Ground Turkey recipes can be an easy way to eat healthier, reduce calories, or cook on a budget. Whatever you motivation for searching out easy ground turkey recipes, here is everything you need to know about cooking ground turkey and 20 recipes using ground turkey that are so good you’ll forget they aren’t beef!
We are covering everything tons of tips for planning, preparing, and cooking recipes using ground turkey. You’ll find answers to:
- What recipes can I use ground turkey in?
- How do I substitute ground turkey for ground beef?
- How can I spice up ground turkey?
- What are good recipes for ground turkey?
- Do you need oil to cook ground turkey?
- How do I cook ground turkey in the oven?
- How do I cook ground turkey on the stove?
- How do you prepare ground turkey for meal prepping?
- What are good recipes for ground turkey?
What recipes can I use ground turkey in?
I often use ground turkey for all of my favorite recipes calling for ground beef including my korean ground turkey and rice bowl, ground turkey meatballs, ground turkey gluten free meatloaf, ground turkey tacos, meat sauce with ground turkey, easy gluten free lasagna casserole, and many others.
Many people switch to ground turkey for health reasons, or to avoid the extra calories in ground beef. There are lots of great healthy ground turkey recipes out there (and I’ve got 20 good ground turkey recipes included in this post.)
I actually make meals with ground turkey because it is often cheaper than ground beef.
When I do buy ground beef, I prefer grass-fed beef which tends to be more expensive. So unless ground beef is on sale, our family relies heavily on ground turkey.
How do I substitute ground turkey for ground beef?
In most recipes, you can simply swap the ground turkey for the ground beef. Nothing else to it!
You may want to adjust seasonings a little.
In my opinion meals with ground turkey can be a little more bland than ground beef so I like to add a little bit of gluten free soy sauce, or gluten free Worcestershire sauce, depending on the recipe.
Other ingredients like tomato paste, or adding a little extra of the seasonings your recipe calls for can help to make your ground turkey recipes more flavorful while keeping them healthy.
How can I spice up ground turkey?
My go-to ingredients for spicing up ground turkey:
- Tamari soy sauce
- coconut aminos (for paleo)
- Worcestershire sauce (check the ingredients to make sure it is gluten free, if needed)
- tomato paste
- gluten free cream of mushroom soup
- taco seasoning
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- ground chipotle powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- sea salt
Ingredients like tomato paste, coconut aminos, and soy sauce add the “umami” flavor that ground beef has.
I always try to use one of those ingredients, and then add my other favorites based on the flavors of the dish I’m using the ground turkey in.
I also love using ground turkey in recipes that use gluten free cream of mushroom soup.
The mushrooms have a similar effect and add a great beefy taste!
With a little help, you almost can’t tell that it is ground turkey and not ground beef!
Do you need oil to cook ground turkey?
Because ground turkey usually has a pretty low fat content, I usually add a little bit of a healthy oil to keep it from sticking to the pan.
If you have a great non-stick pan you won’t need as much oil, if any. I used to use more oil when cooking ground turkey, but after I got my Anolon nonstick skillet I use just a tiny bit (maybe a teaspoon, if not less) and sometimes don’t use any!
When cooking ground turkey in the oven, to avoiding using too much extra oil, I recommend lining your baking sheet or pan with parchment paper.
How do I cook ground turkey in the oven?
My favorite healthy ground turkey recipes that are baked in the oven are baked gluten free ground turkey meatballs and gluten free ground turkey meatloaf. They are very easy to prep, and then bake off in the oven.
To cook ground turkey in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 375°f and place the ground turkey on a baking dish that is lightly greased with a little oil (I like using olive oil, but you can also use a little avocado oil) or lined with parchment paper and break it up into crumbles. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, give it a stir, and then bake for another 5 minutes. Continue to bake, stirring every five minutes until the ground turkey is cooked through. You can tell it is cooked when the ground turkey no longer has any pink and has turned white and/or tan.
How do I cook ground turkey on the stove?
My favorite ground turkey stove-top recipes are gluten free turkey meatballs and turkey tacos. I love the extra browning (also known as caramelization of the maillard reaction) I can get using a good, piping hot, nonstick skillet. It adds great flavor!
- To cook ground turkey on the stove, grab your favorite skillet, a little oil, and some salt and pepper.
- Cook the ground turkey on medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spatula or spoon so there aren’t any large chunks.
- You can tell the ground turkey is cooked when it is no longer pink and has turned white or tan all over. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
How do you prepare ground turkey for meal prepping?
Whenever I buy ground turkey, I purchase twice what I need for my ground turkey recipe.
When I cook my ground turkey (usually on the stove top, but you can cook it in the oven too) I will cook all of it, and then use just what I need for the recipe I’m making.
The cooked ground turkey that I don’t need for my recipe is usually put in an airtight container to be used for quick weeknight meals later in the week, or I’ll divide it into smaller portions and freeze it so I can easily add it to recipes next week or next month.
What are good recipes for ground turkey?
I’ve found that ground turkey does especially well in recipes that are well seasoned and have some sort of sauce.
When seasoned well, and enhanced with ingredients like tomato paste, or gluten free soy sauce, the ground turkey gets a little darker and you can’t tell its ground turkey and not beef!
Gluten Free Cranberry Turkey Enchiladas (using Thanksgiving Leftovers)
Though originally made with leftover shredded turkey, leftover cooked ground turkey would work just as well. Leftover turkey, creamy gravy, and fresh cranberry sauce rolled in warm corn tortillas and topped with gooey melted Monterrey Jack cheese.
Another flavorful recipe where it is easy to make the swap to ground turkey .Mole Chili has a kick to it that other chili is lacking. The bite from this bowl will leave your eyes stinging and your taste buds screaming for more. I grew up eating a lot of chili. It was a family favorite. And that chili tradition is something I carried on into my own family.
10 Minute Gluten Free Enchiladas
I often make these 10 minutes gluten free enchiladas with cooked ground turkey instead, of shredded. They make a super easy weeknight These 10 Minute Gluten Free Enchiladas are my go-to when I need to get dinner on the table quickly. Made in the microwave, they are ready in just minutes. You are hungry, there is a toddler hanging on to your leg and crying, the rest of the family is cranky, and it is dinner-time.
Gluten Free Green Chile Enchiladas
Classic Green Chile Enchiladas, made gluten-free with a quick and easy homemade gluten-free green chile enchilada sauce. They make a simple and easy dinner that the whole family will love. Enchiladas have always been a go-to dinner for me, and they are easy to make gluten-free. Just add some cooked ground turkey.
Instant Pot Gluten Free Teriyaki Meatballs
Instant Pot Gluten Free Teriyaki Meatballs make for an effortless weeknight dinner and the entire family will love them. You can't tell if you use ground turkey, because of the savory teriyaki sauce. You can freeze them and cook on demand to make it even easier!
What are your favorite ground turkey recipes?
Comment and tell me!