Weekly Meal Prep on a Budget: Turkey Bolognese

Rita E via Pixabay

I want to prove that it is not difficult to eat healthy food while on a tight budget. I’ll be sharing weekly recipes that are both friendly to your wallet and to your health. At the end of the grocery list, I’ll share how much I paid for each of the food items. Pantry staple items like olive oil, salt/pepper/rice are not included in the cost. This is another step that I’m taking to be financially conscious while not sacrificing my health.

I want to emphasize that this recipe is not a traditional bolognese recipe. I took the familiar sauce on a more veggie-packed and time-efficient route, which is perfect for busy professionals like myself who are trying to get the most amount of nutrition from bulk recipes. This version is full of zucchini and carrots— moisture and Vitamin-A bombs! I used a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce as the tomato base, but a can of tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce will create a delicious homemade base as well. I froze the ground turkey I bought at Costco a couple of weeks ago, and defrosted overnight in the fridge (better than leaving out on your counter!) to use in this recipe. I only used half the package (1.67 lbs) and stir fried the other half to add a protein boost to other meals.

Pair this delicious meat and veggie duo with fiber and protein-backed Banza pasta, and a glass of red blend wine. Here is my favorite roasted-oak blend from Trader Joe’s — budget friendly and delicious (make sure to air for 45 minutes before drinking)!

Grocery List:

  • 1-lb Ground Turkey — $5.00
  • 1 Jar Marinara Sauce — $2.00
  • 2 Whole Carrots — $1.00
  • 1 Zucchini — $1.00
  • Banza Pasta — $3.00
  • Olive Oil — $0.00
  • Garlic Powder — $0.00
  • Italian Seasoning — $0.00
  • Salt — $0.00
  • Pepper — $0.00

Total Budget: $12.00, $2.40 per Serving

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Prep Method:

  1. Grate carrots and half of the zucchini (full one if it’s a small zucchini) using the side of a box grater with the smallest holes.
  2. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the grated veggies, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Simultaneously, bring a pot of water to boil, and cook the banza pasta — I found 9 minutes is perfect for the chewy al-dente texture!
  4. After 5 minutes, add ground turkey. Season with a pinch of italian seasoning.
  5. Add jar of marinara sauce, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, and stir in a teaspoon of garlic powder.
  6. Combine 1/2 cup of banza pasta with a cup of sauce and serve!

Here’s my bolognese!

Grated smoked gouda on top, and used a different type of dry pasta for this meal because I had a couple of servings left.

Did you try this recipe? Let me know how it went!

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