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The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre's Eggplant Bolognese

Each month, The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre selects a healthy, affordable recipe to highlight in its Nutrition Packets, a nutrition resource included with Fresh for Less curbside orders.

Along with the recipe, the Nutrition Packet provides information about the cost per serving ($1.23 for Eggplant Bolognese) and guidance on the best seasons to source the required ingredients. This additional context for recipes allows cooks to prioritize nutritious meals that meet budget needs for that week and that season’s selection.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1

  • pound), cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 3⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 pound whole wheat rigatoni or other whole wheat pasta

  • Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)


  1. In a large soup pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and garlic. Sauté for 1–2 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the eggplant. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are softened, 6–8 minutes. If needed, add about 1 tablespoon water to soften the eggplant. Add 1⁄4 teaspoon each of salt/black pepper.
  3. Add turkey and mix well, stirring and breaking up the turkey with a spoon. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and oregano to the turkey-vegetable mixture. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick and eggplant is tender, about 25 minutes. Season with remaining salt and black pepper (1⁄2 teaspoon each).
  5. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and use it to cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and serve topped with sauce and cheese, if desired.