15 Best Ground Turkey Recipes

Why is it that so many popular dishes are made with ground beef? Think about all of the burgers, meatballs, tacos, and meatloaf recipes that practically demand it. But, if you're trying to cut down on saturated fats, then does that mean you have to forgo all these favorites? Absolutely not. Oftentimes, you can use leaner, lighter ground turkey in place of beef.

So, does this mean that you're going to be compromising on flavor? No way. Ground turkey can easily soak up the flavors of other ingredients and is so enhanced by seasonings that you might not even notice the difference. You may even find that you prefer the molder taste and less dense texture of turkey, too. 

There's so much potential for meals made with ground turkey. If you're looking for some ideas or need to be convinced that you're not giving up on taste by making the switch, then here are 15 of our best ground turkey recipes. 

1. Guilt Free Ground Turkey Tacos

Turn Taco Tuesday into Turkey Taco Tuesday by swapping out beef for ground turkey. The leaner meat more easily picks up the flavor of the dried herbs and spices used in this recipe, including cumin and paprika. 

To brown the meat, don't add it to the pan until the oil is hot. Otherwise, it'll just steam. When you add all the flavorings, do so with a little water to create a paste. Serve in a hard taco shell or soft corn or flour tortillas and add whatever classic taco toppings you like.

Recipe: Guilt Free Ground Turkey Tacos

2. Easy Ground Turkey Casserole

This comforting meal is made with 85% lean ground turkey but with 100% flavor, making it worthy of a second helping. It's super easy to make, too, as you use canned tomato sauce, rich bouillon, and cheddar cheese soup in this recipe. 

Be careful not to overcook the seasoned turkey when you brown it in a pan. Meanwhile, make sure that the pasta is cooked al dente, as it will soften further while baking in the oven. Top the dish with Parmesan for a sharp, umami-rich flavor.

Recipe: Easy Ground Turkey Casserole

3. Quick Turkey Burger

These ground turkey burgers are terrifically tasty thanks to caramelized onions and herbs that are mixed straight into the patties. You can also use this recipe as a base and add different seasonings into the mix. This version comes with classic toppings, including lettuce, sliced cheese, and ketchup, though feel free to innovate here. 

Whether you broil, fry, or bake the turkey burger, always make sure that it's fully cooked. But don't feel the need to focus on getting the meat cooked in a certain way, as it will still be nice and juicy.

Recipe: Quick Turkey Burger

4. Spicy Turkey Burger

For this recipe, use creamy, spicy Sriracha mayo spread onto burger buns. This delicious condiment mixture is also part of the meat patty, as well as diced celery and green onions.

Once you've assembled them, sear the patties in a pan first and finish in the oven. That said, nothing is stopping you from throwing these flavorful patties onto the grill the next time you're having a cookout. Brioche buns are ideal for this tasty turkey burger, especially with a thick slice of tomato and other simple toppings.

Recipe: Spicy Turkey Burger

5. Quick Turkey Chili

You can't beat a winter warmer that's great for parties, potlucks, and weeknight suppers. Who doesn't love a big bowl of chili, especially if it comes with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and cilantro? 

This dish doesn't contain a blow-your-socks-off type of heat on its own, so if you want to add more spice, throw in a diced jalapeño or cayenne. You'll need kidney beans and black beans for this recipe too, though you can easily deal in pinto and navy beans if that's what you have in your pantry instead.

Recipe: Quick Turkey Chili

6. Best White Turkey Chili

if you're used to a rich, dark, tomato-heavy chili then you might want to try this white turkey version for a change. Combine great northern and cannellini beans with chicken broth, white corn, and ground turkey. Make sure the beans are drained and rinsed first. 

Cumin gives this dish a serious flavor boost, while canned green chiles and fresh jalapeño bring additional heat without overwhelming most diners. Add a dollop of cooling sour cream on top and serve with crispy tortilla chips for extra texture.

Recipe: Best White Turkey Chili

7. Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Herby turkey breakfast sausages are a lighter way to enjoy breakfast compared to chowing down on pork-based ones. However, it's best to choose darker ground meat for this recipe as it's got more fat and flavor than super-lean white turkey meat. 

Dried sage and thyme define the taste of these oven-baked patties. When shaping the individual sausages, oil your hands to help keep yourself from overworking the meat by compacting it too much and sacrificing juiciness. Serve these turkey breakfast sausages hot with waffles, pancakes, or an egg.

Recipe: Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

8. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole

If you're cutting back on carbohydrates but miss some classic carb-filled dishes, then this lasagna casserole is a must. Instead of pasta, use shredded roasted squash and make the cheesy sauce with cottage cheese and mozzarella. In place of beef, brown ground turkey for a leaner dish. 

Give the turkey a delicious, sausage-like taste by adding fennel seeds. Crush them a little with your hands to release the flavorful oils before adding them to the meat sauce. Layer the ingredients and finish with the sauce and more mozzarella before baking.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole

9. Easy Turkey Meatloaf

Make a lighter meal out of meatloaf by using ground turkey instead of following tradition with ground beef. Add flavor with canned corn and taco seasoning. Meanwhile, you can use just about any type of bread you like, as long as you can soak each piece with milk before adding it to the mix. 

If you don't like using your hands to make meatloaf, use a potato masher instead. Top it all with a ketchup glaze, using a variety that's not laden with sugar. To know when it's done, simply check the temperature of the meatloaf with a meat thermometer.

Recipe: Easy Turkey Meatloaf

10. 30 Minute Turkey Meatballs

To make these terrific turkey meatballs, be sure to add Italian seasonings. Dried herbs including thyme and oregano give the meat flavor, while you can easily customize the other ingredients. Use panko in this recipe for extra texture, though you can skip the breadcrumbs if you prefer. 

You can also in a little grated Parmesan cheese for a hit of tang and rich flavor. What is non-negotiable is browning the meatballs in a pan before baking them in the oven, as this step does a lot to improve the texture, appearance, and taste of the final dish.

Recipe: 30 Minute Turkey Meatballs

11. Zucchini Enchilada Boats

There's practically no end to what you can use to stuff these zucchini enchiladas, but one addition that tastes amazing is ground turkey. In fact, there are so many great ingredients in this recipe that you don't need to boost the flavor with fattier meat such as ground beef. These include cumin, oregano, and garlic powder, along with salsa, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Of course, you can up the amount of chili powder you use as much as you like. 

With homemade enchilada sauce and a good helping of grated cheese on top, there's no way this turkey dish can be anything but flavorful. 

Recipe: Zucchini Enchilada Boats

12. Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

While you bake these stuffed peppers in the oven, cooked the filling in an Instant Pot. Break up the ground turkey while sautéing to brown the meat and fully incorporate the cumin, chili powder, brown rice, and tomatoes. 

For the bell peppers, use your hands to remove the seeds and membranes. A good sprinkling of cheddar cheese completes this dish, which is so wonderfully filling you don't need any sides to enjoy it.

Recipe: Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

13. Asian-Inspired Meatloaf

Cooking can get exciting when you take classic dishes and give them an innovative twist, like all-American meatloaf infused with Asian flavors. Getting turkey is ideal to showcase the flavors of sesame oil, soy sauce, cilantro, and green onions. The leanness lends itself to the slowly simmered umami soy glaze.

The glaze gives each slice of this meatloaf a delightfully salty and sweet taste. Make this first so that it's ready at the same time as your turkey meatloaf, then serve it on the side or drizzled on top.

Recipe: Asian-Inspired Meatloaf

14. Easy Lasagna

Comfort food that's easy to make is a bonus, including this simple recipe. Use a jar of pasta sauce and no-cook sheets of lasagna, to start. And instead of a layer of bechamel sauce, reach for some ricotta. Not that you would notice if you were digging into this, but the meaty layer is made with ground turkey instead of beef. 

Add seasonings like oregano to improve the store-bought sauce, and make sure you drain the ricotta (otherwise, your lasagna will be waterlogged). Parmesan and mozzarella top off the dish perfectly. 

Recipe: Easy Lasagna

15. Slow Cooker Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs

As if meatballs aren't yummy enough, this recipe adds mozzarella in the middle of the classic dish. For this version, use ground turkey instead of the more traditional beef and cheese strings to create the gooey center. Another difference: you use a slow cooker, which saves time and energy in the kitchen. 

When forming the meatballs, make sure the turkey covers all of the cheese so that it doesn't leak out. Save the fat that comes off the meat during broiling to add extra flavor to the tomato sauce. 

Recipe: Slow Cooker Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball