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Talking Turkey: Ground Turkey Recipes You’ll Love

Ground beef has been a kitchen staple for decades. However, its price has been going up for a while now. It’s also high in fat and calories.

These reasons started the search for a good ground beef alternative. Ground turkey has become the healthier substitute staple for ground beef recipes. Not only does it cut calories and fat, it also cuts costs depending on your area.

Regular ground beef has a whopping 432 calories and 35 grams of fat per serving. Regular ground turkey is 167 calories and 9 grams of fat per serving.

Extra lean ground beef is 149 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving. The extra lean turkey is 120 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving.

So even at its leanest, beef cannot compete with turkey for low calorie and low-fat content.

Turkey is usually cheaper than other ground meats. Some grocery stores carry it frozen, which tends to be even less expensive than refrigerated.

Like ground beef, the turkey version is a versatile protein. Stock up on this economical meat, because there are many ground turkey recipes you can do with it in the kitchen every week.

Where’s the Beef?

While turkey will never taste quite like the ground beef that is so prevalent in American cuisine, you can try this hack to give it more of a beefy flavor.


  • Ground turkey
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Onion powder

The key ingredient here is the Worcestershire sauce, so be generous with it. Mix all the above ingredients and marinate the meat mixture in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. If you happen to have some beef broth on hand, adding that to your skillet could also give it a beef flavor boost.

Burger Time

This recipe promises to mimic beef hamburgers closely. In order to give your turkey burgers more of that juicy beef quality, you’ll want to select ground meat with at least 15% fat in the lean-to-fat ratio.


20 ounces of ground turkey

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons of liquid smoke

1 tablespoon of regular barbeque sauce

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon of onion powder


Work all the ingredients into the mound of ground meat. Be sure to work the ingredients in so that each patty will have the same amount of flavor.

Form patties, but maintain some roundness. The traditional way to make patties is to flatten them, but doing the opposite will hold in the moisture.

Grill your patties for 10 minutes on a charcoal grill to give them that beef burger smoky character. Add a bun and your favorite burger toppings and enjoy. The crowd might not even know it’s turkey!

Mexican-American Favorites

Ground turkey finds itself right at home in Mexican-American dishes. Using Mexican spices to season the turkey, you can use it to top tacos, tostadas, melt it with cheese to make a quesadilla, stuff a pepper, etc.

Taco Meat

Make a batch of taco meat and use it for the Mexican dish of your choice.


1 tablespoon of chili powder

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

1 or 2 teaspoons of cayenne

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of Mexican oregano

12 oz ground turkey

½ cup of water

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon of brown sugar


Mix the dry spices together in a bowl.

Cook the meat in the skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Then add seasoning mixture and water.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.

Add the cider vinegar and brown sugar to the skillet and stir well. Cook for another four minutes.

Italian Ground Turkey Recipes

From a simple plate of spaghetti to a layered lasagna, this ground meat provides your serving of protein in simple home cooked Italian meals.

You can purchase pre-seasoned Italian ground turkey or make your own with a little olive oil and an Italian seasoning blend.

Italian spice blends typically consist of basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savory and red pepper flakes. Don’t forget the chopped onion and garlic cloves!

Cook up a batch of Italian seasoned meat to have on hand to prepare your favorite Italian classics.

Turkey Meatballs

If you prefer meatballs to top your spaghetti, turkey substitute can make a spicy meatball! This recipe can also work for making meatball sub sandwiches or added to a soup!


1 or 1.5 pounds of ground turkey or turkey sausage

2 cloves of garlic, either pressed or minced

1 egg

¼ cup of Italian breadcrumbs

⅓ cup of dried parsley

1 tablespoon of dried basil

1 teaspoon of seasoned salt

Black pepper

3 tablespoons of pasta sauce or crushed tomatoes

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside the meat.

In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Work the mixture into the meat. Form meatballs and place on the cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes. Now you have a batch of homemade meatballs!

Asian Meatballs

But hold on! Have you tried Asian meatballs? Let’s take a break from Italian fare and check out this deliciousness!


1 pound ground turkey or turkey sausage

¾ cup Japanese breadcrumbs (also known as panko)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 whole scallions, chopped

1 egg

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce


¼ cup hoisin sauce

⅛ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 more chopped scallions

sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 400°F. Thinly coat the baking sheet with oil or use cooking spray. Sesame oil has a strong smell and taste so too much of it can be overwhelming.

For those who like sesame oil, using the sesame oil on the pan may be preferred. Whisk all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Then combine the meat, panko, garlic, scallions, egg, sesame oil and soy sauce into a bowl. Work the ingredients together to evenly distribute the flavors.

Form meatballs from the mixture. This should yield about one dozen meatballs.

Place the meatballs evenly spaced on the cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Flip each meatball over and bake for another 8 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven and toss them with the sauce. Serve over prepared rice or your favorite noodles. Garnish the dish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Classic Comfort Food


Turkey substitute to the rescue to make another classic comfort food healthier! This meatloaf recipe may be just the thing to work into your weekly meal rotation.


16 ounces of ground turkey

2 tablespoons of butter

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 cup of breadcrumbs (homemade in the food processor is best)

1 egg

¼ ketchup

2 teaspoons of A1 sauce

2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon of salt


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Heat a skillet with medium-high heat and melt the butter.

Cook the onion and garlic in the butter for five minutes. Once the onion and garlic are cooked, add to a large bowl. Also, add to the large bowl the meat, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt and combine well.

Grease the loaf pan and press the meat mixture into the pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove meatloaf about halfway through baking time and add a layer of ketchup if you prefer your meatloaf to be on the saucy side.

Let it cool for 5 minutes. Slice into portions. A side of mashed potatoes would go great with this meatloaf.

Turkey Chili

Warm up on a cold night with a hot batch of ground turkey chili. You won’t even miss the beef with this recipe.


1 ¼ pounds of ground turkey

1 whole yellow onion, chopped

1 whole green pepper chopped, seeds removed

16 ounce can of kidney beans, drained

1 can of stewed tomatoes or chili tomatoes if available

6 ounce can of tomato paste

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons of chili powder

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups of water


Spray a Dutch oven or stockpot with cooking spray and place on a stove set to medium heat.

Cook the onion and green pepper first, then add the meat and cook until no longer pink.

Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer the chili for 30-minutes over medium heat.

Let it cool for a bit after cooking. Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy These Ground Turkey Recipes

Finally, ground meat doesn’t have to be unhealthy, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

With all the things you can do with this ground beef alternative, it’s the perfect protein product to keep in your fridge.

With all the delicious ground turkey recipes you can do, you’ll be glad you have it on hand!

Stock up on ground turkey next time you go to the grocery store!

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