This easy turkey ragù recipe was a major hit in our household. If you’re looking for a quick, tasty turkey pasta sauce recipe, this is the one you need.
Pasta is always my go-to comfort food, and this easy turkey ragù recipe really hit the spot. It’s easy to make, loaded with flavor and has just the right amount of richness from freshly grated Parmesan.
I use green bell pepper in this ragù because I like the sharper flavor it adds in contrast to the sun-dried tomatoes. If you prefer sweeter peppers, use red or orange bell peppers, or try it with one green and one red bell pepper for a mix. If you’re not a fan of ground turkey, make this with pork or beef instead.
How to make this easy turkey ragù recipe:
This turkey pasta sauce recipe is just a few short steps making it a perfect midweek dinner recipe.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Step 1: Brown the meat first. You want to get some crispy edges, so let it go for a bit in the hot pan.
- Step 2: Take the meat out and fry up your aromatics–onion, peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes–and then season with plenty of garlic, crushed red pepper, and a bit of paprika.
- Step 3: Let it simmer! Add the cooked meat to the pot along with crushed tomatoes and a little water. Simmer for about 30 minutes. While the sauce simmers, cook up the pasta, and make sure you reserve a little pasta cooking water.
- Step 4: Once the sauce is nice and thick, stir in pasta cooking water, freshly grated Parmesan, and toss with the cooked pasta. That’s it!
I used mezzi rigatoni with this turkey ragù recipe, but you could use just about any pasta shape. For a thick, meaty sauce, I like a nice tubular pasta–like penne, ziti, rigatoni–but you can use fettuccini or tagliatelle or even spaghetti.
Easy Turkey Ragù Recipe
- Large pot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and small-diced
- 1 green bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and small-diced
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, divided; plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 14.5- ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 16 ounces mezzi rigatoni or another tubular pasta of choice
- Fresh basil leaves, for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the turkey:
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and season all over with salt, pepper, and half the Italian seasoning. Cook for 12–15 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks, until well-browned and cooked through. Add more salt, if needed.
- Transfer the cooked turkey to a bowl.
Cook the aromatics:
- If the pot is dry, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn the heat back to medium. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 5–7 minutes until the onion and peppers soften. Season with salt.
- Melt the butter into the pot and add the remaining Italian seasoning along with the garlic powder, paprika, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Simmer the ragù:
- Return the turkey to the pot and cook for 1–2 minutes.
- Pour in the water and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened. Taste and add more salt or Italian seasoning if needed. Stir the ragù occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
Cook the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Scoop out ½ cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.
Finish the ragù:
- Taste the ragù and season once more to your preferences. Add all but a few pinches of the Parmesan along with half the pasta cooking water. Stir until the cheese melts into the sauce.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat for 1–2 minutes, adding the remaining pasta cooking water if needed. Once the pasta is glossy and well-coated, turn off the heat.
- Spoon the pasta onto a large serving platter and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top. Serve with fresh basil leaves, and enjoy!