Friday , 19 January 2018

Lightened Up Bolognese Sauce

When I was younger I was an unabashed carnivore.

I ate my burgers plain with cheese and ketchup, and would always eat the meat in dishes and often skipped the veggies.

Forget a salad – I went the route of meat, meat and more meat.

It’s not that I didn’t like vegetables, I would and did eat broccoli, carrots, peppers and more.  It’s just if given a choice I ate the protein, and probably way more than was necessary, and only nibbled at the rest.  When I started to get into eating healthier, I realized that being a carnivore was probably not the healthiest route to take and it’s then that I branched out and started eating more vegetables.

Keeping this in mind, I waved good bye to sauces like regular meat sauce or traditional Bolognese because of the amount of fat and calories versus a marinara or other vegetable based tomato sauce.

But recently, I really wanted to try to see if I could make a lightened-up version of the classic, and I’ve gotta admit, I’m liking this.

This recipe keeps the heart of a Bolognese sauce, but by subbing in turkey and Canadian bacon, a lot of the saturated fat and calories have been slashed.

On the side I did an easy roasted vegetable medley since I’ve been falling into the habit of serving a salad with everything and wanted to change it up a bit.

And Bonus!  Make sure to keep an eye out for my next post where I’ll show you what I did with the leftover sauce.[divider_flat]

Lightened Up Bolognese Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories per serving: 179

Fat per serving: 6.4

Lightened Up Bolognese Sauce


  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • ½ lb ground turkey breast
  • 2 oz Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 3 – 4 slices)
  • 3 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Marsala (can sub Madeira or Sherry)
  • 2 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in turkey and Canadian bacon, and cook until turkey is browned, stirring to crumble, about 4 – 6 minutes. Add in tomato paste and continue to cook another 4 minutes. Add marsala wine to pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and all of the seasonings (oregano through nutmeg + a bit of salt and pepper). Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes (if it starts to get too dry feel free to add in splashes of chicken stock to get the consistency you want). Stir in the greek yogurt, and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook for another minute. Taste and adjust by adding salt and pepper to taste.


Nutritional Info does not include any pasta.

Roasted Italian Vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories per serving: 88

Fat per serving: 3.8

Roasted Italian Vegetables


  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced into half moons
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Combine dried basil through garlic, mixing well.
  3. In a large bowl toss all of the cut vegetables with the vinaigrette until well coated. Pour onto a sprayed roasted pan, patting all of the vegetables into one layer.
  4. Cook for 35 minutes until browned, stirring at least twice during roasting.

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  1. Very cool ingredients in this bolognese – the addition of marsala and fixing this with turkey is a great idea. The roasted veggies look wonderful too 🙂

    chow! DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors

  2. Thank you for your recipe! Loved your bolognese sauce!! haha.. I’m with you on being a carnivore!! I can never get enough of MEAT! If you wanna make it even healthier, you could use Turkey bacon too!! Turkey bacon has pretty much the same amount of calories as ham! haha.. Obviously, you won’t get quite the same taste though.. 😀
    Sammie recently posted..Neslé Toulouse – Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  3. I love how you lightened it up. Your Bolognese looks delicious! So do the roasted vegetables. YUM!
    Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Supermarket RosesMy Profile

  4. Your Bolognese sauce looks delicious. I am crazy about meat sauce over the years (long long time) and I’m so happy to see some new Bolognese recipe. 🙂
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Spanish Mackerel with YuzuMy Profile

  5. What a delicious way to lighten up a classic! We’ve been trying to eat less red meat too so I’ve love to try this.
    Susan recently posted..Irish Potato Nibbles and A Brief Irish Potato HistoryMy Profile

  6. Youre same as me, I love meat before and did not eat vegetables at all. But now I love vegetables and I cant live without it.
    Raymund recently posted..Irish stewMy Profile

  7. The roasted veggies look extremely yummy!


  8. Forgot to ask – does this work with any pasta? Or just spaghetti?

    Josh recently posted..How To Pick Up GirlsMy Profile

  9. Very cool 🙂 I’m trying to get away from meat myself…only recently started eating vegetables!

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your leftovers
    Parsley Sage recently posted..Salted Peanut Butter Brownie BitesMy Profile

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