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50 Ground Turkey Recipes That Make Going Lean Taste Great

Ground turkey is so much more than a low-cost, low-fat alternative to ground beef. This versatile ingredient cooks up fast and tastes great in recipes for lettuce wraps to hearty chili.

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California Burger Bowls

Burgers are a weekly staple at our house year-round. Skip the fries, chips and bun—you won’t need them with these loaded veggie & fruit burgers. To spice up the mayo, add 1/2 tsp. of chipotle powder. —Courtney Stultz, Weir Kansas

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Effortless Black Bean Chili Exps Scw18 49376 E09 20 1b 10

Effortless Black Bean Chili

My mom found the inspiration for this chili in a slow-cooker cookbook. After a few updates, all of us love it (even those of us who steer clear of beans). We think it's even better served over rice. —Amelia Gormley, Ephrata, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooked Pizzaiola Meat Loaf

I like to add Italian Castelvetrano olives to the meat loaf mixture in this recipe. They're bright green, very mild and fruity, and are available in the deli section of the grocery store. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Sweet and Spicy Sloppy Joes

These sandwiches have been the go-to meal for my son's basketball team. Turkey is a wonderful change from ground beef and really absorbs all the flavors. I have also used this for a Friday the 13th celebration at work, calling it 13-ingredient sloppy joes. —Karen Hildebrand, LaBelle, Florida
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Southwest Turkey Patties with Beans

These turkey patties are delicious and low in calories. Skip the rice if you're looking to cut carbs. —Dot Carpenter, Washington, Pennsylvania
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Turkey & Pork Meatballs

Treat yourself to homemade meatballs, already simmering in sauce, at the end of a busy day. —Suzanne Wagg, Madison, Maine
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Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

These well-seasoned ground-turkey-stuffed peppers are so tasty, you won’t even miss having real cheddar cheese. Round out the meal with a salad or a side of rice. —Judy Hand-Truitt, Birmingham, Alabama
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Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey Burgers

These easy turkey burgers are extra juicy and loaded with flavor. I think the spicy jalapenos give it just the right level of heat, but feel free to adjust the amount to amp it up or tone it down. —Wanda Allende, Orlando, Florida
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Turkey White Chili

Growing up in a Pennsylvania Dutch area, I was surrounded by excellent cooks and wonderful foods. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes like this change-of-pace chili. —Kaye Whiteman, Charleston, West Virginia
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Three-Cheese Turkey Manicotti

This is my husband’s favorite dish. He always requests it, even for holidays! You’ll love the variety of cheeses and spices that jazz it up. It’s restaurant-quality, but at a quarter of the price! —LuAnne Wallace Bennett, Powder Springs, Georgia
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Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf

Here's a zesty, flavorful meat loaf you can really sink your teeth into! Pair this with black beans, rice, green salad with lime vinaigrette or any of your favorite Tex-Mex sides. —Kristen Miller, Glendale, Wisconsin
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Turkey Sausage Cabbage Rolls Exps Sddj17 197362 B08 11 6b 3

Turkey Sausage Cabbage Rolls

I practically grew up in my Polish grandmother's kitchen, watching Babci cook and listening to her stories. I made her cabbage roll recipe healthier with whole grains and turkey, but kept the same rich flavors I remember. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Turkey Portobello Bolognese

This sauce tastes better the longer it simmers, which allows the flavors to fully develop. In fact, it tastes best the second day after a night in the refrigerator. Mangia! —Darrell Kau, Eugene, Oregon
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Black Bean Turkey Enchiladas

My best friend and I created this recipe together because we wanted a meal that’s easy to prepare, affordable and nutritious. We both have hectic schedules, so when we’re feeling crunched for time, it’s a relief to have these wholesome enchiladas waiting for us in the freezer. —Holly Baber, Seattle, Washington
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Loaded Turkey Sliders

What these sliders lack in size they make up for in flavor! They're great for little hands and you can customize the toppings to suit kids' tastes. Serve them as an appetizer or as a main dish along with sweet potato fries and fresh fruit. —Kathy DeRousie, Port Angeles, Washington
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Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

Such a cool idea for a light lunch or even an appetizer simply served in small lettuce leaves. When I want to make it easier for my kids to eat, I mix it all up with shredded lettuce and serve in a bowl. —Diana Rios, Lytle, Texas
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Crispy Baked Wontons

These quick, versatile wontons are great for a savory snack or paired with a bowl of soothing soup on a cold day. I usually make a large batch, freeze half on a floured baking sheet, then store in an airtight container. —Brianna Shade, Beaverton, Oregon
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Turkey Salisbury Steaks

My mother always made Salisbury steak. When I married, I developed my own, and it just may be the recipe my husband asks for the most. —Leann Doyle, Patchogue, New York
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Enchilada Stuffed Shells

I served this entree to my husband, my sister and my brother-in-law, who is a hard-to-please eater. He said he liked it and even took leftovers for lunch the next day—I was thrilled! —Rebecca Stout, Conroe, Texas
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Quinoa Turkey Chili

This heart-healthy turkey quinoa chili is not only tasty, it's a vitamin and protein powerhouse! —Sharon Giljum, San Diego, California
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Lasagna Cups

I love lasagna and garlic bread, so it only made sense to put them together in these fun little cups. Have one as an appetizer or two for a meal! —Angelique Douglas, Maryville, Illinois
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Deb's Mushroom & Barley Soup

Nothing is more comforting than coming home to this rich soup! I prepare the ingredients the night before and start the slow cooker on my way out the door in the morning. —Debra Kamerman, New York, New York
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Apple-Sage Sausage Patties

Apple and sausage naturally go together. Add sage, and you’ve got some standout patties. They’re freezer friendly, so I make them ahead and grab when needed. —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
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Terrific Teriyaki Burgers

Golden flecks of pineapple give these burgers a touch of sweetness, while the ginger root adds some spice. Ground chicken works well in this recipe, too. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
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Spinach Turkey Meatballs

Our children call these "Gramby Meatballs" because the recipe came from my dear mother-in-law. It's a great way to make spinach palatable. I usually make a triple batch, bake them all and freeze the extras for a quick meal later. —Mimi Blanco, Bronxville, New York
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Turkey Sausage Zucchini Boats

When I worked in the school library, my co-workers were my taste testers. They approved this healthy and happy spin on stuffed zucchini. —Stephanie Cotterman, West Alexandria, Ohio
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Tangy Turkey Tostadas

I'm a health fitness specialist and personal trainer, so I know how important it is to make smart food choices to fuel my day. These fast and filling tostadas are packed with lean protein, fiber and a good dose of veggies. Have them any night of the week. —Julie Huntington, Memphis, Tennessee
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Mushroom Bacon Turkey Burgers

If you ask me, a good burger needs mushrooms on top, but they tend to slide around and fall off. I decided to put mushrooms right into the patties—problem solved! —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Pesto Lasagna

My cheesy, noodle-y lasagna makes any slow-cooker skeptic a believer. It's easy to prep while my kids nap, and dinner's ready when their dad walks in the door at night. We bring more pesto and marinara to the table for our resident sauce lovers. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, VA
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Turkey Chili

I've taken my mother's turkey chili recipe and made it thicker and more robust. It's a favorite, especially in fall and winter. —Celesta Zanger, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
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Turkey Picadillo

I serve this over shortcut pasta or egg noodles and garnish it with sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped scallions. Any leftovers reheat wonderfully. —Anita Pinney, Santa Rosa, California
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Turkey Taco Macaroni

This is a nice little twist on a classic dish. If you love cheese, feel free to add more, and green peppers are a great taste if you want some vegetables. —Barb Kondolf, Hamlin, New York
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Festive Turkey Meatballs

Turkey gives a different twist to these slightly sweet and spicy meatballs. For the holidays, I serve them on a tray lined with parsley and garnished with red pepper or pimientos. —Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, Arizona
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Black Bean Turkey Chili

This busy-day chili is packed with flavor. We make it ahead and freeze some to eat later. —Marisela Segovia, Miami, Florida
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Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs

Decorating with the winter fruit pomegranate is an old holiday tradition, but few people know what to do with them afterward. Here is a great potluck or buffet recipe for Christmas parties that's seasonal, easy and delicious. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Upside-Down Frito Pie

Using ground turkey is a smart way to lighten this hearty family pleaser! —Mary Berg, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
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Chili-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

While exploring Mexican restaurants, I tasted chiles rellenos and wanted to make them at home. My husband and I teamed up to create this stuffed poblano peppers recipe, which is one of our favorites. —Lorrie Grabczynski, Commerce Township, Michigan
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Cheesy Turkey Meat Loaf

Nothing says comfort food better than meat loaf! Get this one started in the morning and you’ll have a fantastic hot meal ready even by lunchtime. —Deanna Martinez Bey, Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts
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Buffalo Sloppy Joes for Two

Lean ground turkey makes this a lighter sloppy joe than the standard ground beef version. A hefty splash of hot sauce and optional blue cheese provide an authentic Buffalo-style flavor. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
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Mediterranean Turkey Skillet

I've always heard that it’s important to eat a rainbow of colors to get all of the nutrients we need. Thanks to my garden-grown veggies, this dish certainly fits the bill. —Nicole Ehlert, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Mini Hawaiian Burgers

These are excellent burgers for a backyard gathering! I came up with the dish while trying to find something new that my husband would enjoy. He had no idea they were turkey burgers, and now he asks for them all the time! —Kathleen Manasian, Whitmore Lake, Michigan
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Southern Barbecue Spaghetti Sauce

I revamped our favorite sloppy joe recipe into this thick spaghetti sauce that simmers in the slow cooker. The flavor is jazzy enough to be interesting to adults, yet mild enough for the kids to enjoy. —Rhonda Melanson, Sarnia, Ontario
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Taco Noodle Dish

I got creative while we were housebound during a snowstorm one winter...and used ingredients I had on hand to come up with this hearty casserole. Later, I modified it so it has less fat and fewer calories. —Judy Munger, Warren, Minnesota
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Turkey Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

I found this recipe in my mother's recipe box. Sometimes I serve it over vegetables such as corn or green beans, but it's equally delicious on a bun. —Julie Clemes, Adrian Michigan
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Turkey Stroganoff with Spaghetti Squash

My twin sister and I came up with this entree after we both successfully lost weight but still wanted to indulge in comfort food. Spaghetti squash is a fantastic healthy alternative to pasta, and we use it in many recipes. —Courtney Varela, Aliso Viejo, California
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Grilled Italian Turkey Burgers

These turkey burgers are awesome at a cookout, especially if you're trying to eat healthy. Try topping them with a little marinara or steak sauce. So good. —Darla Andrews, Lewisville, Texas
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Barbecue Turkey Meat Loaf

I have no trouble getting my girls to lend a hand with this turkey loaf. And topping it with my husband’s favorite barbecue sauce always gets him to clean his plate! —Robyn Young, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Greek Stuffed Banana Peppers

If you're looking for a ground turkey recipe that delivers, this is the one! The filling is flavorful and the peppers add some nice heat. You can easily stuff them ahead of time and bake them up when you're ready. —Ola Snow, Powell, Ohio

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.

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