We love ground turkey. It's lean and tasty, and also lower in calories and saturated fat than ground beef. We swap in healthy ground turkey for all our favorite ground beef recipes, including burgers, meatloaves, and casseroles. So when you wonder, what can I make with ground turkey? Here are the dinner ideas you want -- our very best healthy ground turkey recipes. Give 'em a try! And see below for tips on prepping and cooking with ground turkey.
"It doesn't get much easier than this," says bd.weld. "Lean ground turkey and salsa ranchera combined and made in a pressure cooker such as Instant Pot®. Perfect for tacos, burritos, or even a taco salad."
"This is a lower-fat version of a popular Tex Mex-style casserole," says Katherine. "I'm using low- and no-fat ingredients, which can be substituted with full-fat versions also with great results."
These simple and delicious turkey burgers are "amazingly tasty," says BYRF. "The flavor and texture are perfect for meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs. Definitely worth trying this recipe."
This one has it all. "A super-simple one-pot dinner that's low calorie, low carb, paleo, gluten-free and takes just 10 minutes to make," says Megan. "This will be your go-to week night dinner!" It's a terrific Whole 30 ground turkey recipe, too!
This turkey meatloaf has great texture and flavor. "The secret is the quinoa," says Andrew, "which adds wonderful texture and is much nuttier than breadcrumbs."
Simple, quick, and delicious turkey burgers. "The salty feta and the earthy spinach just seem to belong with ground turkey," says accidental cook.
These meatballs are tender, moist, and flavorful. Seasoned with cumin, cayenne, oregano, and smoked paprika, they're finished in a creamy tomato sauce flavored with a little crème fraiche and sherry vinegar. "As these turkey and rice meatballs simmer in the sauce, the rice absorbs moisture, swell ups, and creates a relatively tender, moist meatball," says Chef John. "Delicious served over saffron basmati rice."
Here's what to do with ground turkey on busy weeknights. "When you get home from work, you hardly want a big production for dinner. That's when this recipe can be your standby," says Matt. "Cook your ground turkey, then add veggies, cole slaw mix, and sauce and in 10 minutes you've got a hearty meal for everyone to enjoy."
These lean ground turkey Joes are a lighter, healthier take on a classic. "They taste enough like a traditional beef Sloppy Joe to provide that satisfying comfort food fix, yet seems much lighter," says Chef John. Judi gives it 5 stars and raves: "By far the best Sloppy Joe, Tom, Dick or Harry I've ever had -- the consistency was perfect."
"This is a VERY simple way to enjoy Middle Eastern flavors in an American format... the hot dog," says CURIOUSKANGAROO. "Serve on a bun or wrapped in a pita. Use ground turkey with a 7% or 8% fat content, as the super lean turkey will be harder to cook with."
Here's a terrific no-bean turkey chili with zucchini, green bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, prepared salsa, and taco seasoning mix. "It uses some fresh and some canned ingredients," says big surprise. "It's a snap to throw together."
These turkey sausages are flavored with sage, marjoram, and a bit of red pepper. Freeze a bunch and cook them throughout the week. "I have tried a good number of turkey sausage recipes, and hands down, this is the best," raves lutzflcat.
Here's a quick, healthy meal that’s ready in no time. You'll whip up the simple homemade salsa while the seasoned ground turkey sizzles in the skillet. "A delicious recipe," says Esmee. "So easy to make. Great for those weeknights when you are short on time."
You'll stuff orange bell peppers with a savory mixture of ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, rice, and cheese. "Very simple recipe, but very flavorful," says LilSnoo. "A wonderful twist on stuffed peppers. The gouda and liquid smoke are just the right touch to give these a light smokiness, without being overpowering. These are healthy too."
"These fresh, delicious crispy ground turkey tostadas are made with lots of taco spices, sassy poblano, and tasty pickled red onions," says Culinary Envy.
You'll sneak cubes of mozzarella into ground turkey meatballs seasoned with pesto, garlic, onions, and Italian cheese. Give them a quick simmer in marinara sauce to finish. "These are really great, and they're even better the next day in a meatball sandwich," says akuhns.
Check out our collection of Ground Turkey Recipes.
Tips for Prepping and Cooking with Ground Turkey
How to safely defrost ground turkey: To defrost ground turkey, place your frozen turkey in the refrigerator. It's not safe to thaw frozen ground turkey at room temperature. You can also defrost frozen ground turkey under cold (not warm) water in a bowl; seal it up in a leak-proof plastic bag and place it beneath cold running water. Another option is the microwave on the defrost setting; place the frozen turkey on a microwave-safe plate and cook on the defrost setting. The center will remain frozen as the outer meat thaws; scrape the thawed meat off with a fork as you go.
Is ground turkey healthy? Here are some ground turkey nutrition facts. Compared with ground beef or ground pork, ground turkey has less saturated fat and fewer calories, while still packing in the protein and B vitamins.
How long should I cook ground turkey? The USDA recommends cooking ground turkey burgers and meatloaves to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
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