat sauce