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What to do with Turkey Leftovers: Turkey Bolognese!

By Kelsey Banfield |

Turkey BologneseI think leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. There are so many great things that can be made with the reheated turkey and trimmings. Truth be told, I usually cook way more than I know we’ll eat so we can have plenty of leftovers the next day! My newest favorite dish to make with our leftover meat is Turkey Bolognese. I first came across this recipe in Fine Cooking last month and have already made it several times. If you haven’t roasted an entire bird it can still be made with roasted turkey breast from the store. The bolognese sauce can be made well in advanced then tossed with hot pasta and served to awaiting hungry family members. It’s a delicious twist on the traditional bolognese and a fun way to give a whole new life to yesterday’s meal.

Turkey Bolognese

adapted from Fine Cooking

1/3 lb. pancetta, finely diced

1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup celery, finely chopped

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

28 ounces crushed tomatoes, with juices

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup whole milk

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup packed freshly parsley, finely chopped

Pinch of Kosher salt

4 cups turkey, diced

1 lb. penne or rigatoni

1. Warm heavy-duty 8 quart pot, like a Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until its fat begins to render, about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic and cook until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes.

2. Add the tomatoes and white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth, milk and parsley and return to a boil for one minute. Add a pinch of Kosher salt for taste. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is reduced by one-third, about 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Add the turkey and bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat. Then return sauce to a simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and toss with freshly cooked pasta.

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About Kelsey Banfield


Kelsey Banfield

Kelsey Banfield is the food writer and the founder of The Naptime Chef. She writes a daily food column for Babble Food and her food writing has also appeared in the places like Parents magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. Kelsey lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Read bio and latest posts → Read Kelsey's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “What to do with Turkey Leftovers: Turkey Bolognese!

  1. Jazz Rules says:

    What a twist!! This is an interesting way to prepare your turkey scraps!

  2. Rich says:

    This looks remarkably good – and I like the pancetta addition to it; I’d imagine it really gives it a bit of added meatiness!

  3. Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef says:

    Exactly Rich, glad you like it!

  4. [...] Turkey Bolognese for Turkey Leftovers [...]

  5. [...] And, if you’re like me and Kelsey (who recently shared her recipe for Thanksgiving leftover Turkey Bolognese), you know that leftovers are the best part! Especially when you’re inspired to do more than [...]

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