Back to School Tips & “Meal Starter” Turkey Ragu {w/Giveaway}


Disclosure: This post is sponsored in partnership with Canadian Turkey. As always, all opinions are our own.

My birthday is in early May and I would swear that was just a couple of weeks ago…where did this summer go?  Even though I dread the thought of the long, relaxing days of summer coming to an end, the slight nip in the evening air is making it all feel real!

With the end of summer upon us, we’re getting ready to adjust to new habits and back-to-school routines. Making the transition from relaxed days, later bedtimes, sleeping in and weekend fun to schedules, routines and healthy habits can be tricky for busy families.

With so much on the go, it’s no wonder one of the biggest challenges for parents is getting good quality meals on the table.  Come September, tips and tricks that help you get organized are essential, so you can deal with getting kids ready for busy weekdays packed with school, activities, sports and homework.


On top of the to-do list?  Getting prepped for back-to-school breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks!  In addition to regular meal demands, many parents have to juggle picky eaters, dietary restrictions, and a variety of eating schedules.  Everyday meals need to balance these considerations while making sure meal choices deliver good quality nutrition, all on a budget, too.  With these everyday challenges, anything you can do to make your cooking routines easier and healthier is a big win, starting with meal planning.

Canadian Turkey is here to teach you to cook smart by creating ‘meal starters’ that you can cook once and then use as a base to create multiple recipes later on.  Make our Meal Starter Turkey Ragu, freeze in multiple portions and then you have a base on hand for quick meals during busy weeks.  Use this meal starter to create soups, pastas, casseroles, chili, and rice dishes.  Do the heavy lifting once and make cooking multiple healthy and nutritious dinners super quick and easy!




1. Scale Up

Turkey is a great option when planning to double or triple your favourite recipes.  Scale your recipes so you can cook once and then freeze extras portions to have on hand when you need dinner or lunch in a hurry.

2. Foolproof Favourites

Develop a series of go-to recipes that you know are easy to prepare and that your family will love.  The Canadian Turkey website is packed with kitchen-tested recipes that are both healthy and tasty too.  Turkey is so versatile and comes in so many cuts that you can find something for everyone’s taste and preference.

3. Plan Ahead

Try to cook with recipes where you can do some prep work ahead of time or plan to pre-cook some or all the ingredients.  Meal planning up to a week in advance is a great way to save time during busy weeknights.

4. Keep it Healthy

Turkey is a great source of protein and important minerals and nutrients.  Both dark and white meat is lean, so you can feel good putting turkey on your plate without having to compromise on taste and flavour.

5. Change It Up

Turkey adapts to all of your favourite flavour profiles and spice combinations, and with so many cuts to choose from you can find choices that please the whole family. Turkey is a delicious option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You can serve it hot or cold, and it tastes great the next day, too!

While you’re here, don’t forget to enter the great GIVEAWAY, it’s near the bottom of this page.

BONUS – As a special gift, just for our readers and compliments of Canadian Turkey, we have included this FREE DOWNLOADABLE, with a variety of ways to use your Meal Starter Turkey Ragu! Just freeze portions of this recipe to have on hand to make several family favourites. (If you want a preview, I have it posted at the bottom of this page!)


Meal Starter Turkey Ragu
Serves: 10
  • 3.5 – 4 lbs. ground Canadian turkey
  • 2 turkey sausages, removed from casing (optional)
  • 3 cups white onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp. ground Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tamari sauce
  • 2 jars (2 X 680 ml) pureed tomatoes
  • 3 cans (3 X 398 ml) diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onions over medium heat.
  2. Cook until onions are lightly browned and caramelized, 6 – 8 minutes. In the last 2 minutes, add garlic and mix to incorporate. Do not let garlic or onions burn or they will make your sauce bitter.
  3. Add turkey meat and sausage if using. Stir occasionally so the meat cooks evenly.
  4. Add garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, Worcestershire and tamari. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes until no longer pink and cooked through.
  5. Add tomato puree and diced tomatoes.
  6. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until flavours incorporate.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Some tomato products do not come seasoned)
  8. Divide into desired portions, approximately 1 cup per person, and freeze until ready to use.
TIP: To add big flavour, make sure to follow these tips. Cook onion slowly until caramelized, but not burned. For best tomato flavour, use a premium brand of canned tomatoes. To add a large punch of flavour, buy butcher made sausage and remove from casings.



Put Canadian turkey on your plate every day and feel good knowing that you are feeding your family healthy and nutritious food that will get everyone through their days filled with energy and good-for-you fuel!

Looking for additional tips, recipes and HOW TOs? Follow the hashtag #TurkeyMakesItEasy and visit for all your cooking inspiration. The recipe section is filled with amazing recipes for full meals, snacks, appetizers and family favourites. There are WHOLE TURKEY HOW TOs that are packed with helpful tips and instructions. You’ll find a goldmine of ideas in the recipe section for make-ahead dishes and leftovers. There’s nothing better than making some delectable dishes for the rest of the week or stashing some pre-made meals in the freezer for your next busy weeknight.


WIN – a $75 prepaid Visa gift card for one lucky reader to get back-to-school ready with Canadian Turkey!

DATES – Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM AT on September 14, 2018

ELIGIBILITY – Open to residents of Canada 18+.

TO ENTER – Using the Giveaway Tools form below, simply follow the instructions, complete the mandatory entries, (which unlock the optional entries), plus any or all the optional entries for your chance to win this prize.

Best of luck everyone!






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