Ground turkey recipes take up a ton of space in my cookbook. Lean ground turkey turkey is a healthier alternative to ground beef, simple to cook yet still incredibly flavorful. It’s a budget friendly way to add lean protein to just about any recipe, from turkey burgers and turkey meatballs to meatloaf to stuffed peppers and tacos.
Ground Turkey Recipes
Who says turkey is just for Thanksgiving? If you aren’t cooking with ground turkey, you should be! It’s a great way to shave a few calories off your weeknight dinner routine. It easily replaces beef in just about any recipe and cooks up in the same amount of time with a lot less fat. Turkey has a great flavor and it’s easily influenced by whatever flavors you want to throw at it. We love using ground turkey instead of beef for easy weeknight meals, and use it often for turkey burgers, soups, and tacos.
Is ground turkey better for you than ground beef?
Ground turkey is a healthier alternative to beef. Although it does depend on the lean meat to fat ratio. You do want to make sure you are purchasing LEAN ground turkey (turkey breast). Although you can find very lean ground beef, turkey will still beat out it’s competition for lower calories and fat.
The Best Ground Turkey Recipes
Ready to cook up some delicious, budget friendly and healthier meals? Here are some great ground turkey recipes to add to your weekly meal rotation!
Season properly – Ground turkey is notorious low in fat but also can be quite bland just on it’s own. It’s important to season the meat while cooking. I always saute my ground turkey with fresh onion and garlic and season generously with salt and pepper.
Great for freezing! Make up a double batch of ground turkey when you’re cooking it for your recipe and freeze it to use later.
Be careful not to over-handle the meat. As with ground beef, turkey can become tough when over-mixed. Handle the meat as little as possible when shaping into burgers, meatballs and meatloaf and use a soft touch to prevent pushing too much air out of the mixture. That’s what’s going to yield the most tender and juicy bite.
Don’t overcook the meat. Because of it’s low fat content, ground turkey can quickly dry out and become tough. To avoid this, keep an instant read thermometer on hand to check the temperature. It should reach 165 degrees when fully cooked.
Freezing and Storage
You have two options when freezing ground turkey – raw or cooked.
Freezing raw ground turkey – You can place this into the freezer directly in the package from the grocery store or re-wrap it tighter to help prevent freezer burn. To thaw frozen turkey, unwrap and place in a microwave safe dish and use the defrost setting on your microwave. Be sure to turn it in the dish a few times to ensure even defrosting. Of course you can also thaw overnight in the fridge. Thawing on the counter is not recommended as the uneven temperature can cause bacteria to develop.
Freezing cooked ground turkey – Cook the turkey in a big batch with whatever seasonings you like. Allow it to cool completely (but for no longer than 2 hours), then place portions into freezer bags or airtight freezer containers. Freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then add to soups, tacos, wraps and more. Or, store cooked meat in the fridge in an airtight container. Use it up within 4 days. Great for lunch prep or adding to soups, tacos, etc. throughout the week.
Refrigerating – Store cooked turkey in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.