7 Ways to Use Leftover Ground Turkey

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Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders / Carrie Crow / Katie Workman / themom100.com

I am a ground turkey superfan. I use it instead of ground beef often (oh, but I also use ground beef very often…and pork…and lamb…). Ground turkey is a go-to staple in my fridge, and I always have a pound or two stashed in the freezer. It defrosts quickly, it has a very palatable fat content, and if you buy the 93/7% then you will enjoy a rich flavor and juiciness that you might not expect from ground turkey. 

Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders / Carrie Crow / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Is Ground Turkey Better for You Than Ground Beef?

I have to start by saying that ground beef is an American culinary staple, and a staple in my house. But having said that you can save a bit of fat and calories with ground turkey.

But, the difference is more notable if you opt for the lean, 99% fat free, white meat version of ground turkey, which I do use sometimes, but not that often. Also, it definitely depends on the type of ground beef you are comparing it to: ground beef has a wide variation of fat content.

Types of Ground Turkey

I usually cook with the version labeled 93/7%, not the ultra lean variety, which can have as little as 1% fat. The ultra lean version is best saved for sauces, where there is extra moisture and flavor built in, and use the darker meat blend for most everything else, from meatballs to burgers. I am ok with the extra fat, and I am more than ok with the full flavor and moistness than this slightly higher fat version provides. But your call!

7 Leftover Ground Turkey Recipes

Here are some of the favorite ground turkey recipes I make over and over and over again.

Chipotle Barbecue Turkey Burgers / Mandy Maxwell / Katie Workman / themom100.com
5 from 1 vote

Chipotle Barbecue Turkey Burgers

The turkey burger recipe that just might convert the turkey burger skittish. Beautifully seasoned, moist and juicy, this is my favorite burger of all time.
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Pan of Turkey Picadillo.
5 from 7 votes

Turkey Picadillo

A possibly unorthodox version of a wonderful Latin American dish. Picadillo is a Latin American dish, similar to hash, popular in various versions in Cuba, the Philippines, Costa Rico, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. It contains ground meat of some sort (usually beef, here turkey!!), and tomatoes, and a whole lot of seasonings and deliciousness.
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Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders / Carrie Crow / Katie Workman / themom100.com
5 from 1 vote

Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders

I love the idea of comfort-bar food at home, and these have that amazing buffalo-wing flavor.
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People reaching for various things at a table set with taco fillings.
5 from 1 vote

Taco Night

If my family could only have one meal for the rest of their lives, this might be it.

Greek Meatloaf / Luci Beni / Katie Workman / themom100.com
4.75 from 4 votes

Greek Turkey Meatloaf

Feta, olives, and oregano make meatloaf super, duper exciting.
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Turkey Meatballs Two Ways / Lucy Schaeffer / Food & Wine
5 from 1 vote

Turkey Meatballs Two Ways

Some milder, some more seasoned, everyone happy.
A fork in the road recipe: Some milder, some more seasoned, everyone happy.  And either way, this is a great meatball recipe to have on file.
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Turkey or Chicken Chili
5 from 8 votes

Turkey Chili

This is our all-time favorite chili recipes, thick and flavorful and loaded with vegetables.
I could not tally up how many batches of this chili I have made over the years.  I think it's one of the recipes I am most pleased with (sorry for the not so humble brag, but I figured, you'd probably want to know, right?). And while it makes a lot, every time I make it, and my husband wonders loudly and pointedly who will eat all of that chili—it is gone.
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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