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two bowls of pasta with red bolognese sauce

Veg Forward Weeknight Bolognese

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  • Author: Jackie Shao - Easy Gourmet by Jackie
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Veg forward weeknight bolognese is my easy, delicious and veggie packed take on one of my favorite Italian foods.


Units Scale
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of whole milk
  • 8 ounces of pasta of choice


  1. Chop all the vegetables – dice the poblano pepper, onion, celery, and carrots. You can place all the veggies in the same bowl. Also mince the garlic. 

  2. Heat a large pan on medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add all the diced veggies and a big pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 7-8  minutes, or until the veggies are soft, stirring occasionally. 

  3. In the meantime, bring a pot of water up to a boil (for the pasta) and clean up your cutting board. Once the water is boiling, heavily salt your boiling water and boil your pasta of choice. When it’s cooked to your liking, strain the pasta (but don’t rinse it). 

  4. Once the veggies are soft (you can taste a piece, and it shouldn’t be crunchy), add the minced garlic and red pepper flake. Stir until aromatic, about 1 minute, then make some space at the bottom the pan. Add the tomato paste, stir it around a bit, then stir to mix it in with the rest of the veggies. 

  5. Push the veggies to ⅓ of the pan. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the ground turkey. Season the ground turkey with more kosher salt, ground pepper, and begin to break it into bite sized pieces. Once you’ve ground up the turkey, about 3 minutes later, mix together with the veggies. If you begin to notice your veggies are a bit dry and are starting to burn, add a bit more oil to that side and give the veggies a stir. 

  6. Add the diced tomatoes to the mixture and another big pinch of salt. Then, add the water and whole milk and give everything a stir. Taste, adjust seasoning as desired, and serve over your pasta. Top with parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Healthy
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian