Ground Turkey Recipes for Leaner Eats That Are Still Packed with Big Flavor

Orzo, Pancetta, and Provolone Bake with Turkey Meatballs
Photo: Jason Donnelly

If you associate words like bland or boring with ground turkey, prepare for your mind to be changed for good. Our Test Kitchen does a great job creating the most flavorful dishes out of the lean meat. Here you'll find delicious ground turkey recipes in the form of burgers, wraps, meatballs, pasta dishes, and more.

01 of 19

Italian Style Turkey and Penne Toss

Italian Style Turkey and Penne Toss
Andy Lyons

There's no need for the takeout menus when you've got an easy ground turkey recipe like this on hand. The healthy Italian-style pasta gets plenty of flavor thanks to smoked paprika, garlic, and dried herbs. An entire bag of spinach is also in the one-pot meal for an easy way to add some extra greens to your day.

02 of 19

Air-Fryer Greek Turkey Burgers

Air-Fried Greek Turkey Burgers
Jennifer Causey

Grab your air fryer and some ground turkey—we're making turkey burgers. The homemade patties are well-seasoned with Greek-inspired flavors including oregano, red pepper, and garlic. Topped with tangy feta and a vinegar-dressed spinach mix, you'll enjoy every last bite. Don't forget the air-fryer french fries.

Buy It: Ninja Air Fryer ($120, Target)

03 of 19

Copycat Turkey Chili

Copycat Turkey Chili
Matthew Clark

Once you make this ground turkey chili, you'll never want to try another recipe again. Inspired by the Panera version, this cozy chili is packed with veggies and gets a bit of heat from the spices. Enjoy with plenty of shredded cheese and sour cream.

04 of 19

Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Karla Conrad

Craving an order of those delicious lettuce wraps at your favorite Asian restaurant? This easy ground turkey recipe is here to fulfill your desire. In about 30 minutes, you'll have a flavorful appetizer featuring flavors of ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder. Warning: The spicy peanut sauce is so good, you might need a double batch to keep everyone satisfied.

05 of 19

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves with Walnut-Parsley Gremolata

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves with Walnut-Parsley Gremolata
Jason Donnelly

Egg whites, mushrooms, tomatoes, and oats keep this ground turkey meat loaf moist and flavorful. The walnut-parsley gremolata has both shredded lemon peel and lemon juice in the mix to provide a bright finish to the plate.

06 of 19

Turkey Meat Loaf Pockets with Peach-Barbecue Glaze

Turkey Meat Loaf Pockets with Peach-Barbecue Glaze
Jacob Fox

When looking for interesting ideas on what to make with ground turkey, look no further than this creative recipe. Cheesy mixed veggies are neatly wrapped into ground turkey for a surprise-inside dinner that the kids and adults are going to enjoy. Bonus: You can freeze these for easy meals later.

07 of 19

Paleo Broccoli Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Paleo Broccoli Rice-Stuffed Peppers
Andy Lyons

These ground turkey stuffed peppers are healthy enough to serve the Paleo followers in the family, but delicious enough to be enjoyed by all. The meat is seasoned with a Mexican-inspired spice blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne. Instead of the rice traditionally found in stuffed pepper recipes, we used low-carb riced broccoli or cauliflower.

08 of 19

Turkey Meatball Shepherd's Pie

Turkey Meatball Shepherd’s Pie
Jason Donnelly

Bet you've never had a shepherd's pie like this one. The from-scratch turkey meatballs are combined with Alfredo sauce and peas before being topped with layers of bright sweet potato slices. The result is thick, creamy, and oh-so comforting.

09 of 19

Orzo, Pancetta, and Provolone Bake with Turkey Meatballs

Orzo, Pancetta, and Provolone Bake with Turkey Meatballs
Jason Donnelly

Forget the usual spaghetti and meatballs and serve a pasta bake for dinner tonight. Store-bought ground turkey meatballs make easy work of prepping the cheesy recipe. The herbed panko and Parmesan topping adds a nice crunch to every bite.

10 of 19

Thai Turkey Meat Loaf

Fast or Slow Thai Turkey Meat Loaf
Andy Lyons

This ground turkey recipe is going to be your new favorite way to enjoy a cozy meat loaf dinner. The meat mixture is perfectly seasoned with a savory umami bomb of garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Did we mention the Asian-inspired recipe comes together in your slow cooker?

Buy It: Crock-Pot 4 Quart Manual Slow Cooker ($19, Walmart)

11 of 19

Italian-Herb Turkey Meatballs

Italian-Herb Turkey Meatballs
Andy Lyons

Fresh oregano and parsley are the Italian herbs that add bright flavor to these ground turkey meatballs. Ricotta and Grana Padano cheeses give the tiny bites a bit of tang and nuttiness. Covered in a sticky balsamic BBQ sauce, this easy appetizer will have everyone asking for the recipe.

12 of 19

Turkey and Bean Burritos

Turkey and Bean Burritos
Jason Donnelly

When you're trying to eat healthier but craving fast food, this ground turkey recipe really hits the spot. After sautéing the meat with onion and garlic, season it with your favorite salsa (go as hot or mild as you like). Fill them with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream before digging in.

13 of 19

Spaghetti and Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti and Spicy Turkey Meatballs
Andy Lyons

Give your next pasta night a kick! The homemade turkey meatballs contain two jalapeño peppers to add irresistible flavor to your spaghetti dinner. The creamy sauce made with cream cheese, milk, and Gouda helps tame the heat.

14 of 19

Veggie-Turkey Burgers

veggie-and-turkey burgers with toppings
Andy Lyons

Give your ground turkey burgers the veggie treatment. Incorporate shredded carrot and green onions into your patties. For a twist on toppings, we like adding some crunch (and pretty presentation) with spiralized zucchini noodles. A bit of curry powder added to mustard makes an easy, standout sauce.

Buy It: OXO Good Grips Spiralizer ($47, Bed Bath & Beyond)

15 of 19

Spiced Turkey Pitas with Cucumber, Olives, and Mint

Spiced Turkey Pitas with Cucumber, Olives & Mint

Up your whole-grain intake with this delicious ground turkey recipe. The homemade patties come together with the help of cooked bulgur. Served on top of pita with cucumber, olives, yogurt, and mint—it's a Mediterranean-inspired party in your mouth.

16 of 19

Turkey Salisbury Steaks with White Bean Mash

Turkey Salisbury Steaks with White Bean Mash
Kritsada Panichgul

Here's a leaner take on homemade Salisbury steak that's just as delicious as the beefy versions out there. The secret? A packet of onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce make the delicious ground turkey recipe. For more fiber and plant-based protein, serve over a bed of our garlicky herb mashed white beans.

17 of 19

Turkey-Carrot Goulash

turkey carrot goulash
Andy Lyons

This ground turkey dinner idea is a healthier take on the traditional paprika-spiced Hungarian stew. Chopped dried plums (prunes) are added to the mix to give the dish some natural sweetness along with a healthy dose of fiber. An entire pound of carrots are also in this ground turkey recipe, adding extra vitamin A to your diet.

18 of 19

Turkey-Pepper Brunch Strata

Turkey-Pepper Brunch Strata

If you think ground turkey would never live up to the satisfaction of sausage in an egg casserole, think again. The ground turkey is generously seasoned with spices and browned to perfection before going over English muffins and baked in a savory egg custard. Breakfast for dinner, anyone?

19 of 19

Moroccan Turkey Pilaf

Moroccan Turkey Pilaf
Karla Conrad

Moroccan spices (cumin, cinnamon, and ginger) help elevate the flavor of this one-dish dinner recipe. It takes less than an hour and a single skillet to get this easy ground turkey recipe on the table. Enjoy with a side of warm pita for sopping up the leftover sauce.

Buy It: Calphalon Classic Nonstick Sauté Pan ($65, Bed Bath & Beyond)

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