20 Ground Turkey Recipes (2024)

Our top 20 Ground Turkey Recipes — these tested, tried-and-true favorites are sure to become some of your new go-to staple meals!

Ground Turkey Recipes

What’s the trendiest meat you can cook? It has to be ground turkey. It gets rave reviews for its healthy qualities, and there are so many ways to fix it that you can switch up the menu as often as you like!

Even though it’s a stellar menu item, ground turkey reminds me of a minivan. Ground turkey and minivans? Well, hear me out: they both get the job done very nicely, but they don’t get much respect. When people think of zooming down the highway in style, they’re not usually thinking of a minivan. They’d much rather be in a hot little sports car. And when people are cooking dinner, they may want the exotic, gourmet dishes, but they know that ground turkey will give them healthy, simple, low-carb meals. So, here’s a tribute to ground turkey–the minivan of the food world, with our best ground turkey recipe!

20 Ground Turkey Recipes (1)


Ground turkey freezes well, both in its raw state and also when cooked. If you freeze ground turkey, try putting the raw meat in a zipper-top plastic bag and flattening it as much as possible. That will help it thaw faster. Also, if you’re in a rush, you can submerge the frozen plastic bag in a bowl of cold water to speed it along. Make sure the seal is tight to keep the water out!

Five Of Our Favorite Low Carb Ground Turkey Recipes

When it comes to low-carb, healthy cooking, it’s a smart choice to start with ground turkey. If you’re looking for healthy ground turkey recipes to help with weight loss, you’re in the right place. From simple to unique, we have five that will be on your menu rotation for sure.

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1. Ground Turkey Stir Fry

A high-protein, low-carb recipe with a four-ingredient stir-fry sauce and an optional creamy Sriracha-mayo sauce!

One reader said:“Easy & DELICIOUS- you never disappoint Chels! This has become a regular dinner selection because it’s loved by all and packed with veggies….The sriracha Mayo sauce is a MUST- so much better than any I’ve gotten at a hibachi restaurant. Thanks Chels!!”

2. Mexican Zucchini Boats

Healthy, flavor-packed Mexican zucchini boats are your perfect low-carb option when you’re craving that Mexican take-out!

One reader said:“These zucchini boats are delicious! Love the enchilada filling 🙂”

3. Unstuffed Peppers

These unstuffed peppers call for ground beef but we LOVE using ground turkey as well! It’s healthy, low-carb, and the perfect comfort food to help you stick to your goals and not feel like you’re missing out!

One reader said:“Made it for tonight and all the family approved. It was delicious.”

4. Turkey Meatloaf

This delicious Turkey Meatloaf is the perfect meal prep or quick dinner! It’s packed with veggies and covered in a tangy, healthier, glaze! You’ll want to add this low-carb dish to your weekly meal rotations!

One reader said:“Followed recipe exactly and these were really good. Even more flavour as leftovers the next night.”

5. Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

This 30-minute dinner is packed with good-for-you ingredients and so filling. Keep it carb-free & serve over cauliflower rice or enjoy straight from the pot!

One reader said: “Super easy and sooooo delicious! Definitely making this one again. There was sheer chaos going on with my toddler while making this meal and honestly, it didn’t matter. It was so easy to put together. Very little mess and one pan!!”

Five Of Our Favorite Easy Ground Turkey Recipes

So you want simple but healthy meals? Start with ground turkey and you’re on the right track! Simple meals are often kid favorites, too. Younger folks often prefer to skip the fancy sauces and techniques and chow down on basic foods. I think we can learn a lot from that perspective!

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6. Turkey Taco Skillet

This keto (low-carb) Turkey Taco Skillet is filling and delicious! Looking for a dish the whole family, even your picky kids, will enjoy–look no further.

One reader said:“What an honor to be the first to review this fantastic recipe. We loved it!!! Bravo. We served it with chips — Delish!”

7. Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot

With over 40 five-star reviews this “dump & go” dish be easier with the minimal prep you can have a delicious, nutritious meal ready when you get home!

One reader said:“Made this recipe last night and it was soooooo good. Even my picky husband had seconds! It was my first time cooking (and eating) quinoa. I ate the leftovers for breakfast I loved it so much. 🙂 Thanks for an awesome recipe!”

8. Turkey Tacos

This Ground Turkey Taco recipe can be ready in 15 minutes and it can all be done in one skillet! They have become a regular on a busy weeknight are one of our kids’ favorite dinners!

One reader said:“OMG. I am always a little skeptical when I see something listed as “the best,” but, you weren’t kidding! I can’t tell this is turkey, AT ALL! And, it is more tender than lean beef! Wow. My compliments to the chef (oh, wait, that’s me ;)…. I mean to Chelsea!!”

9. Turkey Sloppy Joes

These Turkey Sloppy Joes take this infamously popular dish to a whole other level. This 30-minute dish with better-for-you ingredients and hidden veggies will have you and the kids begging for more!

One reader said: “My husband and I love this recipe. So much so, that I have shared it with my family and several friends… Thanks for a delicious recipe!”

10. Turkey Meatballs

These classic meatballs are moist, packed with flavor, and healthier than your average meatball! And major bonus: THEY FREEZE BEAUTIFULLY!

One reader said:“This was the perfect recipe for our family dinner last night! So delicious; had nothing but smiling faces all around the table!”

Five Of Our Most Unique Ground Turkey Recipes

If five-star recipe reviews tell us anything, it’s that ground turkey can be the star in dishes that range from Korean to Greek to American Cowboy food! If you like trying different cuisines, here are some unique ones that will tantalize your taste buds for sure.

11. Greek Ground Turkey (Great Meal Prep!)

This Greek Ground Turkey is a total show-stopper! Serve this dish over lemon-parsley rice with fresh veggies and a super quick tzatziki sauce and you have a dish made from heaven!

One reader said:“EXCELLENT! Fresh, delicious & healthy! Amazing combination of flavors. This will be a repeat recipe!”

12. Asian Ground Turkey

This kid-friendly and ready in 30 minutes or less dinner is life changing! With the yummiest sriracha mayo, you can amp up the heat or customize it to exactly how you like it!

One reader said: “One of my all-time favorites!”

13. Korean Ground Turkey

This Korean Ground Turkey is a meal prep favorite! The sweet and spicy turkey is the perfect combination to leave you feeling happy and satisfied.

One reader said:“This Korean ground turkey is unbelievably delicious! I’ve started meal prepping this and honestly it’s been my favorite dish on my weekly prep! Thanks for an amazing recipe as always!”

14. Crockpot Cowboy Casserole

This viral recipe is a lightened-up version of the famous cowboy casserole, and while the recipe says to use sausage it is just as delicious and even healthier to use ground turkey!

One reader said:“This is my favorite recipe. Seriously, I make it at least 2-3 times a month. I use turkey sausage and it is so yummy!”

15. Ground Beef Ramen

One of the most popular recipes on my site, this restaurant-style ground beef ramen is a family favorite! Swap out the ground beef for ground turkey and you have an even healthier and more balanced meal!

One reader said: THIS DISH IS NEXT LEVEL! I always know if I need a good week-night dinner that everyone loves I have this one in my back pocket. Recently we’ve started making it with ground turkey to make it a bit lighter and you can’t even tell the difference! Thanks for your delicious recipes, Chelsea!

Five Of Our Best Healthy Ground Turkey Recipes

Ground turkey is famous for being a healthy food. It’s low in calories and fat, and its mild flavor makes it a blank canvas for creative recipes! If you’re trying to eat healthier and aiming for weight loss, these recipes can help. Just watch out for toppings and extras–they can turn a healthy recipe into a dieting disaster.

16. Turkey Chili

Craving a hearty bowl of chili but don’t want to mess with your goals? I have the solution for you! This Turkey Chili is hearty and flavorful and SO healthy!

One reader said: “Holy crap!!!! So freaking good! Made it exactly as the recipe stated and it was delicious … even made your cornbread recipe to go with it. Perfect! 😍”

17. Turkey Taco Salad

Healthy doesn’t have to be boring, i.e this salad! You’ll be pouring this creamy cilantro dressing over everything!

One reader said:“Our dinner was scrumptious — thanks to you! I have been cooking dinners for 36 years, and I can’t remember finding a better selection of dependable, delicious recipes. Your website has become my Corona Cookbook, and I am excited to see what recipes await!”

18. Turkey Bolognese

Step up your pasta nights with this easy and healthy combo! Turkey Bolognese is simple, filling, and healthy!

One reader said: Delish!!! My family loved it. So so good!!!

19. White Turkey Chili

This White Turkey Chili is new to the blog and we don’t know how we ever lived without it. It’s already taken a blue ribbon at its first Chili cook-off and for good reason!

One reader said:“Wow. This white turkey chili is next level! I haven’t had this successful of a dinner in a long time! The whole family loved it and are already requesting it for future dinners! Your recipes never fail! Thanks for your hard work!”

20. Egg Roll in a Bowl

Take the filling from your favorite egg roll and saute it all together! Seriously it’s that easy and that much healthier! Have this nutritious dish on your table in 30 minutes or less!

One reader said:“The first bite was an explosion of flavor! An amazing dish.”

Ground Turkey FAQs

1Is ground turkey healthier than ground beef?

It all depends on how you define healthy. Lower calories and heart healthy? Ground turkey wins by a nose (or maybe by a beak!). Lower in total fat? That would be ground beef, but ground turkey is lower in saturated fat.

Until recently, ground turkey was always the hands-down winner. And if you compare extra-lean ground turkey with standard (80/20) ground beef, turkey still wins. But you can now buy ground beef that’s 90, 96, even 98% lean, so turkey and beef profiles are very similar.

What matters now is to compare apples to apples, so to speak. Look at the fat content on the label. Compare 93/7 ground turkey with 93/7 ground beef to get a true comparison.

And as with all health and nutrition topics, consult a doctor, nutritionist or health care provider for details that are relevant to your individual health needs.

2How do you add flavor to ground turkey?

Consider ground turkey to be your blank canvas and the seasonings you use will be the paint. You can’t create a masterpiece without those brilliant colors, so use seasonings to brighten the flavor of your ground turkey.

Seasoned cooks know that fat adds flavor, so using a ground turkey that is higher in fat will help produce a recipe with more flavor. There is actually a 99.9% fat-free variety of ground turkey available, but keeping the fat factor in mind, you can expect it to have a very mild flavor. If you’re using ultra-low-fat ground turkey, make sure to season it well.

Herbs, seasonings, sauces, and vegetables all contribute to the flavor of a recipe, so while a plain ground turkey burger might be a little bland, a batch of spicy ground turkey tacos will be bursting with zesty flavor!

3Can you freeze ground turkey?

Ground turkey freezes well, both in cooked and raw forms. Make sure it’s wrapped in airtight freezer wrap or plastic, freeze within 2 or 3 days of purchase, and use it within four months for best results.

4How long does ground turkey last in the fridge?

Raw ground turkey will stay fresh for about 3 days. Cooked, it will last 4 to 5 days. Please note, though, that many factors can influence this, from the temperature of your refrigerator, where it’s located in the fridge, and what other ingredients are in the cooked turkey dish.

5How do you make ground turkey taste like beef?

One of the easiest ways to beef up the taste of ground turkey (sorry!) is to add a bit of beef bouillon to the ground turkey as it’s being cooked. You’ll see that notation in several of our ground turkey recipes.

6When should you not eat ground turkey?

Ground turkey–like most poultry–must be cooked thoroughly in order to be safe to eat. Don’t rely on appearance to determine if the meat is done. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

After cooking and serving, ground turkey (like all cooked foods) shouldn’t be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Food poisoning happens when bacteria grow out of control at warm temperatures.

When thawing frozen raw ground turkey, never thaw it at room temperature. Defrost it in the fridge or in a basin of cold water.

Bonus: Ground Turkey Recipes Around The Web

We’re not the only ones who love ground turkey dinner ideas. Around the world and around the Internet, you’ll find a plethora of the best ground turkey recipes. Here are a few to consider. And to quote my favorite theme park, it really is a small world after all!

20 Ground Turkey Recipes (2024)


What percentage of ground turkey is best? ›

All in all, whether buying ground beef or ground turkey, the important thing is to buy at least 93/7 lean-to-fat ratio. Lowering saturated fat is the goal, as eating too much saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Can you freeze ground turkey? ›

For optimal quality, the USDA recommends stowing uncooked ground turkey in the freezer for a maximum of four months. On the other hand, leftover ground turkey will keep well in the fridge for three to four days once cooked, or two to six months if you're going the freezer route.

How long can ground turkey stay in the fridge? ›

You may store uncooked ground poultry in the refrigerator 1 to 2 days. After cooking, you may keep it 3 to 4 days. Frozen raw poultry is best used in 3 to 4 months; cooked ground poultry, 2 to 3 months.

When not to cook ground turkey? ›

Look & Color. Raw turkey meat should be light pink or beige, depending on the type of meat and its fat content. The meat color becomes dull as time passes, which is normal. However, if the meat has a brown, gray or yellow or green hue, you will want to part ways with it.

Is ground turkey really healthier than beef? ›

Ground beef and turkey are both nutritious meats that provide protein, fat, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Turkey is generally lower in saturated fat than beef. As such, it may be a better choice for heart health. Fat-free turkey is also the lowest calorie option if you're interested in weight loss.

Is 85 or 93 ground turkey better? ›

In terms of saturated fat, 85 percent lean ground turkey and 85 percent ground beef are not much different. So to save on saturated fat, make sure to choose 93 percent or leaner ground turkey or ground beef.

Can you eat 2 year old frozen ground turkey? ›

Originally Answered: Would it be harmful to eat a frozen turkey that's been in the freezer for 2 years? Frozen foods are safe to eat indefinitely. No spoilage happens at common freezer temperature settings (0 degF.) Bacteria do not grow.

Can you eat ground turkey 3 days after use by date? ›

The USDA recommends cooking (or freezing) raw, ground turkey within one or two days after purchasing or the “sell by” date printed on the package.

How do I know ground turkey has gone bad? ›

Things You Should Know

Check if your turkey has a bad sour-smelling odor to know if it's spoiled. Toss out your ground turkey if it has a slimy texture. Get rid of ground turkey if it darkens or dulls to a dark gray color, a sure sign it's gone bad.

Can I eat 5 day old cooked ground turkey? ›

USDA recommends using cooked turkey within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. Turkey can be frozen for 3 to 4 months.

Why is my ground turkey GREY after freezing? ›

If it's stored or packaged so that it doesn't get any oxygen it will turn gray. It's still good to eat as long as the gray hasn't penetrated most of the way into the meat but if you're concerned discard the gray part and use only that which is still fairly red.

Why is my ground turkey GREY? ›

The reason that ground turkey turns grey when cooked is because the myoglobin in the meat reacts with the air and forms a compound called metmyoglobin. This compound is a dark red or purple color, but it turns grey when it is cooked because it loses its oxygen.

How to add flavor to ground turkey? ›

How do you add flavor to ground turkey? Turkey meat can be flavored with easy ingredients like kosher salt and pepper, bell peppers, garlic powder, and olive oil. If you're cooking meat, specifically turkey taco meat, hot sauce and enchilada sauce are your best mates.

Is it OK to leave cooked ground turkey out overnight? ›

The Two-Hour Rule

Havern explains: "The maximum amount of time perishable foods can [spend] in the danger zone is two hours. At two hours, the food must be consumed, stored correctly, or thrown away. This includes all cooked leftovers, [chopped] fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products."

Can you cook bacteria out of ground turkey? ›

Cook ground turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill any bacteria. Refrigerate any leftovers promptly to prevent bacterial growth. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your ground turkey is safe to consume and minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Is 85% ground turkey good for you? ›

With 21g of protein and 17g of fat per serving, our 85% Lean Ground Turkey puts a healthy spin on your favorite recipes. From lasagna to burgers and tacos, Shady Brook Farms® ground turkey is a lean protein addition you can feel good about.

Is 85% ground turkey healthier than 85% ground beef? ›

Ground turkey would be considered the healthier option since it's lower in fat and calories. But if you choose a leaner cut of beef, like 93/7, there's very little difference between the two types of meat.

Is 99% lean ground turkey good for you? ›

With 28g of protein, 1g of fat per serving, and only 120 calories, our 99% Fat-Free Ground Turkey Breast puts a healthy spin on your favorite recipes.

What is the difference between 93% lean ground turkey and 99%? ›

Two types to look for are 93% lean ground turkey and 99% lean ground turkey. The biggest difference is that the 99% version is generally made with all breast meat and contains no saturated fat. However, because it has so little fat, it runs the risk of getting dry.


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