20 Ground Turkey Recipes That Don't Skimp on Flavor (2024)

It's time we think of ground turkey as more than a lighter, leaner alternative to ground beef. Ground turkey brings as much meaty flavor to dishes as ground beef and bulks up recipes all the same. Plus, thanks to ground turkey's lower fat content, you can incorporate other tasty fats into your cooking (olive oil! cheese!) without it resulting in overly-greasy food. Read on for 20 of our most delicious ground turkey recipes.

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Mozzarella-Stuffed Pesto Turkey Meatballs

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20 Ground Turkey Recipes That Don't Skimp on Flavor (1)

Cutting into a melty mozzarella center makes meatballs all the more satisfying. And as if that's not enough, these meatballs contain pesto.

02of 20

Sheet Pan Turkey Chili with Cornbread "Dumplings"

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With dense, veggie-packed turkey chili and dollops of cornbread batter that bake to golden perfection, this one-pan meal tastes as incredible as it looks.

03of 20

Ground Turkey Noodle Bake

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This casserole sandwiches seasoned ground turkey between a thick topping of shredded mozzarella and egg noodles tossed with a cream cheese-based sauce.

04of 20

Apple-Tarragon Turkey Sloppy Joes

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"You'll get sweetness from the apples, a subtle hint of anise from the tarragon, and a burst of aromatic flavor from the cloves. Be adventuresome, step outside the box, and give it a try!" — lutzflcat

05of 20

Stuffed Orange Peppers

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Liquid smoke and Gouda cheese elevate classic stuffed peppers. Orange bell peppers deliver a subtle sweetness and pop of color.

  • The Best Side Dishes for Stuffed Peppers

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Easy Chili Cornbread Bake

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"Chili and cornbread go so well together, why not bake them in the same pan! I've been making this for years and my kids love it," Valerie Brunmeier says. "I use ground turkey, but ground beef could be substituted if preferred."

  • 15 Top-Rated Chili Recipes That Are Anything But Basic

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Thai-Style Turkey Burgers

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"Turkey burgers with coriander, ginger, and garlic to give a Thai flavor," says Tracy Mckerk. "This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce and breadcrumbs. Can be served alone, or on a gluten-free or whole-wheat bun."

08of 20

Tasty Ground Turkey Tacos

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"My mom's beef tacos get a makeover with ground turkey," says Andrea Parker. "These are much healthier, easier, and faster because there is no grease to contend with and I think they just taste better."

  • 12 Skinny Tacos to Satisfy Your Tex-Mex Cravings

09of 20

Ground Turkey Kheema with Forbidden Rice

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Here's a lighter Indian main dish that doesn't use heavy cream. It's served with forbidden black rice. "The blend of spices is mild but tasty," says Smd. "The potatoes make it hearty comfort food. Combining all the spices before you start is the way to go."

10of 20

Healthy Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Mash

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"This shepherd's pie with cauliflower mash is a low-carb, healthier version of a great cold-weather dish," says Patty-DC. "Enjoy this satisfying meal with a little less guilt."

  • Our Top 10 Shepherd's Pie Recipes

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Easy Ground Turkey Lo Mein

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"This lo mein can be on the table in no time and is packed with flavor without having to use those fancy sauces," says bd.weld. "The excess liquid will be soaked up by the noodles. Top with sriracha sauce to taste."

12of 20

Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger Turkey Wraps

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"This ground turkey wrap recipe is one of my favorite recipes when I'm craving a burger but watching calories," says socforward88. "Top with your favorite condiments like mustard or ketchup."

13of 20

Cameron's Ground Turkey Salsa Ranchera for Tacos and Burritos

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"It doesn't get much easier than this — lean ground turkey and salsa ranchera combined and made in a pressure cooker such as Instant Pot," says bd.weld. "Perfect for tacos, burritos, or even a taco salad."

14of 20

Moroccan Breakfast Skillet

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Moroccan-inspired spices, Swiss chard, sweet potato, ground turkey, and breakfast sausage combine in this quick and easy breakfast skillet dish. Try it with an egg on top! "A very flavorful breakfast idea," says France C. "I used turkey breakfast sausage instead of pork, for a healthier option. A tasty combination of spices and it smells fantastic while cooking!"

15of 20

Turkey Pasta Sauce

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"Honestly, if I didn't know differently, I would think this was made with ground beef instead of ground turkey," says lutzflcat. "And this sauce breaks down really well nutritionally — love that! I liked the chunky texture, so I didn't bother to use the immersion blender to smooth it out."

16of 20

Japanese-Style Meatloaf

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"I adapted this from a korokke recipe I frequently use," says abslomrob. "Korokke is a Japanese fried croquette made with seasoned ground meat and mashed potato. I combined the seasoning used there with a standard meatloaf recipe to create this fun hybrid. I serve it with mashed potatoes and a spicy barbeque sauce."

  • 15 Memorable Meatloaf Recipes

17of 20

Turkey Meatloaf Burgers

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This recipe merges two-kid friendly foods into one meal, with ground turkey no less. You're welcome.

  • Quick and Easy Side Dishes for Burgers

18of 20

Asian Sesame Sweet-and-Sour Turkey Meatballs

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Maple syrup, nutty sesame oil, ketchup, mustard, and vinegar bring a well-rounded flavor to these Asian-inspired meatballs. Serve them over noodles or rice.

19of 20

Tim's Turkey Tortilla Soup

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This soup-er simple recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep and uses basic ingredients like chicken broth, olive oil, and lime. Picante sauce packs a punch of spice.

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Actually Delicious Buffalo Turkey Burgers

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20 Ground Turkey Recipes That Don't Skimp on Flavor (20)

Douse ground turkey, Panko bread crumbs, parsley, and an egg with Buffalo wing sauce to build these well-seasoned patties. Adjust the spice to your liking; Monterey Jack cheese

  • The Best Healthy Ground Turkey Recipes
  • See our entire collection of Ground Turkey Recipes.
20 Ground Turkey Recipes That Don't Skimp on Flavor (2024)


How do you make ground turkey not taste bland? ›

The Turkey Seasoning:
  1. Chili powder.
  2. Ground cumin.
  3. Garlic powder.
  4. Onion powder.
  5. Paprika or dried oregano.
  6. Salt & Black Pepper.
  7. Optional: red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper or a little spice kick.
Sep 10, 2023

How do you add flavor to ground turkey? ›

There are plenty of easy ground turkey recipes out there. But, you will always need spices like olive oil, kosher salt and pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder. You can add minced garlic, and freshly chopped onions and peppers, for an extra edge.

How do you make 99% lean ground turkey taste good? ›

Enhance Flavor with Seasonings

While ground turkey has a mild flavor, adding the right seasonings can make it truly delicious. Experiment with a variety of herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, or dried oregano. Don't be afraid to get creative and adjust the flavors to your liking!

When not to cook ground turkey? ›

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.

How do you make ground turkey taste more savory? ›

You could try adding some Worcestershire Sauce, or some smoked paprika, savory, chili powder. What are some ways to cook chicken breast or ground turkey so that it is not plain? After you brown the meat, use it in a recipe. Most recipes that work for ground beef will also work for ground turkey.

How do you make ground turkey not taste like turkey? ›

The exact seasonings you should use for ground turkey depends on how it's prepared. For meatballs and Italian-inspired recipes, you can't go wrong with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and oregano. If you're making a taco, lift the flavor of your ground turkey with ground cumin or taco seasoning.

How to season a turkey for best flavor? ›

Stick with salt and pepper, put herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage to work, or take spicy Cajun seasoning for a spin for some kick. Whatever blend you choose, spread it all over the turkey—on top, underneath, between the body and wings and legs, under the skin, and even in the cavity of the bird.

What can I put in the turkey for best flavor? ›

Instead of filling your bird with stuffing, fill it with aromatics. (News flash: Cooking stuffing inside a turkey can be dangerous.) The basics, like onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage, help lend that traditional Thanksgiving flavor. Take your aromatics up a notch by adding halved lemons or oranges.

What can I add to ground turkey to make it taste like beef? ›

Whenever I made turkey burgers, I would dissolve some beef bouillon in a little water and add it to the turkey with a little canola oil, then season and form the patties. The bouillon gave it some flavor and the water and oil helped with moisture. Just make sure not to overcook.

What makes ground turkey juicy? ›

Process the Ground Meat for Juicier Texture

Instead of blending the mix with our hands, we reground the meat with seasonings in a food processor. Grinding meat develops myosin, a sticky meat protein that traps water and fat, keeping it juicy.

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

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.

What is the best fat to add to ground turkey? ›

I opt for unsalted butter to have total control over the seasoning. Like with any recipe, it's all about balance, and it doesn't take much butter to make poultry burgers succulent. An easy ratio to remember is 2 tablespoons unsalted butter per 1 pound ground turkey or chicken.

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."

Why is my ground turkey GREY after freezing? ›

Once the meat turns a darker brown or has a gray color, it's a sign that it's starting to go bad. Ground turkey may have variations in color depending on differences in the animal, such as its age, breed, and diet.

Why is my ground turkey GREY? ›

But as any poultry starts to go bad, it will start to turn an unpleasant shade of gray. If that pink hue starts to look slightly dull then it's time to use up your ground turkey immediately, and if it has a gray tint (even just a slight one), then it's time to toss it.

How do you fix bland turkey stock? ›

Make sure you season your turkey stock/broth with herbs (save your carrot tops from making Glazed Carrots), fresh parsley, herbs, peppercorns and bay leaf. If you add too much water, it can water down the stock making it bland (in this case, once you strain it, simmer it to reduce and intensify flavor).

Why does my turkey stock taste bland? ›

A good stock isn't done until it's been strained, seasoned and cooled. Skimping on any of these steps can leave you with stock that's murky, bland or stale-tasting. To strain, pour the stock into a colander lined with at least two layers of cheesecloth.

What can I add to ground turkey to keep it moist? ›

To keep it moist while cooking, you can either add a fat such as butter, or baste with a liquid like chicken stock.

Why is turkey meat bland? ›

Why is my turkey bland? If your Thanksgiving turkey is bland, it has probably been under-seasoned. Turkeys are big, and it takes a lot of salt and pepper to flavor the entire bird.


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