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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 ChiliTaste of Home

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 LoafTaste of Home

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 JoesTaste of Home

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 (you have to count salt and pepper separately to get to 13). —Karen Hildebrand, LaBelle, Florida

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Southwest Turkey Patties with BeansTaste of Home

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 MeatballsTaste of Home

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 PeppersTaste of Home

Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

These well-seasoned 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. Thanks to Judy Hand-Truitt from Birmingham, Alabama for sharing the recipe.

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Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey BurgersTaste of Home

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 ChiliTaste of Home

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 ManicottiTaste of Home

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 LoafTaste of Home

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 RollsTaste of Home

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 BologneseTaste of Home

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 EnchiladasTaste of Home

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 SlidersTaste of Home

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 CupsTaste of Home

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 WontonsTaste of Home

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 SteaksTaste of Home

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 ShellsTaste of Home

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 ChiliTaste of Home

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 CupsTaste of Home

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 SoupTaste of Home

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 PattiesTaste of Home

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 BurgersTaste of Home

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 MeatballsTaste of Home

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 BoatsTaste of Home

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 TostadasTaste of Home

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 BurgersTaste of Home

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 LasagnaTaste of Home

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 ChiliTaste of Home

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 PicadilloTaste of Home

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 MacaroniTaste of Home

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 MeatballsTaste of Home

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 ChiliTaste of Home

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 MeatballsTaste of Home

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 PieTaste of Home

Upside-Down Frito Pie

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

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Chili-Stuffed Poblano PeppersTaste of Home

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 new favorite recipe, stuffed poblano peppers. —Lorrie Grabczynski, Commerce Township, Michigan

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Cheesy Turkey Meat LoafTaste of Home

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 MeatballsTaste of Home

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 TwoTaste of Home

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 SkilletTaste of Home

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 BurgersTaste of Home

Mini Hawaiian Burgers

These are great burgers for a luau or any backyard gathering. I came up with this 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 SauceTaste of Home

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 DishTaste of Home

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 CrowdTaste of Home

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 SquashTaste of Home

Turkey Stroganoff with Spaghetti Squash

My twin sister and I came up with this recipe after losing 25 pounds and craving comfort food. We have many recipes using spaghetti squash in place of pasta. —Courtney Varela, Aliso Viejo, California

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Grilled Italian Turkey BurgersTaste of Home

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 LoafTaste of Home

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 PeppersTaste of Home

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.