Zucchini noodles? Check. Hearty turkey Bolognese? Check. Comfort food flavor sans the comfort food caloric guilt? Major check. This recipe right here just gave Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles some serious competition for my all-time favorite lighter take on a carbo-packed classic.
Skip the spaghetti in favor of zucchini noodles and ditch the beef for lean ground turkey and you are about to fake out your taste buds with the heartiest, healthiest and tastiest forkful-o-veggies to ever cross your lips. Whether you resolved to eat healthier in the new year, or just want to lighten the carbo load, this recipe is for you.
Best of all? You don’t even need a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles! Tune in below for three (yes, three!) ways to crank out zucchini noodles without a single-use gadget in sight.
This recipe even managed to garner acclaim from my pasta-loving husband who joined the Clean Plate Club while declaring this dish the “best deceptively healthy recipe since Secret Ingredient Smoothies.” Big win!
Find more inspiration for top-rated veggie noodle meals with recipes for Zucchini Noodles with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Sweet and Sour Cucumber Noodles, Asian Zucchini Noodle Stir-Fry with Shrimp and more healthy favorites.
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- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup small diced onions
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 medium zucchini
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Once the oil is warm, add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden and the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey to the pan, increase the heat to medium, and using a spatula, break the ground turkey apart into small pieces while it cooks. Once the turkey is fully cooked, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons sugar. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. While the sauce cooks, make the zucchini noodles.
- Using a spiralizer, mandolin or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into noodles. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Add the zucchini noodles and cook them, tossing them constantly, for 2 minutes just until they’re wilted slightly. (Do not overcook the noodles or they will be soggy.)
- When ready to serve, plate the zucchini noodles, top them with the turkey bolognese and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Made Turkey Bolognese with zucchini noodles except I subbed ground beef in and it was so delicious! I have been looking for ways to use all my zucchini from my garden and I am loving your recipes! I did add in some fresh chopped basil from my garden and also added italian seasoning for little more flavor. Over all we enjoyed it with the small changes.
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste! :) I think you might also love my latest Corn and Zucchini Salad recipe with Basil Vinaigrette. I’ve been making it on repeat! Here’s the link to the recipe: https://www.justataste.com/corn-and-zucchini-salad-with-basil-vinaigrette-recipe/ Let me know if you try it!
Worked great! I added some Spanish rice on the side for fun.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Greg!
I enjoy this simple sauce. I modify by omitting sugar and adding crushed red pepper for spice. I serve it over zucchini noodles, but I often serve the leftovers over Banza chickpea pasta.
I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Ellen!
This was delish!!! I ended up using Rao’s Marinara Sauce and added a tablespoon of cream cheese to thicken and it was amazing! Can’t wait for the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Haha
I’m thrilled you enjoyed it, Elizabeth!
For your turkey Bolognese do you use ground turkey breast or just ground turkey
Hi Denise! Either will work but I prefer ground turkey.
Hi Kelly, great recipe I will give this a try. I know you can do it without a spiraliser (excuse my UK spelling ;) ) but do you use one and find them quicker and easier.
Thanks, Ben! I use a spiralizer or a mandoline and find them both speedy :)
Wonderful sauce, did modify it….don’t we all do this. Added a couple chopped mushrooms and doubled the amount of onion and garlic. Instead of the salt and really didn’t think we needed the sugar, add a hefty tablespoon of Italian seasoning. My husband kept tasting the sauce and could not believe it was complete in 20 minutes and was so flavorful. Fantastico!
So glad you enjoyed it, Joan!
Zoodles have been featured in my dinner a couple nights a week for a few months now! I love the addition of turkey to marinara sauce for added protein! What a perfect week night dinner!
Thanks so much, Bethany!
Bolognese sauce is amazing! I tried it at the Barilla Restaurant in NYC and I fell in love with it! I found the traditional recipe with tagliatelle but I’ll try also this one! Thanks for sharing :-)
I did just get a new spiralizer that I want to try out for the first time on this recipe, but it is good to know I can make zucchini noodles without it! And that sauce, oh my word.
Yes! Enjoy and Happy New Year, Stephanie!
LOVE!!! Happy New Year, Kelly!
Thanks so much, Ali! Happy New Year and can’t wait to see you soon hopefully in NYC!
So glad for Julio’s affirmation of this recipe! (Which means Craig will eat it!) It looks and sounds delish! #januarydetox #ugh
YES! I think Craig would love this :) We are having the leftovers tonight again because Julio liked it so much! Can’t wait to see you guys soon! XOXO
We just had this for dinner last night! I’m a bit obsessed with the spiralizer it’s so fun to use
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it :)