How to cook ground turkey

Ground beef is delicious- no question about it. It’s also the base of many great foods- like the all-American hamburger. But sometimes, we just need to spice it up a little bit. Don’t you ever feel like you’ve been eating ground beef a little too much? Hamburgers, meatballs, gravy… it’s literally everywhere! Well, we’ve got the best alternative for you: ground turkey. Unlike the chicken, turkey can achieve a texture very much like that of ground beef, and it has a lot of flavor on its own, making it the best alternative for ground beef. Anything you can make with ground beef, you can make with ground turkey. So, why not cook some ground turkey?

In this article, we’ll go over some of the reasons why a ground turkey is a good option for all of us, even if we don’t plan to completely substitute ground beef. Then, we’ll tell you how to properly cook ground turkey because, after all, it isn’t ground beef, and it does require some special attention. 

ground turkey on plate
Photo by @hungrylittlebean

Why cook ground turkey?

Low in fat

Turkey is naturally low-fat. This is much more noticeable in contrast to ground beef, which is very high in fat and even more so saturated fats. 

Turkey has virtually no saturated fats and only a normal, healthy amount of fats- which is why turkey is usually the first recommendation from cardiologists when it comes to all sorts of different cardiovascular problems. Turkey keeps your heart healthy while still being delicious!

It’s better for your cholesterol

Most animal foods are high in cholesterol. Some, like red meat and liver, are one of the most important causes in conditions that are caused by high cholesterol- a problem that is ever-present in today’s world and that only seems to be increasing. 

The good thing is, turkey’s not only devoid of bad cholesterol, but some studies show that eating turkey can have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels, actually lowering it. That’s a win-win if we ever saw one. 

Ideal for weight loss

Turkey has very little fat content: that alone makes it a great option for weight loss. It can contain only half the calories that regular ground beef would. Besides, it’s got easy to absorb protein which provides your body with energy.

So it both keeps calories off your body by being very low in fat content, and it keeps you full thanks to the complete protein in it, which our bodies assimilate quickly. 


Tryptophan is a chemical that is very important for the production of serotonin in our bodies. While there are some foods that contain this, like chickpeas, turkey is by far the most delicious way of getting tryptophan in our bodies. 

Serotonin is a very important hormone that our brain produces when we’re happy: the consumption of tryptophan has been directly linked to good mental health and a general feeling of wellness. 

In short: turkey makes you happy. Literally. 


As if its low-fat content wasn’t enough, turkey contains nutrients that make your metabolism increase little by little. Introducing turkey into your diet at least once or twice a week will result in increased metabolism, meaning that you will passively burn calories at a higher rate than usual. 

How to cook ground turkey

Ground Turkey

This is a guide for making plain ground turkey, which can act as a base for many other dishes. We won’t use condiments here because they will be different depending on what dish you’re making with your ground turkey. 


  • 1-2 pounds ground turkey
  • Olive oil or, if preferred, neutral vegetable oil like sunflower
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat up your skillet or saucepan. Once a couple of minutes have passed, pour olive oil. 
  • Wait one minute or less for the oil to heat up fully. 
  • Add ground turkey. 
  • Stir constantly and break it up with a spatula so that it doesn’t stick together. The goal is to have a lot of little pieces, much like with ground beef. 
  • Keep stirring and breaking it up for about two to four minutes.
  • Salt lightly if you want it less moist. 
  • Once it’s browned, you’re done! 

Turkey Burgers

If plain turkey is too… well, plain for you, then you can go ahead and make yourself some juicy turkey burgers. These are great, and while they don’t taste the same as ground beef burgers, you’ll find that in some cases, they are more enjoyable. 

turkey burgers
Photo by @snackingkitchen


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • Olive oil
  • Very finely chopped parsley
  • Garlic powder
  • White and black pepper 
  • Salt


  • Chop the fresh parsley into the finest possible pieces you can. 
  • In a bowl, mix ground turkey with parsley and spices. The trick with the pepper is to use only a fraction of white pepper compared to the amount of black pepper you’re using. So if you use two teaspoons of black pepper, use about half a teaspoon of white pepper. 
  • Heat up the skillet and drizzle with oil.
  • Grab a handful of the ground turkey mix and form it into a patty. 
  • Cook it until it’s brown on one side, then flip and repeat the process. 

The trick with turkey patties is to cook them well. You should also avoid making them thick as they will not cook properly in the middle- and while there are indeed many opinions as to how best to cook beef, no one likes their turkey medium-rare. 

There we have it. Delicious, juicy turkey to make burgers from or simply ground turkey that can serve as the base for countless dishes (ground turkey lasagna? A heavenly dish) or be used as ground meat. A simple ground turkey with pasta sauce and some spaghetti can make your day a lot better.

Besides, turkey is great for weight loss and has a lot of health benefits. So there are a lot of reasons for us to try turkey. And, as we mentioned earlier: you don’t need to completely cut out beef from your diet. But as long as you do so, sometimes you’ll find that your health is positively affected, and it can, in fact, be delicious thanks to ground turkey. 

Jillian Noon

Hi, I am Jillian Noon, the owner of this beautiful cooking blog. I create this blog to share my passion for cooking and other kitchen & food tips. I hope you will enjoy it!

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