Turkey Rosemary Bolognese


Who doesn’t love a hearty Bolognese sauce? This Italian classic simmers low and slow until it becomes a rich, thick sauce that coats every strand of pasta. You’ll likely have most of the ingredients on hand leftover from your Thanksgiving prep (carrots, celery, and onion)—and maybe just enough red wine from the night before, too. As it cooks, the turkey breaks down to resemble the ground meat typically found in bolognese. Don't forget to serve each bowl of pasta with crusty bread to soak up every last bite of sauce. Paired with a simple green salad (and maybe more wine), this will become one of your new favorite ways to enjoy leftover turkey.

Dish of turkey bolognese displayed on a table
Rich, slow-simmered bolognese is the epitome of a cozy winter dinner. This version makes use of leftover turkey, but opt for ground beef for a more traditional version. A splash of red wine is added to the sauce; serve the rest of the bottle with dinner. Get the Recipe:Turkey Rosemary Bolognese. Photo: Brie Passano
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided

  • 2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey meat

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • ¾ cup red wine

  • 1 28 - oz. 28-oz. crushed tomatoes

  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped (about 2 tsp.)

  • Red pepper flakes, optional

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound Spaghetti, tagliatelle, or fettuccine

  • Shaved parmesan, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Season with ½ tsp. salt and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Add turkey and tomato paste and cook until meat is browned, stirring once, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until almost all of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, rosemary, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Cook over low until thickened and gently bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and several grinds pepper.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water and drain. Add pasta and ¼ cup pasta cooking water to the skillet and toss to coat. Add more pasta water to thicken the sauce, if desired.

  3. Divide pasta among plates and top with shaved parmesan and several grinds black pepper.

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