Ground Turkey: Gobble It up

If you’d told me even three years ago that I would be sharing recipes on-line, I wouldn’t have believed you. First off, I do not enjoy cooking. And secondly, not only did I not participate in any social media or similar activities, but I had probably not even read a blog! Just goes to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks…. like cooking with ground turkey. (And sorry for the bad pun in the title… couldn’t resist.)

Last weekend, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner, saying that I might just do my usual spaghetti sauce, when my colleague said, “Have you ever made it with ground turkey?” And actually, I never have cooked with ground turkey at all! He told me that when he just uses the same recipe as for beef, his kids don’t even notice the difference. I looked up the nutrition values and found that lean ground turkey thigh (values may vary by country) has less calories and fat than lean ground beef. (In terms of Smartpoints, 3 oz of lean ground turkey is 4 points, while 3 oz of lean ground beef is 6 points.) Here’s some info from

Ground Meat Comparison

So, I made my spaghetti sauce and I really couldn’t tell the difference. My older son and I decided to try spaghetti-shaped tofu/yam noodles, which have only 10 calories per serving and they were pretty good. They are a bit of a strange texture — my son said “juicy” and I thought “a bit crunchy” — but they are not bad with sauce mixed in. Here is the sauce recipe I use (for beef or turkey), easy because I cheat and buy canned tomato products and premixed spices:

Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add 1 (or more) pressed clove of garlic. Brown 1 pound lean ground turkey. Pour into pot. Add the following to the meat:

19 oz. can stewed diced tomatoes (no juice)
4 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup beef stock or broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp “Italian Seasoning” spices
Small basket sliced mushrooms

Stir and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve over spaghetti and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

My sister just sent me another ground turkey recipe, that we haven’t tried yet. This one is from the Mayo Clinic website, which has a wealth of healthy recipes:

Turkey Veggie Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground turkey breast meat (or 12 ounces soy-based crumbles)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can low-sodium tomato paste (6 ounces) 1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, thinly sliced 10 whole-wheat hamburger buns

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté ground turkey until browned, about 7 minutes. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add carrot and green pepper and sauté 2 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.

Add tomato paste and water, stirring until the paste has dissolved. Add chili powder, paprika, oregano and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Divide cheese among the bottom halves of the hamburger buns. Transfer both halves of the buns to the broiler, open-faced, and toast until the cheese has melted and the buns are toasted.

Remove buns from the broiler and fill each sandwich with the meat-vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per 1/10 of the recipe (1 sandwich):
Calories: 230
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Sodium: 340 mg
Total carbohydrate: 29 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Protein: 20 g

Anyone else have any good ground turkey recipes?

And by the way, thank you for being part of our virtual healthy eating group. It is really helping me stick with my program. Another pound down! And all without being so hungry I might be tempted to do this…

Armitage Takes a Bite


16 thoughts on “Ground Turkey: Gobble It up

  1. I typically substitute ground turkey for almost all recipes calling for ground beef (except lasagna. I’m just going to suck up all the points to have a small wedge of lasagna!)

    My favorite ground turkey recipe is Hurst Family Southwestern white bean chili (mix I get at Publix) or Canterbury Naturals White Lightning Chicken chili (I use ground turkey) that I get at Kroger. It’s a mix and you add the turkey (works great in a crockpot) and the onions and peppers. And it is SOOOOOOO good!

    I’ve made homemade spaghetti sauce with ground turkey. Yummy! I”m NOT fond of whole wheat pasta, but the fettichini is okay in Spawn’s tagliatelle – which is NOT really diet friendly. I do try to healthy it up with the whole wheat fettichini, a lean lean bacon and when we can find it, light Parmesan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those all sound good. I don’t know why I’ve never discovered ground turkey before. I guess my mum never cooked with it… my dad really loved his beef.


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