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The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Turkey

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?

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.

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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

When it comes to finding a substitute for ground turkey, the options are really limitless.

There are many different flavors and types of meat that can be used in place of ground turkey.

Depending on what you’re cooking, there is likely an option that will easily fit into your meal plan.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy alternatives.

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.

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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.

2 – Ground Chicken

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.

3 – Ground Pork

ground pork

Ground pork is a common substitute used in many Asian cuisines, such as Thai and Chinese dishes.

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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.

4 – Ground Lamb

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.

5 – Ground Beef

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.

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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.


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.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ground Turkey

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


  • Ground Veal
  • Ground Chicken
  • Ground Pork
  • Ground Lamb
  • Ground Beef


  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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