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This lean meat sauce recipe is made with ground turkey meat instead of ground beef, and the result is just as delicious! Plus, finely chopped mushrooms are incorporated into the sauce (undetected!) for an easy way to eat more vegetables. Serve this healthy, hearty meat sauce recipe with your favorite whole-wheat pasta, or over polenta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

EatingWell.com, October 2018; updated November 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

35 mins
35 mins

How to Store Quick Turkey Meat Sauce

This healthy ground turkey meat recipe is perfect for making ahead and storing. Refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To reheat the meat sauce, microwave or reheat in a saucepan over low heat until heated through. If frozen, let the sauce thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Can I Use a Different Protein in This Meat Sauce Recipe?

Yes, the ground turkey can be swapped for ground beef in this recipe. Choose lean ground beef, 90% or higher, which will have less fat. Ground beef adds great flavor to this recipe. However, it does have more saturated fat than ground turkey, so if you're following a heart-healthy diet, stick with ground turkey. 

Additional reporting by Alex Loh


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add turkey, mushrooms and salt; cook, crumbling the turkey with a wooden spoon and stirring, until the turkey is no longer pink and the mushrooms are cooked, about 10 minutes.

  • Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley (or basil).


Large skillet

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup
100 calories; protein 8.8g; carbohydrates 7.1g; dietary fiber 1.6g; sugars 3.9g; fat 4.6g; saturated fat 1g; cholesterol 28mg; vitamin a iu 380.8IU; vitamin c 10.8mg; folate 19.3mcg; calcium 39.5mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 23.9mg; potassium 398.3mg; sodium 249.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1 1/2 vegetable, 1 medium-fat protein