When it comes to ground turkey vs. ground chicken debate, I will always sway toward ground chicken. It’s so much more flavorful and less dry, which seems to be the constant complaint with ground turkey.
I whipped up this chicken veggie bolognese on a day when I was craving something on the lighter side. I like to put lots of stuff in my bolognese to make it a bit thicker. Minced mushrooms and carrots and onions make it super flavorful.
I’ll admit, this isn’t the bolognese you want to serve to an Italian grandmother. It’s not traditional in the way I love bolognese. There’s no cheese, no hours simmering on a stove, no red wine. And it lacks that deep flavor that can only come from ground up veal and pork. BUT, on the flip side, it’s definitely healthier and it’s super fast to whip up.
I’ll say that this is much more weeknight friendly than its traditional Sundays-only counterpart. And to make it even lighter than usual, I topped it on a bed of lightly sautéed zucchini noodles. I’ve always only half-liked zucchini noodles until I started to cook them a whole lot less. I like to saute them in a pan with some olive oil for only 2 to 3 minutes. After that they begin to leech water and become a bit soggy. They’re still growing on me!
Chicken and Veggie Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more as needed
- 3 medium carrots, peeled minced
- 4 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and minced
- 1/4 yellow onion, peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (a mix of oregano)
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 14-ounce can of tomato sauce (or your favorite jarred marinara sauce)
- 3 to 4 zucchini, spiralized using the C or D blade
- In a medium pot, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When warm, add the carrots and mushrooms and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the onions and cook for an additional minute or so. Add about 1/2 of the salt and mix in the garlic, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Mix again until all the veggies are coated in the oil and seasoning.
- Add the ground chicken and sprinkle the top with the reserved 1/2 teaspoon of salt; break it up into crumbles using a spatula or wooden spoon. Since ground chicken isn’t very fatty, you may need to add a bit more olive oil so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (I added about a tablespoon more). Cook until the ground chicken is cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes. Next, pour in the tomato sauce and mix. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning to taste. Mix in the Italian parsley and set aside.
- In a small skillet pan, set over medium heat, add a few teaspoons of olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the zucchini and toss until coated in the olive oil. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, tossing the zucchini noodles every so often.
- Divide the zucchini noodles amongst bowls and top with a few spoonfuls of bolognese. Garnish with some parmesan.
Yield: Serves 4
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.