People who aren’t fans of ground red meat (like beef) often turn to turkey as a versatile source of protein that they can incorporate into their weekly meals.
Tasty, lean, and rich with protein, turkey has many benefits over other meat, and can be a great alternative for anyone wanting to make changes to their diet without giving up meat for good.
Benefits Of Ground Turkey
When it comes to ground turkey, there are many benefits over other meats, such as ground beef or pork (see also ‘29 Simple Ground Pork Recipes Ready For Cheap Dinners‘).
Firstly, for those of you who dislike fatty meat, turkey is almost totally devoid of fat and gristle, ensuring you have a nice meal without any unwanted surprises in your meat.
This also makes it perfect for creating a smooth meat option that is all killer no filler, improving the taste and feel of every meal it is used in.
Not only is turkey leaner than other meats, it is also far healthier. Ground turkey has higher protein levels than beef and chicken, and a lower saturated fat content than beef.
When compared to beef, pork, and chicken, turkey also has a much lower calorie content, meaning those watching their weight can enjoy their favorite dishes without the guilt they would normally associate with this indulgence.
What’s more, turkey doesn’t have the same bloating effect as either meat, meaning that when you have finished your meal you can walk away from the table feeling satisfied and comfortable.
However, choosing the right meals for you and your family can still be tricky, which is why we have curated a list of our 33 favorite ground turkey recipes (see also ‘28 Easy Keto Recipes That Use Ground Turkey‘).
So without further ado, let’s get started!
If you are looking for a comforting, wholesome family sharing meal that is both delicious and healthy, then why not try the ground turkey & sweet potato skillet.
With a rich, tomatoey sauce, and a sprinkling of melted mozzarella cheese, this really is to die for.
For the pasta lovers out there, you might be wondering how you can possibly replace your beloved bolognese sauce. The answer – ground turkey.
Thanks to the versatility of turkey, you can recreate your favorite meaty pasta sauces without compromising the flavor – giving you a leaner source of ground meat, a higher source of protein, and a delicious taste.
You might have heard of firecracker chicken, but with ground turkey you are getting the same great taste, albeit with a much healthier foundation.
This spicy, tomatoey turkey dish is great for heat lovers, and can be a great way to inject some flavor into your diet.
If you are looking for a hamburger that is healthier than beef but still packed with flavor, then why not use ground turkey?
This versatile meat pairs well with cheese, salad, and condiments, meaning you don’t have to miss out on your favorites to live healthier.
Korean food is especially hot right now, so what a better time to spice up your ground turkey with some tasty Korean ingredients?
These Korean turkey and rice bowls are incredibly simple to make, but are jam packed with flavor and spice.
Perfect for a lighter lunch, or as part of a Korean BBQ buffet (see also ‘25 Delicious Korean Barbecue Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water‘) with friends and family, these bowls are a great way to stay healthy and try something new!
A casserole can be a great, wholesome dish to share with your family, and can be modified in many ways to keep it an exciting and tasty addition to your midweek menu.
With a slightly more savory flavor palette, this dish is perfect for those seeking to stay away from the usual tomato-based casseroles – offering something equally tasty and filling.
Stir frys are a popular Asian dish, famed for their fresh ingredients, simple preparation, and short cooking time.
While beef and chicken are common ingredients, ground turkey can be a good substitute, offering you lean meat packed with flavor that is great when spiced. .
A popular family standard in American and Canadian households, meatloaf is a great meat dish to serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
When ground, the turkey is just as malleable as beef, and while tasting different, makes a delicious, flavorful, and all round healthier meatloaf for you and your family to enjoy.
Pair with a chicken or turkey based gravy for a new twist on meatloaf Mondays.
One of my personal favorites, ground turkey tacos are absolutely delicious, and are a lean, healthier substitute for your standard beef or chicken dishes.
Pasta bakes are a great way to use up any leftover vegetables and turkey (see also ‘37 Great Recipes For Leftover Turkey‘), while creating a filling bulk meal for you and your family in the process.
Cheesy, tomatoey, and packed with flavor, this is great, feel good food, and can be eaten year round.
The simple chili is a staple in most households, thanks to the quick and easy preparation, cost effective ingredients, and the fact that it can be made and frozen in bulk.
Turkey chili works in the same way, and provides little difference in flavor when compared to its classic ground beef counterpart.
What you are getting is a healthy, lean Mexican inspired dish that can be used to feed your family time and time again.
For something a little different (and relatively carb free) why not try this recipe for turkey stuffed bell peppers?
Cheesy, tomatoey, and with just enough spice, these are great as part of a sharing platter with friends, or as a bit of excitement in your midweek family dinner menu.
A turkey chili with a twist – this ‘white’ chili incorporates white beans to create a wholesome, delicious meal with a difference.
Great for pairing with tortillas and your usual Mexican side dishes, this is an interesting interpretation of the classic chili, and one that can be enjoyed time and time again.
Perhaps surprisingly, ground turkey can also be used to make unique and tasty breakfast sausage patties (for more healthy turkey sausage recipes, read here).
Using the same preparation methods as you would for a hamburger patty, these go great on breakfast egg muffins, and allow you to start your day with flavor in a way that is healthy.
For fans of Italian food, this turkey and spinach lasagne is a delicious alternative to the traditional beef recipe, and is a great bulk dish that can be shared with family and friends.
Perfect for those seeking to eat less red meat, this is a good way of trying something healthier and different without having to go veggie.
On the subject of Italian classics, why not exchange your usual beef or pork meatballs for something leaner and healthier?
Still packed with great taste, this can be a great alternative for people who don’t like the fat or gristle of other meat, without having to turn to meat substitutes like Quorn or tofu.
While turkey can famously be made into stews, what many might not know is how great it is for soup.
One good recipe is ground turkey with beans and spinach – a soup with a slightly Mexican flair, which can be customized with seasonings and spices to the taste of the diners.
For ground turkey with a Japanese twist, why not try this recipe for teriyaki turkey and vegetables? A healthy dish bursting with flavor, this is great as a lighter bite in the afternoon, or as part of a larger Japanese buffet with friends and family.
For a different take on the turkey meatballs, why not travel across the Mediterranean to Greece.
Paired with spinach and creamy feta cheese, this might be a more divisive dish than most, but if done right can be a delicious, light alternative to Italian dishes – which can often be richer and more filling.
Switching up your beef pasta sauce with a turkey substitute can be a subtle but great way to get your family to eat better, while still enjoying a tasty home cooked meal.
Another turkey skillet, this one is not named ‘rainbow’ for nothing. Laden with color, taste, and spice, this Mexican inspired rice dish goes great with turkey, and offers an exciting twist on a healthy dish.
For a different take on the traditional Russian dish (beef stroganoff), why not use ground turkey to create a leaner, healthier version that is still rich in that distinct mushroom flavor that made it famous.
Another classically Mexican dish, empanadas are essentially small pastries containing meat and vegetables.
While traditionally beef, pork, or chicken, turkey can be a great, lean equivalent that still packs the spicy punch synonymous with the dish.
Rich with fresh vegetable flavors, a comforting cheesiness, and a devilish tomato base, this casserole is a great family sharing dish that can potentially cover many meals throughout the week.
Perfect for using up leftovers and ingredients, this is relatively simple and inexpensive to make, and takes no time at all from refrigerator to plate.
For an even healthier meal option, why not pair your ground turkey with quinoa, kale, and mushrooms for a flavorsome, light salad bowl?
Pair with rice, and season with as much spice as you want, enjoying big flavors without the associated guilt of calories.
For a turkey burger with a Mexican twist, why not incorporate black beans into the mix – adding a creamy, fluffy texture to the meat?
Season with Mexican spices, and pair with potato wedges or nachos for the perfect family sharing platter.
In a similar fashion to the stuffed bell peppers, these zucchini ‘boats’ are great substitutes for tortillas or tacos, which are full of carbohydrates.
The fresh crunch of the zucchini boats go great with the rich, cheesy, tomato mix of the chili, and are a great accompaniment to any family get together or occasion.
Another Mexican dish, this recipe for Mexican ground turkey pasta takes Italian and Mexican dishes and combines them to create a tasty alternative.
Perfect for using leftovers, or if you are struggling for ideas and want something a little different, this dish allows for customization, tinkering with spices and seasonings to get the right mix for you.
This dish is a meat extravaganza, perfect for people wanting a healthier source of protein, but without sacrificing their favorite, cheesy, decadent meals.
Packed with rich, tomatoey flavors, and smothered with melted cheddar or mozzarella cheese, this is a perfect sharing dish for a midweek family meal, and one that will leave you full and satisfied for the rest of the evening.
For another healthy rice bowl, why not combine your ground turkey with cauliflower and rice for a fluffy, heavenly combination that you won’t soon forget?
Healthy and fresh, this is perfect for summer work lunches, or for eating al fresco in the sunshine with friends and family.
Pair with taco shells or tortillas for something a little extra, or enjoy as is for a great, refreshing alternative to your usual daily lunch.
For a dish that is healthier, but which doesn’t skimp on flavor, this Asian inspired dish could be the perfect addition to any midweek meal.
Using lettuce leaves (see also ‘What Can I Have Instead Of Bibb Lettuce? The 5 Substitutes You Simply Must Try‘) instead of tortilla wraps, this dish is a perfect family DIY meal, allowing everyone to construct their own combinations, add their own spice or toppings, and roll their own lettuce leaf tortillas.
Another America classic, the Sloppy Gieuseppe, or Sloppy Joe (see also ‘16 Best Side Dishes To Serve With Sloppy Joes‘), is a great use for your ground turkey burgers, and can be a way of (literally) spicing up your usual burgers.
Laden with spice, and complex flavors, these Sloppy Joes are not only delicious, but more healthy than their fatty beef counterparts, making them a dish that tastes naughty, but which remains nice to your waistband.
Last on our list, but by no means least, these Thanksgiving flavored turkey burgers are a great way to bring in the holidays (see also our favorite New Year’s dinner recipes) in a different, unique fashion.
The turkey can be paired with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and whatever other family-specific dishes you would like, creating the perfect alternative to the traditional thanksgiving dinner, while still remaining true to the classic flavors of the holiday season.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Turkey Low fat?
Turkey meat, especially the breast meat, is very low in fat, which makes it a popular choice for people trying to eat healthier and lose weight.
Is Turkey Healthier Than Chicken?
Whilst they may taste similar, turkey has a higher protein percentage than chicken, which does actually make it marginally healthier.
Is Ground Turkey Better Than Ground Beef?
If we are talking about taste, then that is purely down to the preferences of the individual. However, if we are talking about healthiness, then ground turkey is far better for you.
Ground beef has a higher calorie content, has almost twice as much fat content, and almost three times as much saturated fat as turkey.
And there we have it, everything you need to know to make a delicious meal using ground turkey.
As this list shows, turkey is a more than capable substitute for ground beef, and with the added health benefits, means that you can experience the same flavor palettes of your favorite meals while consuming less calories, less saturated fat, and a higher level of protein.