Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, ground turkey recipes make it possible to enjoy that big, juicy bird flavor all year long. Leaner than ground beef and more flavorful than ground chicken—and just as inexpensive as either—it’s a great option when you’re in the mood to switch up your usual protein source, but don’t want to deal sink in additional effort or money.
Ground turkey is also quick and easy. Unlike the Butterballs of the holidays, ground turkey is ready to cook the moment you bring it home—no need for the lengthy process of defrosting, brining, cooking for hours, and carving that those seasonal showpieces require. But ground turkey still retains the best elements of the bird—including that tender dark meat that you might usually have to fight for at festive gatherings.
You can get away with simply subbing in ground turkey in just about any recipe you’d normally make with ground beef or chicken and expect similar results. There are a handful of minor precautions you’ll need to take to ensure that this lean protein source doesn’t become dry and desiccated—like cooking it at a slightly lower temperature and using a touch more oil than you normally would. (Of course, make sure that you still cook the meat to the recommended internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.) But after just a bit of experimentation, you’ll quickly realize that the cooking processes for everything from sloppy joes to crunchy, cheesy tacos is almost identical with ground turkey.
If you’re still not confident enough to take the leap into cooking ground turkey without a recipe that specifically calls for the ingredient, though—we get it, and we got you. These 35 easy ground turkey recipes will light your way. From stews to burgers, there’s almost nowhere that our feathered friend doesn’t shine. Whatever you’re craving, these ideas will show you that there’s always a way to make your favorite meaty dish with ground turkey.