Overhead view instant pot turkey mushroom bolognese served over spaghetti squash strands in stone bowl

Instant Pot Turkey Mushroom Bolognese

This Turkey Mushroom Bolognese is like a pumped-up version of meat sauce (aka extra veggies and a little bacon to give it a richer flavor without having to simmer it for hours).

Prep: 10 mins.Cook: 20-25 mins.Total: 30-35 mins.
Servings: Serves 5


  • 4 slices uncured bacon, diced
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (may substitute 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (may substitute ground beef)
  • 2 tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning 
  • 2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt plus more taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, optional (omit for Whole30)


  1. Select ‘Saute’ function on the Instant Pot. When the pot is hot, add bacon and cook 3-4 minutes or until bacon starts to get crispy and fat has rendered out.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Stir into fat from the bacon. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the veggies start to soften. Add garlic and ground turkey and cook an additional 5 minutes or until turkey is almost cooked through.
  3. Add Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Select ‘Cancel’ then lock the lid into place, flipping the vent valve to the ‘Sealing’ position.
  5. Cook for 11 minutes on ‘Manual’ or ‘High Pressure.’ Allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release before flipping the vent valve to ‘Venting’ and removing the lid when safe to do so.
  6. Stir, taste and seasoning with additional salt, black pepper, and red pepper (if using) to taste. Stir in fresh parsley and top with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired. 


*For a saucier sauce, replace the can of diced tomatoes with an additional 14-ounce can of tomato sauce

    • To make in a slow cooker: Follow recipe through Step 2 using a large skillet over medium-high heat (instead of the Sauté function of the Instant Pot). Add turkey mixture to slow cooker along with Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Taste and season with salt and pepper before serving. 

    • To make on the stovetop: Follow recipe through Step 3 using a large Dutch oven or pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Place lid on the pot, lower heat to medium-low and simmer sauce for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 ⅓ cups
  • Calories: 237
  • Fat: 9g
  • Sodium: 342mg
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • (Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 9g)
  • Protein: 25g


© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Jessica Beacom

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