How to Cook Ground Turkey: A Complete Guide

Ground turkey is a versatile, lean protein that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s a great option for those who want a healthier alternative to ground beef. However, cooking ground turkey can be tricky. If not cooked properly, it can become dry and flavorless. But don’t worry. In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about how to cook ground turkey perfectly, every time.

1. Choosing the Right Ground Turkey

Before you start cooking, it’s important to choose the right kind of ground turkey. There are different varieties of ground turkey available in the market, so it can get confusing. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while choosing ground turkey:

  • Choose ground turkey that is labeled “lean” or “extra-lean”. This means that it has less fat content than regular ground turkey.
  • Look for ground turkey that is made from breast meat. Breast meat is the leanest part of the turkey, and it makes for a healthier option.
  • Avoid ground turkey that has added fillers or preservatives. These can add unwanted calories and chemicals to your diet.

2. Preparing the Ground Turkey

Once you have chosen your ground turkey, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Remove the ground turkey from the packaging and place it on a clean surface.
  • Using your hands, break up the turkey into small pieces. Make sure to remove any visible pieces of gristle or bone.
  • If you are using frozen ground turkey, make sure to thaw it completely before cooking.

3. Cooking Ground Turkey on the Stove

Cooking ground turkey on the stove is the most common method. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the ground turkey to the skillet. Use a spatula to break up the turkey into small pieces.
  3. Cook the turkey for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure to cook it until it is no longer pink in color.
  4. Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and any other spices of your choice.

4. Cooking Ground Turkey in the Oven

If you want to cook a large batch of ground turkey, you can use the oven. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the ground turkey on a baking sheet in an even layer.
  3. Bake the turkey for 20-25 minutes or until it is no longer pink in color.
  4. Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and any other spices of your choice.

5. Cooking Ground Turkey in a Slow Cooker

If you want a hands-off approach to cooking your ground turkey, you can use a slow cooker. Here’s how:

  1. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Add the ground turkey to the slow cooker and break it up into small pieces.
  3. Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and any other spices of your choice.
  4. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours.


Can you eat ground turkey raw?

No, it’s not recommended to eat ground turkey raw. Ground turkey can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, which can cause food poisoning.

Is ground turkey healthier than ground beef?

Yes, ground turkey is a healthier option than ground beef. It’s lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol.

What can I do with leftover ground turkey?

You can use leftover ground turkey in a variety of dishes like tacos, chili, casseroles, and salads.

Can I freeze cooked ground turkey?

Yes, you can freeze cooked ground turkey. Place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.


Cooking ground turkey is easy once you know the right techniques. Choose the right type of turkey, prepare it properly, and cook it using one of the methods we’ve shared. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to make delicious ground turkey dishes that are healthy and flavorful.