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The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Chicken

Have you ever cooked or tasted ground chicken? Ground chicken is healthy, versatile, and delicious, making it a popular ingredient for many dishes.

It’s also a great alternative for people looking to replace ground beef in recipes.

Although the taste and texture of the ground chicken are similar to other proteins, such as chicken or turkey, there are slight variations depending on the chicken cut used, such as ground breast meat or ground thigh meat.

Ground chicken is cooked differently than ground beef since it takes less time to cook.

Most importantly, the flavor of ground chicken is typically milder than that of ground beef.

Despite its versatility, many people avoid using ground chicken due to its leanness and lack of taste.

However, several substitutes for ground chicken can make this protein easy to use in recipes without the downsides.

So keep reading to learn about the 5 best substitutes for ground chicken.

What is Ground Chicken?

what is ground chicken

First things first, what is ground chicken? Ground chicken is exactly as it sounds like – it is either all white or dark meat that has been grounded to the consistency of sand.

This process creates a mixture that can be used in many applications, including meatballs, tacos, and patties.

With that being said, ground chicken can be used in many other applications where ground beef would typically be used.

It is versatile and caters to all tastes – whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or a delicious taco filling.

Ground chicken has fewer calories than ground beef but still gives you the meaty taste you are looking for when cooking or baking.

Hence, in summary, ground chicken is a great option for those looking to save money and/or cut calories.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Chicken

Since ground chicken is such a popular product, it has many substitutes depending on the application you are looking for.

It can be as versatile as ground beef but has less fat and cholesterol.

Here we will discuss the five best substitutes for ground chicken:

1 – Ground Turkey

ground turkey

Like ground chicken, ground turkey is also an excellent substitute for traditional beef.

It contains less cholesterol and fat than ground beef but still packs a great flavor.

Ground Turkey is very similar to ground chicken because it can be used in many different applications.

Remember that when cooking or baking with either product, it is important to know your limits.

If you’re unsure how much of each product to use, just remember that they’re both interchangeable.

However, it is always best to start with less and add more.

You can always add more, but you cannot remove the ingredients once they’ve been added.

Ground Turkey gets its flavor from herbs and spices.

Typically, the spices commonly found in ground turkey are oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper.

2 – Ground Pork

ground pork

Ground pork is another substitute for ground chicken that you can use.

However, it is not as versatile as the other substitutes discussed above.

This is because the taste of pork varies depending on what cut of meat you are using.

The only way to truly recreate the taste of ground chicken is through a combination of meats – primarily a combination of pork and turkey.

So, if the ground chicken is used primarily in tacos, it would be best to go with ground turkey or a mixture of both.

Ground Pork is very similar to ground beef in the way it is typically used – in tacos, meatballs, and patties.

However, for those who do not enjoy the taste of beef or are looking to cut calories, this may be a great substitute for you.

3 – Ground Beef

ground beef

Tacos and meatballs can be made with just about ground meat.

However, if you’re looking for a good substitute for your patties, ground beef is the way to go.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that cooking with chicken and beef is very similar – although there are some differences.

Ground beef and ground chicken can be used in any application where you would typically use either product.

This is because they’re essentially interchangeable.

However, it is important to note that ground beef may add more flavor than ground chicken.

4 – Tofu or Tempeh (Vegan)

tofu or tempeh vegan

Tofu and tempeh are not meats, but they serve as a great substitute for ground chicken in non-meat dishes.

For example, if you were making meatballs – it would be best to make them with tofu or tempeh.

Hence, these substitutes can be used in any application where ground chicken is typically used.

However, if the dish you are making is primarily chicken-based – such as a pasta or casserole dish – it would be best to use ground chicken instead.

Lastly, tofu and tempeh are great for those looking to save money and/or cut calories.

They’re both inexpensive and can be purchased at any grocery store.

5 – TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) – A Gluten Free Option

tvp textured vegetable protein a gluten free option

This is an excellent substitute for vegetarian, gluten intolerant, or looking to save money and/or cut calories.

TVP can be found at any grocery store and comes compressed into a dry patty.

It has a very similar taste and texture to ground chicken and can be used in any application where ground chicken would typically be used.

However, keep in mind that this product does contain soy and gluten, so those with an allergy or intolerance to either should avoid it.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free and inexpensive substitute, TVP is your best bet.


Ground chicken is an excellent choice when making tacos, meatballs, patties, or any other type of dish.

It tastes great and is very versatile.

However, if you’re looking to cut down on the calories, save some money, or cut out meat altogether – there are many substitutes for ground chicken that can be used in any application.

Hence, keep this list of substitutes in mind next time you’re cooking a dish with ground chicken.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Chicken

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Ground Turkey
  • Ground Pork
  • Ground Beef
  • Tofu or Tempeh (Vegan)
  • TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) – A Gluten Free Option


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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