12 Easy Ground Turkey Recipes for Busy Nights

This inexpensive, low-fat protein source goes in soups, tacos, sausage, and more.

Turkey Lasagna Rolls
Photo: MELISSA KRAVITZ HOEFFNER

Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving. In fact, ground turkey is healthier than beef, less pricey than lamb—and, as you'll see from these recipes, fast-cooking and versatile, too.

You can use the lean ground meat to lighten up a bowl of comforting chili, whip up some scrumptious meatballs, or even add some protein to everything from homemade dumplings to a simple salad. As you'll soon learn, there are plenty of satisfying ground turkey recipes to add to your repertoire. Try a few of these easy ground turkey dishes to make your weeknights easier.

01 of 12

Turkey-Rosemary Bolognese

Dish of turkey bolognese displayed on a table
Brie Passano

This tasty pasta dish requires very little hands-on time, but the sauce simmers low and slow until it's rich and flavorful. Don't forget to serve with a baguette for sopping up the extra sauce at the end.

02 of 12

Turkey Lasagna Rolls

Turkey Lasagna Rolls
MELISSA KRAVITZ HOEFFNER

One of the things we love about this recipe is that you can use leftover turkey in pretty much any form, including ground, shredded, or diced. The meat is then joined by other Thanksgiving leftover stars, such as gravy, creamed spinach, and mashed potatoes. Add a jar of marinara sauce and sprinkle some cheese on top and you're good to go.

03 of 12

Turkey-and-Rice Meatballs

Turkey-and-Rice Meatballs Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

These tasty meatballs make a fast and easy weeknight meal.

04 of 12

Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli

Dish of pasta with turkey and broccoli
Raymond Hom

Quickly sautéing ground turkey in a splash of olive oil with garlic, fennel seed, and red pepper flakes creates a pasta sauce that's every bit as savory and satisfying as many that require twice as much effort. Another trick? Preparing the broccoli in the same pot as your pasta keeps the process streamlined and means fewer dishes need to be cleaned.

05 of 12

Smoky Turkey Chili

Smoky Turkey Chili Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

While chili is usually made with ground beef, this healthier version calls for a pound of ground turkey instead. The lean meat gets plenty of flavor from tomatillos, poblano peppers, and even a pinch of cinnamon, and this comforting dish is also packed with a mix of beans, corn, and sweet potato. Top each bowl with sour cream, sliced pickled jalapeños, and grated pepper Jack cheese, and dinner is served!

06 of 12

Turkey Burgers With Lime Mayo and Crispy Oven Fries

Turkey Burgers With Lime Mayo and Avocado
Greg DuPree

Use a pound of ground turkey (preferably dark meat) to whip up burgers for the entire family. In this recipe, the meat acts as a blank canvas, but salt, pepper, and a spice mix including garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried chilis infuse it with plenty of flavor. When the burgers are done, top each one with lime mayo and ripe avocado slices for even more deliciousness.

07 of 12

Turkey Sloppy Joes With Coleslaw

Turkey sloppy joes with coleslaw served on a plate.
Raymond Hom

A mix of tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire ensures the sandwich is juicy and flavorful.

08 of 12

Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup

Bowl of turkey-barley vegetable soup
Raymond Hom

Add the spinach just before serving to preserve its bright color and fresh flavor.

09 of 12

Turkey Taco Salad

Turkey Taco Salad
Alexandra Grablewski

For a lighter take on a classic taco, give this salad (made with ground turkey instead of beef) a whirl. Aside from the ground meat, you'll find plenty of familiar components in this dish, including beans, store-bought salsa, sour cream, and grated cheese. Sprinkle some tortilla chip pieces on top to give this salad a satisfying crunch.

10 of 12

Grilled Turkey-Zucchini Burgers

Open-face Grilled Turkey-Zucchini Burgers with chips on the side on a white plate
Caitlin Bensel

Though turkey can sometimes be dry, that's definitely not a concern with these burgers thanks to the inclusion of moisture-packed zucchini. Garlic powder and cumin bring extra flavor to the patties, while a combo schmear topping of honey mustard and mayo adds irresistible creaminess.

11 of 12

Turkey and Scallion Dumplings

Turkey and Scallion Dumplings
Brie Passano

Another recipe that was made for leftover turkey! Here, the turkey gets finely chopped and tossed with flavorful ingredients, such as fresh ginger, tamari, and sesame oil. Serve these dumplings with a simple tamari-based dipping sauce, or drop them into a miso broth for a satisfying meal. Either way, consider this dish an easy way to recreate your favorite take-out appetizer.

12 of 12

Ricotta Meatballs

Ricotta Meatballs
Marcus Nilsson

Use a combination of ground turkey and ground beef to throw together these easy-to-make meatballs, which also include ricotta, bread crumbs, and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve these classic meatballs over pasta, zucchini noodles, or polenta for a complete meal.

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