Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to enjoy turkey. In the meal prep world, a lot of recipes can center around chicken breast or beef. While these are super delicious foods for meal prepping, they can make your weekly menus feel boring and monotonous. And who wants to eat the same foods over and over again? Not us, that’s for sure. That’s where these ground turkey meal prep recipes come in.
Ground turkey is super easy and quick to cook and doesn’t require tons of prep time. It’s versatile enough to be used in a variety of recipes, and can even use it as a beef substitute in other recipes as long as you make it right.
Jump ahead to a section in this article:
- Nutrition Facts
- Cooking Mistakes to Avoid (and Tips to Try)
- Storing and Reheating Ground Turkey Meal Prep
- Ground Turkey Meal Prep Recipes
Ground turkey is moderately low in both calories and fat – per 100 grams, it runs around 200 calories with 10 grams of fat. It’s a high protein source, with about 27 grams of protein per serving – a little over half of what you need on a daily basis! It’s also high in vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. These are important nutrients for growth, tissue repair, and maintaining nerve health. This make ground turkey an ideal post-workout recovery food.
Cooking Mistakes to Avoid (and Tips to Try):
If you’re a newbie to cooking ground turkey or just wanna know how to make your ground turkey taste better, we can help. We identified five common mistakes when it comes to cooking ground turkey, and included some tips on how to avoid them.g ground turkey with too little (or too much) fat content
1. Using ground turkey with too little (or too much) fat content
If you don’t get the right cut of ground turkey, it can turn out dry, bland, and rubbery. Doesn’t sound appetizing at all, right? One of the first mistakes you can make before you even start cooking your ground turkey is getting the wrong cut, with the wrong amount of fat content. Like ground beef, you can get ground turkey with different ratios of meat to fat, so be sure to purchase cuts depending on how much flavor you’re looking for in your meat.
Too little fat content in your turkey, along with overcooking, will result in your meat being tough and crumbly. Too much fat in your turkey will result in an overpowering flavor of fat that won’t let your seasonings add much to your meal.
Make sure to follow the recipe if it specifically calls out the fat percentage (99% lean, 85% etc). If the recipe doesn’t call it out then don’t sweat it and choose the type you prefer.
2. Not using enough seasoning
Because ground turkey isn’t the most naturally flavorful meat, using enough seasoning while prepping is an absolute must. This is especially important if you’re cooking a leaner cut of ground turkey, since the lack of fat also means a lack of natural flavor boost.
Our tip is to be generous with your seasoning while prepping your ground turkey. You never want to be too generous, but you definitely want to make sure your meal prep will be edible. Using at least salt and pepper is important so that you’re not left eating a lackluster meal. You can also add dried herbs and spices like parsley, rosemary, or garlic powder. You can also use sauces like Worcestershire sauce or mustard to add extra tang.
3. Handling the meat too much
Ground turkey is great because you can use it to make foods like burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf. It’s best to keep your handling of meat to a minimum. If you don’t know when to stop handling your meat and you end up overdoing it, it can end up compacting your meat and creating a tough meal that’s not fun to eat.
Our tip is to be as light-handed as possible when mixing ingredients and shaping your food. It can be tempting to over-do things to try and make them perfect, but it can only make things worse. All you need is some light oil and a soft hand to prevent sticking. Do as little as you can and you’ll create a more tender and enjoyable meal with your ground turkey.
4. Over (or under) cooking ground turkey
Ground turkey is a naturally lean meat, so it isn’t as forgiving as beef. If you overcook it for a few minutes, you can end up ruining it very easily. It’s a meat that easily crumbles, dries out, and loses flavor fast.
On the other hand, it’s also a meat that has to be cooked thoroughly. Because it’s a poultry like chicken, you can’t undercook it at all or it becomes a safety hazard. You have to make sure that your meat is white all the way through – if there’s any pink, keep cooking.
Our tip is to keep an eye on your meat while you cook. Don’t let yourself get distracted and overcook! Also be sure to keep a thermometer nearby. For ground turkey to be considered fully cooked, it must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as it reaches that, you’re good to go – don’t feel the need to go overboard and cook it even more.
Storing and Reheating Ground Turkey Meal Prep:
Plastic or glass meal prep containers are best for storing your ground turkey meal prep. Both offer different advantages.
Glass is more eco-friendly, is easier to wash, and you can reheat your meals straight from the container. However, they’re heavier and easier to break.
Plastic, on the other hand is cheaper and more durable, but they’re not all microwave-safe. And if you eat certain foods with pigmented sauces, it can be difficult to get the stains out.
If you don’t have a good meal container on hand, you can also use Ziploc bags in a pinch. As long as you have an airtight container to protect against contaminants, you’re good to go.
Cooked turkey lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge if it’s properly stored, so it’s best to cook your meals by the week so you don’t end up having spoiled leftovers. If you freeze your meal prep right away, it can last up to 2-3 months.
Ground Turkey Meal Prep Recipes:
Enjoy a healthy (and compact) version of this delicious comfort food in just under 30 minutes.
If you’re someone that likes a little zest with your turkey, you’ll love this recipe.
This Italian classic gets a healthy makeover by replacing beef with ground turkey and replacing grain-based pasta with squash.
All you need is a pan and 25 minutes of your time to create a hearty meal with delicious Mediterranean-inspired flavors.
These ground turkey lettuce wraps make for a super-light (but still satisfying) meal.
All you need to do is combine your ingredients, plop your mixture into a muffin tin, and wait for the magic to happen. You end up with these delicious mini meatloaves that are the perfect hands-on dinner to enjoy with your family.
This recipe might be fall-inspired, but we promise it’s just as good year-round.
This recipe uses beef, but it tastes just as good if you substitute it with turkey!
Yes, you can include pizza in your meal prep without feeling like you’re cheating. This recipe is super healthy, but still fulfills all your pizza cravings.