Have you ever tried cooking with ground turkey?
It is one of the most popular cuts of red meat (and white, if you’re lucky) because it’s high in protein and low in fat.
Ground turkey might seem like a healthier alternative to beef or pork, but it can be hard to use, and the flavor isn’t always desirable.
However, it’s still delicious in many dishes.
Ground turkey is an excellent source of protein, but the taste can sometimes leave something to be desired.
If you want to make a delicious meal without sacrificing your nutritional goals, find a substitute for ground turkey.
In this article, we will cover five of the best substitutes for ground turkey.
Let’s get right into it.
What is Ground Turkey?
First, ground turkey is actually just what it sounds like – ground meat from the bird.
While technically, turkey can be used for other cooking purposes, using ground turkey really just means cooking with leaner, healthier meat.
Ground turkey has become a popular Healthy Choice in cooking as many recipes require its use because of its diverse cuisines and varied tastes.
It is important to note that when cooking with ground turkey, it is often necessary to cook at lower temperatures to avoid burning the edges of the meat while allowing the interior to fully cook.
Ground turkey tastes like any other meat, depending on what seasoning or sauce you use.
It can be cooked with vegetables for a healthy dinner or added to spaghetti sauce for essentially the same taste as beef pasta.
The meat can also make sausage and other ground meat options.
Ground turkey is a versatile choice for healthy cooking that will allow you to get the most out of your meal, whichever way you choose to prepare it.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Turkey
Ground turkey is a popular choice for those seeking a leaner alternative to ground beef.
However, if you’re looking for substitutes for ground turkey or want to explore different flavors and textures, there are several options available.
In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for ground turkey, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve similar results in your recipes.
|Tender and delicate flavor; leaner than ground beef
|Use an equal amount of ground veal as a substitute for ground turkey
|Lean and versatile option with a mild flavor
|Use an equal amount of ground chicken as a substitute for ground turkey
|Rich and slightly fatty flavor; adds moisture and tenderness to dishes
|Use an equal amount of ground pork as a substitute for ground turkey
|Distinct and robust flavor; higher fat content compared to ground turkey
|Use an equal amount of ground lamb as a substitute for ground turkey
|Classic and hearty flavor with varying fat content; can be used interchangeably with ground turkey
|Use an equal amount of ground beef as a substitute for ground turkey
Now let’s delve into each substitute in more detail:
1 – Ground Veal
This meat is created by using the meat from an adult cow.
This type of ground meat may be rather expensive, making it a perfect choice for special occasions or high-end restaurants.
However, you can also find ground veal in some local grocery stores.
It will likely taste just like ground turkey and have the same texture, though it will have a stronger flavor.
Unlike many other types of ground meat, veal is actually not very popular for cooking.
Many people eat tender meat like a steak or roast with vegetables and potatoes.
In addition, vats are often used in Italian recipes that call for softer meats such as lamb or beef.
It’s a wonderful choice for baking and has a creamy texture.
- Key Characteristics: Ground veal offers a tender and delicate flavor, making it a leaner alternative to ground beef. It can provide a lighter option as a substitute for ground turkey.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of ground veal as a substitute for ground turkey. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor.
2 – Ground Chicken
Ground chicken is another popular option for those looking to replace ground turkey.
While this type of meat isn’t the best homemade sausage, it makes an excellent choice for cooking with vegetables or adding pasta dishes.
This meat can also be used in sausages and other ground meats, much like ground turkey.
The meat itself tastes like a mix between turkey and chicken but slightly sweeter.
It’s important to note that ground chicken may be hard to find in some areas, so it is best to check the butcher section before heading out to purchase this meat.
Also, just like many other types of ground meat, you’ll want to cook it slowly at lower temperatures to avoid burning the edges while allowing it to fully cook on the inside.
- Key Characteristics: Ground chicken is a lean and versatile option with a mild flavor. It can be used as a direct substitute for ground turkey and works well in various dishes.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of ground chicken as a substitute for ground turkey. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor.
3 – Ground Pork
Ground pork is a common substitute used in many Asian cuisines, such as Thai and Chinese dishes.
You can find this meat in most stores, and it’s typically easier to purchase than some other types of ground meat.
While this ground meat is fairly simple and plain, it makes a wonderful addition to stir-fry or noodle dishes.
Ground pork may taste slightly different than ground turkey, as it contains a significant amount of fat.
However, the flavor is not overwhelming, and many people choose this type of meat for its price and availability.
- Key Characteristics: Ground pork provides a rich and slightly fatty flavor that adds moisture and tenderness to dishes. It offers a different taste profile compared to turkey but can complement various seasonings.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of ground pork as a substitute for ground turkey. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor.
4 – Ground Lamb
Ground lamb is a wonderful type of meat to substitute for ground turkey.
This meat tastes somewhat similar, though it’s typically less noticeable than pork or veal.
It’s a great idea to cook this flavor with strong spices and sauces so that the flavors blend together well.
In addition, this type of ground meat will be slightly pricier than other meats, so it may be best to reserve the use of lamb for special occasions.
If you’re looking for an option without any strong flavors or spices, ground lamb is not recommended.
It’s important to note that this meat tastes somewhat similar to beef and will provide a somewhat gamey flavor.
- Key Characteristics: Ground lamb has a distinct and robust flavor, with a higher fat content compared to ground turkey. It offers a unique taste and can add depth to dishes as a substitute.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of ground lamb as a substitute for ground turkey. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor.
5 – Ground Beef
Ground beef is another great choice for those looking to replace ground turkey.
This meat has a more familiar flavor that many people are used to, making it an appealing option.
It’s also fairly inexpensive, making it a great choice for those with a low food budget.
Ground beef can be utilized in many dishes by adding sauces or spices to the meat itself.
Depending on what you cook, this type of ground meat will have a stronger flavor than most other types of ground turkey.
While this meat is less popular in some areas of the world, ground beef can also make sausages and pies.
Ground turkey may be a wonderful alternative for many foods, but you must consider all your options.
- Key Characteristics: Ground beef has a classic and hearty flavor, with varying fat content available. While it differs in taste from ground turkey, it can be used interchangeably in recipes.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of ground beef as a substitute for ground turkey. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor.
Ground turkey makes a wonderful replacement for ground beef and can be used in many dishes.
However, it is important to consider the other options, especially if you are looking to use your food budget efficiently.
Ground chicken, pork, veal, and beef all make great alternatives that provide different flavors to your cooking.
While each one is slightly different, they are all great choices for replacing ground turkey in your meals.
There are several other options out there, so be sure to check with the butcher before making any decisions.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Turkey
- Ground Veal
- Ground Chicken
- Ground Pork
- Ground Lamb
- Ground Beef
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.