Ground Turkey and Tomato Basil Zucchini Noodles

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Ground Turkey and Tomato Basil Zucchini Noodles is a delicious low carb meal with a delicious tomato sauce packed with ground turkey.

454 CAL 27g CARBS 24g FAT 39g PROTEIN
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These tomato basil zucchini noodles with ground turkey are a delicious low-carb meal with a zesty turkey bolognese sauce that you'll want to make over and over again! It's simple to make and works perfectly for weekly meal prepping.

This time of year, I am usually on candy overload. So, I like to make lots of clean meals to balance out all of the sugar and sweets. Veggie pasta dishes, like this low carb zucchini lasagna and any type of zucchini noodles, are one of my favorite things to make since you can pack in tons of veggies and lean protein to make a hearty, healthy, and filling meal.

This recipe for zucchini noodles with ground turkey in a tomato basil sauce is one I reach for often since it's easy to make, and you can adapt it to use any veggies and meat you have at home.

The sauce is really the star of this dish - you won't believe how much flavor you can get in just 25 minutes on the stove. Make sure to choose a flavorful crushed tomato. I almost always buy San Marzano, so the sauce has lots of flavors!

Also, don't skip the Worcestershire sauce since it adds a ton of umami flavor to the dish. Top with Parmesan, ricotta, or mozzarella for one yummy, veggie-filled dinner!

Ingredients to make tomato basil zucchini noodles with ground turkey including tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, and onion.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

For this recipe, I used low-carb zucchini noodles and all whole ingredients. This is a very clean-eating recipe! Here is more information about what I used.

  • Zucchini: Use a spiralizer to cut the zucchini into noodles. Or, cook some frozen zucchini noodles, drain them, and set them aside. You can swap in any veggie noodles you like including spaghetti squash.
  • Olive Oil: This is to saute the vegetables. If you don't have olive oil, you can use avocado oil or ghee.
  • Onion: Either white, red, or yellow onion will work perfectly.
  • Carrot: Mince the carrot really small. You want it to mix in with the sauce seamlessly.
  • Ground Turkey: Use 93% lean ground turkey to keep the fat content low. Ground turkey breast works as well but I like it better with ground meat with a touch more fat. Swap in ground chicken or beef if you like.
  • Garlic: Minced fresh garlic will have a lot more flavor, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Tomatoes: Use a can of crushed tomatoes. You could crush your own tomatoes, but that takes a lot more time.
  • Italian Seasoning: Either use jarred Italian seasoning or follow my recipe to make your own.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: If you are on Whole30 or celiac, coconut aminos are a gluten-free option that still has an umami taste without gluten. but, if you can, I highly recommend looking for some gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grate it at home for the freshest taste. If you are on Whole30, leave out the cheese. Nutritional yeast also can be used for a dairy-free cheesy flavor.
  • Fresh Basil: This adds so much more flavor than dried basil. Use fresh basil whenever you can.

Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this turkey bolognese recipe, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

What To Serve With Zucchini Noodles

This turkey bolognese has everything you need for a filling and healthy dinner. If you want to serve a healthy side dish with it, make an easy arugula salad. It has lots of the same seasonings on it.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower adds a different taste and texture to your table. They end up being extra tender and too! Another fantastic green veggie that you can add to your meal is this sauteed peas recipe. They don't taste like canned peas at all! They are bursting with layers of different flavors.

Recipe Tips And Ideas

Follow these tips to make sure that this bolognese recipe turns out perfectly every single time!

  • If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to cut noodle-sized slices of the zucchini for this recipe.
  • Do not drain the turkey after you brown it. It is already very lean meat, so it probably won't produce very much grease.
  • Simmer the sauce for at least 25 minutes. You can let it simmer for as long as 45 minutes if you want it to be thicker and have a bolder flavor.

Skillet with zucchini noodles and ground turkey tomato sauce on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers...

What is the difference between bolognese sauce and spaghetti sauce?

The name bolognese refers to where this recipe originated - in Bologna, Italy. Typical American meat spaghetti sauce is tomato-based and sometimes kind of thin. Bolognese is thicker, creamier, and usually has fewer tomatoes in it. This sauce is kind of a mash-up between the two?

Is it best to simmer pasta sauce with the lid on or off?

I prefer to cook the sauce slowly with the lid off. This way, it will cook down, reduce, and make the flavors more intense.

How do you store leftover sauce?

The best way to store leftover sauce is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to a week. Make sure your container is spill-proof too! This will make quite the mess if it spills or leaks.

Also, store the sauce separately from any noodles or zoodles that you made with it. It will last longer this way.

Why do my zucchini noodles get watery?

Usually, when zucchini noodles get watery it is because they have been cooked too long. The more the zucchini cooks, the more water it will release.

Zoodles with tomato basil ground turkey sauce on a plate with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

More Delicious Zucchini Noodle Recipes You’ll Love:

The Recipe
Tomato basil zucchini noodles with ground turkey served on a plate with basil and Parmesan cheese.

Ground Turkey and Tomato Basil Zucchini Noodles

454 CAL 27g CARBS 24g FAT 39g PROTEIN
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  • 4 zucchini, cut into noodles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1.33 lbs. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 20 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (coconut aminos for Whole30)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (leave out for Whole30)
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

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Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, make the zucchini noodles.

Zucchini being turned into noodles with a spiralizer.

Heat half of the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes until becoming translucent. Add the turkey and cook for 6-8 minutes until browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire, paprika, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Ground turkey, carrots, onions, garlic, and tomato sauce in a skillet.

Meanwhile saute the zucchini noodles in the remaining olive oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain any excess liquid.

Zucchini noodles cooking in olive oil in a skillet.

Serve with the sauce and 1.5 tbsp. of Parmesan cheese per serving and chopped basil.

Zucchini noodles with turkey tomato basil sauce with parmesan cheese bring sprinkled on top.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 454
Calories from Fat 213
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g
Saturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 119mg
Sodium 808mg
Total Carbohydrate 27g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Sugars 17g
Protein 39g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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