Homemade Pasta Sauce: Chunky Veggie and Turkey

Recipe posted in: Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners, Main Courses, Sides
ground turkey pasta sauce

Nothing beats homemade pasta sauce. There’s just something about that savory and slightly sweet tomato scent wafting through the house as it simmers on the stovetop that brings comfort and sets your soul at ease.

pasta sauce
Trust us: One spoonful of this delicious pasta sauce, and you’ll be hooked.

Plus, as with any recipe you make from scratch, when you make your own sauce you have full control over what goes in it. This is particularly important when it comes to pasta sauce since store-bought varieties tend to sneak in excessive amounts of sodium and even sugar.

But for many, there’s a certain anxiety that comes along with tackling homemade pasta sauce. Maybe you don’t have a family recipe that’s been passed down for generations so you just aren’t sure where to begin. Or maybe you’re admittedly a bit of a klutz in the kitchen and you’re concerned you’ll spend a whole bunch of time prepping and making the sauce only to have it turn out so bland or so soupy that you have to head out to the store to grab the pre-made stuff in the end, anyway.

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Worry no more. Thanks to this delicious and hearty pasta sauce recipe, you don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen to whip up your own delicious pasta sauce. Featuring a whole host of vibrant veggies, including peppers, onions and of course, tomatoes, this delicious sauce also pumps up the protein factor by incorporating lean ground turkey. It’s thick, it’s chunky, it’s everything you want out of a pasta sauce. But the best part is, it won’t destroy your diet.

This seriously satisfying sauce counts as one PowerFuel and two Vegetables on the Nutrisystem program, which means you can top your favorite whole wheat pasta with it for a complete flex meal (just check these guidelines to determine how many PowerFuels and SmartCarbs your flex meals should include >), or combine it with your favorite veggie noodle for a tasty side dish to any of your favorite Nutrisystem meals.

However you choose to enjoy this tasty homemade pasta sauce, make sure to log it in NuMi, our free tracking app. Studies suggest that those who log their food intake tend to have better success with weight loss. Click here to learn more about NuMi >

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Servings: Makes 8 servings

Calories per Serving: 134

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Vegetables


  • 4 Tbsp. water, divided
  • 1 small sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken) sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce, no sugar added
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste


  1. Heat two tablespoons of water in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally. Add turkey sausage and use a spatula to break into small pieces while it is cooking. Once turkey sausage is fully cooked and no longer pink, remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Return pan to heat, add remaining water, zucchini and red pepper, and sauté for several minutes until vegetables have softened slightly.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, including the cooked sausage mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Adjust seasonings if desired.
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