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Gobble Up Some Ground Turkey

February 15, 2010

Ground turkey.  I know, right?

It’s awesome.

Pretty much overlooked.

Definitely not overrated.

What’s not to love?  Possibly less fat, fewer calories, and less expensive.

Still hesitant?  Here are three ways to make the switch from ground beef to ground turkey- and you are the only one who will ever know.  Trust me.  I have five kids.  They have no idea.

Turkey Chili

Turkey Lasagna

Turkey Meatloaf

There are a couple of things to watch for when buying ground turkey.

Nutritional data from Walmart.com and Jennie O Turkey.

  • Ground turkey is not ground turkey breast.  Ground breast is practically fat-free (120 calories and 1.5 grams fat, 80 mg. sodium and 26 grams protein/serving).  Similar in nutritional content to 96/4 ground beef (140 calories and 4.5 grams fat, 70 mg sodium and 23 grams protein).
  • Ground turkey includes some leg meat and skin which increases the fat and calories, but lowers the price (220 calories and 17 grams fat, 85 mg sodium and 20 grams protein).  Similar in nutritional content to 80/20 ground beef (290 calories and 23 grams fat, 70 mg sodium, 23 grams protein).

There is much debate over whether the move to turkey is wise or necessary based on the various states in which ground turkey and ground beef both exist.  A determination must be made based on budget and nutrition, as well as on taste.  I simply prefer the mildness of turkey in dishes where I want the bulk, but want other flavors to really shine through.  I think ground beef tends to overpower meatloaf and tomato sauce.  I simply like it’s lightness in chili because of the heaviness of the beans.

Don’t get me wrong, you won’t catch me grilling up any turkey burgers when the summer finally rolls around – I like my burgers the good ol’ fashioned way, but using turkey is a nice way to add some variation and maybe save a few pennies or calories.  In the end, it’s a personal decision that you’ll make for your family.  Maybe you’ll even make a turkey meatloaf cupcake with whipped potato frosting (anything for the kiddos, right?).

Since these are relatively common dishes and the idea is just exchanging the meat product used, I won’t bore you with recipes.  Your Mom’s meatloaf will always be better than mine and your chili probably kicks my chili’s ass.  I’m big enough to admit it when I know I can’t win.  And seriously, nobody makes better lasagna than you.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. momromp permalink
    February 16, 2010 7:16 am

    We do lots of ground turkey and, on occasion, ground chicken around here. You said it so well – it’s great to use when you want the bulk but not the strong meat taste.

  2. Cathy permalink
    February 18, 2010 10:01 pm

    I started out using ground turkey in my taco’s. There is so much flavoring in the sauce that my family never knew I switched from ground beef to turkey. And…they’re less greasy and taste just as great.

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