Ground turkey is (in my opinion) the most underappreciated section of the meat department. It’s often eclipsed by ground beef that’s used for everything from burgers to meatloaf. But a lot of people don’t realize that ground turkey can do just about anything ground beef can do. And better yet, turkey is a lot cheaper than beef, and if you get the leanest option, it also has a lot less fat. So less money and less fat—it’s a win-win! I’m constantly using ground turkey in my cooking. In some recipes that would normally call for beef, you can’t even tell the difference when you switch to turkey. And in some of my favorite traditionally-beef dishes, I actually prefer the turkey version. Don’t believe me? Try out these ground turkey recipes for yourself.
1. Turkey Chili
Fall is time for roast turkey and mashed potatoes, but this cool weather also means it’s the perfect time for chili. I know some people that turn chili making into an art. There’s no doubt their creations taste delicious, but when I’m the one in the ktichen, I like to keep things simple. This uncomplicated turkey chili recipe is perfect. Most chili is made from ground beef, but substituting beef for turkey makes it healthier without affecting the taste.
Maebells Simple Living has a ground turkey recipe that uses only a handful of ingredients you probably already have.
2. PF Chang’s Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps are low in carbs, easy to make, budget friendly, and they taste delicious. If you don’t already include them in your regular dinner line-up, you’re seriously missing out. You can make lettuce wraps with just about any protein you want. Chicken and beef are popular choices, but Life As Mama editor, Modi Ramos, recently tried a recipe using ground turkey. It was a big hit with her family of five—even her three littles. The recipe she used is a PF Chang’s imitation that calls for chicken, but it was a simple switch to ground turkey.
You’ll find the tried-and-tested recipe with Damn Delicious.
3. Turkey Tacos
Why do Taco Tuesday when you could do Turkey Taco Tuesday? Tacos made with ground turkey are a lighter option compared to the ground beef tacos your family loves so much. Plus, you’ll save money on your grocery bill by buying ground turkey instead of beef. If your taco nights usually consist of browning beef and then dousing it with a packet of pre-mixed taco seasoning, all you need to do is use turkey instead. But if you’re looking for something special, you can use ground turkey and various spices to make something a little different.
Buns In My Oven has a great ground turkey taco recipe for you to try out.
4. Baked Turkey Meatballs
If it takes less than 30 minutes to make, it’s always a winning recipe in my book. That’s why turkey meatballs show up on my table fairly often. I admit I’ll occasionally go even easier and heat up frozen meatballs I bought from the store, but they just don’t taste the same. I like to make meatballs in bulk, and then I have them for nights when I want a good meal but don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen. And, let’s be honest, that’s most nights. You can use turkey meatballs for pasta or whip up some mashed potatoes and put it all together with gravy.
Mom on Timeout has a quick turkey meatball recipe.
5. Ground Turkey Stir Fry
Stir fry is a go-to meal no matter the time of year. It’s so quick and easy, and you can use whatever ingredients you already have in the kitchen. A traditional stir fry uses slices of meat, but using ground meat makes the whole process a lot easier. And ground turkey is especially great for stir fry because the flavor is so versatile. You can use almost any vegetable you want and make it spicy or mild depending on your preference. There’s also the option of serving it with rice, noodles, or a low-carb alternative.
You can get started with a ground turkey stir fry with this recipe from Budget Bytes.
6. Ground Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
Enchiladas take a little longer to make than simple tacos or stir fry, but they’re worth the wait. Enchiladas come in all kinds of flavors and proteins. Ground turkey enchiladas are lower in fat than other options, and they’re still packed full of flavor. Even picky eaters can get on board with an enchilada as long the sauce is yummy and the level of spice is to their liking. I’m a big baby when it comes to spice, so I always make my Mexican food as mild as possible. But whether you like spice or not, you can make these ground turkey enchiladas however you want them.
Get started with this recipe from Diethood.
7. Turkey Bolognese
Bolognese sauce is a staple if you love Italian food. It’s a rich, meaty sauce that is typically paired with broad, flat pastas like fettuccine or pappardelle. (But I won’t tell if you use a bolognese sauce over your kid’s favorite spaghetti.) Sticking with the theme of this post, most bolognese recipes call for beef. It’s just how it is. But like everything else, ground turkey will work just as well. It’s a slightly healthier option, and you can choose a whole-grain pasta to make an even bigger change in your diet.
Woman’sDay has the recipe.
8. Turkey Sloppy Joes
This ground turkey recipe is for every family with a picky little eater on their hands. The classic sloppy joe is a big hit for kids. It tastes good, and I also think kids like this meal because of its name. I mean, what kind of name is sloppy joe? The kind that kids like, that’s what. A typical sloppy joe is made with ground beef, but you can lower the fat content of these messy sandwiches by switching to ground turkey.
You can also go the simple route and buy the pre-made sauce, or you can follow this recipe from Woman’sDay to make your ground turkey sloppy joes extra special.