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Calling all ground turkey breast fans

I absolutely love ground turkey breast. I think it has such a great flavor and often prefer it over ground beef. However, I have run out of ideas. Any favorite ground turkey breast recipes not intended as many are to hide the flavor?

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  1. Do you make meatballs from it? No need to hide the flavour, just put the vegetable (me - onions and garlic), herbs and spices you would usually use for meatballs. You can cook them in the oven, by the way.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lagatta

      I have not, but great idea. I have made burgers before so I guess that's similar but I could then throw them with some marinara sauce probably for a great meal. I usually use them for tacos and any other sauteed ground beef dish.

      1. re: lagatta

        That's exactly what I do! I usually mix a little ground pork in for flavor too. My recipe is based on this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        I make them in bulk and freeze, so for 4 lb ground meat (3:1 or 2:2 turkey:pork), I use ~2-2.5 C dry seasoned breadcrumbs, 2.5 C grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, 1 big onion, and 4 eggs. Make them about 1-1.5" in diameter and bake 20 min at 350/375F. That will make almost 6 dozen meatballs (2 jelly roll trays worth).

        1. re: truman

          dont have it with me got a great T pasta sauce recipe from K Paul will post next time I get a chance

      2. I personally think ground turkey breast is flavorless but I do use it (actually I use regular ground turkey).

        Pizza topping

        4 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster

          Perhaps it's because I like turkey in general. At Thanksgiving I load up on the big bird.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I love roast turkey too!!!

            I just think that ground breast loses too much in translation. Plus it's soooo dry.

            I get the 93% but even that needs pretty aggressive seasoning.

            But I like it very much.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              Clearly not a ground turkey fan :) I do share your feelings with ground turkey in classic American-style tacos when it has to be beef.

          2. re: C. Hamster

            Amen! Trader Joe's meatless meatballs have more flavor and meatiness than ground turkey, whether breast or dark meat. I use ground turkey sometimes, as no more than half the meat in a meatloaf/ball mix, the rest being beef, to cut the fat and lessen the shrinkage.

          3. First thing to know: get the 7% fat, not the 0% or 1%. The non-fat ones are like eating an empty pizza box, one in which no pizza has ever been placed.

            I make meatballs this way:

            I make panade from 6 slices of Pepperidge Farm-sized bread cut in small chunks and just enough milk for that much bread to completely absorb (squeeze out any leftovers).

            Put that in the bowl w/ the packet of ground turkey (1#), some drained diced tomatoes, fresh grated nutmeg, S&P, at least 1/2 c. of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

            You can put a little Dijon mustard in. I usually don't, though.

            If you want, you can pre-cook some tiny diced onions and garlic in olive oil. Make sure the onion is totally soft. I put the lid on the pot for much of the cooking time to assure total onion uncrunchiness.

            Add one or two beaten eggs.

            Mix all that together with your hands. Form meatballs. Bake or pan fry, your choice. Serve with a tomato sauce (meatless), or plain.

            I usually bake them on a sheet pan w/parchment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jay F

              Yea I am clearly the odd one out here, I actually enjoy the 99% or perhaps I'm just so used to it. Your recipe sounds great, I will give that a try as I've never even attempted meatballs but enjoy them.

            2. Really dislike ground turkey breast (WAY too dry in the ultimate product, & flavorless compared to regular ground turkey (a combination of white & dark meat)), although I buy & use regular ground turkey constantly, since we're not a red-meat-eating household in general.

              Frankly, I really can't provide you with any recipes, as I literally have hundreds & hundreds of them. Any recipe calling for any type of ground meat can be adapted & made with ground turkey.

              I use it in tacos, meatballs, meatloaf, Chinese dumplings, stirfries, enchiladas, pasta sauces - like I said, you name it. If it calls for ground beef, I've most likely made it with ground turkey.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bacardi1

                all that. And then some.

                The only way I've found to make ground breast palatable is to mix in a healthy dose of minced mushrooms -- moisture and flavor

                But I use regular ground turkey in every recipe that calls for ground beef.

              2. I made Smitten Kitchen's Sesame Spiced Turkey Meatball recipe last week and loved the flavors. http://www.deliciousmusings.com/?p=13400

                One thing I discovered though, when I was browning the meatballs before putting in the oven, that the mixture would make a great hash. Next time I make the recipe, I'm going to skip the balling up stage, mince some potatoes and onions and make a hash out of the combo. I think it would be great with an over-easy egg over the top.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sushiqueen36

                  Thanks for the recipe, it looks great and I just added it to the weekend meal plan. I was actually going to ask what you thought was the best use for them and the hash sounds great. Any other ideas? How did you have them last week? Just straight with the sauce?

                  I actually pondered including it in an omelet or scrambled eggs. In that case as you mentioned you'd just skip the meatball stage and mix the ingredients and cook as you would regular ground meat?

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    In her cookbook, she recommends serving the meatballs over a chickpea salad (she gives the recipe). My husband isn't a chickpea fan so I made a warm white bean salad with olive oil and lemon and served them with that. I think tomato sauce would kill the flavors in the meatballs so I wouldn't do that, personally. I also used ground turkey that included dark meat so it might have been a little fattier than just breast meat.

                    I think an omelet or scrambled eggs might be good if you skip the balling. My favorite thing when making hash (think Dennison's corned beef hash texture) is the crunchy bits you get when you fry it. The little pieces that broke off the meatballs when I fried them were so good that it made me think of the hash idea so I'm a little hung up on trying that.

                    I wonder if you could do little meatballs and cook them in a soup?

                2. For meatballs, this recipe is really good, and the meatballs are moist because of the addition of the carrot: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/el...

                  This meatloaf is really really good. I make it as a whole loaf, not the mini ones... just free form it on a baking sheet. http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/07/ba...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: juliejulez

                    Also here's some other recipes I've been saving, but have not made yet: http://pinterest.com/julieanneco/food... you might find some of interest. Some are for using leftover Thanksgiving turkey but most are for ground.

                    1. re: juliejulez

                      I have to agree that Ellie Krieger's turkey meatballs are one of my favorites.

                    2. I love, love, love these Chinese lettuce wraps from Gourmet.

                      Chinese Turkey in Jade

                      8-ounce can water chestnuts
                      1/2 cup snow peas
                      4 scallions
                      3 heads Bibb lettuce
                      1 pound lean ground turkey
                      2 teaspoons honey
                      4 tablespoons soy sauce
                      3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
                      2 tablespoons minced garlic
                      3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
                      1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
                      1/2 cup water

                      1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
                      2 teaspoons cornstarch
                      2 teaspoons vegetable oil
                      1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

                      1 cup packed fresh mint sprigs
                      1 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
                      2 cups cooked white rice

                      Rinse and drain water chestnuts and coarsely chop. Diagonally cut snow peas into 1/2-inch-wide pieces and chop scallions. Separate lettuce leaves.

                      In a bowl with your hands mix turkey, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic, and 2 tablespoons gingerroot until just combined. Marinate turkey mixture 15 minutes.

                      In a small bowl whisk together Worcestershire sauce, water, sugar, cornstarch, and remaining teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons vinegar. In a wok or large non-stick skillet heat vegetable oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saut
 turkey mixture, stirring and breaking up lumps, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer turkey mixture to cleaned bowl. In wok or skillet stir-fry remaining tablespoon each garlic and gingerroot 15 seconds. Add water chestnuts and stir-fry 15 seconds. Add turkey mixture, soy-sauce mixture, snow peas, and scallions and stir-fry until sauce is thickened and snow peas are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove wok or skillet from heat and stir in sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste.

                      Serve turkey mixture, mint, and cilantro on lettuce leaves accompanied by rice.

                      Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lynnlato

                        I love lettuce wraps, but I've only had with chicken. I'm going to try this.

                        I also like turkey chili.

                      2. Have you tried making keema? Here is a general recipe for keema using beef, but I have used chicken and turkey to great success: http://indianfood.about.com/od/beefdi...

                        Sometimes I add a bit of vegetable broth to keep the meat moist while it cooks - pretty essential when using turkey breast mince.

                        1. I love ground turkey breast and don't mind the 99% FF kind as long as I use enough "fillers" for it to keep it moist. Things like mushrooms or carrots work very well.One of my favorite applications where you actually really couldn't (well, technically I suppose you could) use ground beef is in a white chili. Also, if you go to skinnytaste.com she has quite a few different variations of turkey burgers. All have been quite yummy.

                          1. I'm a fan of the fattier ground turkey, but the lean stuff could work when making Larb:


                            Also, I make a cilantro laden crab cake that is a Thai recipe which mixes lump crab and gound pork in equal parts. I think it could work with ground turkey as well. I'll have to retreive the recipe, but it's basically a cilantro pesto, crab, and ground pork combination served with a Thai dipping sauce.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MGZ

                              I stumbled upon a pair of Turkey thighs for $2.25 - something like 69 cents a pound. I "ground" them in the food processor and made Larb. It was fantastic. Much better that when I have done it with ground chicken.

                            2. Great in chili! Or any soup really...But you probably knew that

                              Also these turkey burgers are fantastic. Everyone goes crazy for them.
                              Sounds simple but the feta and olives make them unbelievably delicious. Never made the tomato jam, suppose it would be good, but don't need it.

                              As always, I think the quality matters. I think people who think they dislike ground turkey breast probably haven't had the good stuff.

                              1. 1) when I "brown" grT, I cook 1# slowly in a 16" heavy bottomed skillet. When it is nearly done, I turn the heat to HI [I'm semi-crippled by an electric stove] and as soon as it starts to pop, I add 1C water* and stir off any fond. Drain, cool and refrigerate.

                                2) Rolled grT balls are great for Swedish meatballs, especially with mushrooms.

                                3) I usually have 2# of both grT and the cheapest grBeef* cooked in the fridge, ready to toss into things. 3 parts grT to 1 part grB works really, really well -- especially if you throw in a Knorr "bouillon gel pack." Made a quick Shepherd's Pie last week with that ratio.

                                *I am a "meat rinser" -- I cook grB until it is just past pink, then add 2C water, bring up to a boil, drain, finish cooking-- usually with just a sprinkle of salt and a dash of Lowry's Garlic Pepper.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                  Hi Kris, just curious, what function does rinsing the meat serve? Do you wait to season until after the rinse?

                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                    It flushes off all of the fat. Some think the flavor and texture goes down the drain, too.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      I don't really expect much "flavour" from my grT-- it's a protein vehicle to which I'll add flavouring elements. However, I also find that w/o the water bath, after 2 days in the fridge grT is just ground cardboard. SInce I make it to "have on hand," I prefer that it have a higher moisture content.

                                      As a side note-- I sometimes have a "quick soup" that's the drained water and a cup of rice.

                                2. I make meatballs with turkey and lamb.

                                  1. I like ground turkey. I'm sure that what I'm buying is not just the breast meat. It is reasonably priced and very tasty. I use it in burritos, in brown rice stir fry and with mushrooms noodle dishes. I disagree with those who say it lacks flavor. Cooks quickly too!