Ground turkey is a versatile meat that can be used in many recipes. It is lower in fat than ground beef and packed with protein, making it a healthy choice for many people. However, some may argue that it lacks flavor compared to beef or pork. Luckily, there are various ways you can transform your ground turkey into something delicious! With the right seasoning and cooking techniques, you can turn this lean protein staple into mouth-watering dishes such as burgers, meatballs, tacos and more!
The Basics of Cooking Ground Turkey
Before diving into different recipes on how to transform ground turkey from bland to deliciousness; let’s first go over the basics of cooking ground turkey:
Choose the right type: Ground turkey comes in different varieties depending on its cut: breast – which has less fat than other cuts , dark meat – which contains slightly more fat – or mixed.
Season well: While some say that ground turkey tastes ‘bland’, actually it provides an opportunity for you to season with herbs and spices until it’s bursting with flavor.
Don’t overcook: Overcooking leads to dry and dull tasting finish so cook just enough depending on what dish you’re preparing.
Remember those tips as we take you through different recipes below showing you how exactly they apply.
1) Let’s Taco-bout Turkey Tacos!
Turkey doesn’t have to mean ‘Thanksgiving dinner’ all year round plus tacos never disappoint-why not merge these two favourites together? This recipe shows just how easy it is:
- One pound of lean or extra lean ground turkey
- One chopped onion
- Three minced garlic cloves
- Salt and black pepper
- Two tablespoons chili powder
- Half tablespoon smoked paprika
- One teaspoon dried oregano
- Half teaspoon hot sauce
- Corn tortillas
- Avocado, tomatoes, cheese and lime for topping
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté onions for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add minced garlic and continue cooking until fragrant before adding your ground turkey to it for around 7 minutes or cooked through.
- Add chili powder, smoked paprika oregano, hot sauce salt & pepper and if necessary add a tablespoon of water to prevent the turkey from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
- Let everything cook together on medium heat so that flavours can blend in well with ground turkey-it doesn’t take longer than 10mins or less.
- Meanwhile warm up some corn tortillas according package instructions either in microwave/stovetop/grill pan/or oven – top them off with fresh chopped avocado, diced tomatoes shredded cheddar cheese squeeze out lime juice depending on taste.
Q&A: Are tacos made with ground Turkey healthy?
Yes! Replacing beef mince with ground turkey is an awesome way to reduce calories while still getting plenty of protein into your diet.
2) Juicy Homemade Burgers
Make no mistake, juicy burgers are perfect any time of the year not just during summer barbeques; plus homemade patties always hit different! Here’s how to perfect them:
- One pound extra lean ground turkey
- Two tablespoons breadcrumbs
- One beaten egg
- Salt & pepper as per taste
- Your choice deli meat slices
-Toppings like lettuce/tomatoes/onions/mayo/ketchup/mustard etc.
- Preheat grill/pan/skillet over high heat for couple of minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg & breadcrumbs and season it with salt and pepper according to individual preference
- Use hands to mix all the ingredients well – divide mixture into equal portions shaping each portion around meat slice on either sides ensuring that deli meat is covered perfectly with ground turkey.
- Transfer onto hot grill/pan/skillet and cook thoroughly about 7-9 mins each side.
- Once they are done let your patties sit for minute or two before sandwiching them between buns adding toppings/toppings of your choice
Q&A: What makes homemade burgers better?
Homemade patties offer ultimate control over patty thickness, size plus you get to add whatever ingredients you like while maintaining quality.
3) Turkey Meatballs – Who said only Italians make’em?
Meatballs are usually made using beef/pork/veal but making them using ground turkey offers lighter texture which pairs great with wide array of sauces like marinara or BBQ.
- One pound lean/minced extra ground turkey
- Two beaten eggs
- Three minced garlic cloves
-Two tablespoons mustard
-One cup panko breadcrumbs
-Salt & freshly crushed black pepper
-Parsley for garnishing
-Mariner Sauce/BBQ Sauce for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Line tray/baking dish with parchment paper/spread oil lightly so that meatballs don’t stick during baking.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine extra lean ground Turkey, onions, eggs, mustard, parsley, greatly minced garlic, Panko bread crumbs, salt &fresh pepper.
- Combine all the ingredients by hand until everything is evenly distributed being careful not overmix as this will lead brittle meatballs!
- Roll mixture into shape of 2′ inch balls, keep at distance from each other on tray/baking dish.
- Bake for 12-15 mins or until they are golden brown, cooked from inside and still have retained their moist texture.
- Serve hot with your choice of dipping sauces/marinara sauce/BBQ Sauce garnishing some parsley to add freshness.
Q&A: What is the best way to handle meatballs?
Work very gently so as not to toughen them up while shaping small amounts into balls before cooking it further.
Ground turkey doesn’t have to be ‘bland’, and there are a lot of tasty ways you can use it! From tacos, burgers and meatballs; these recipes above provide a few great ideas. Do yourself a favour today by trying one of these recipes-your taste buds will thank you!