How to Cook Ground Turkey: A Delicious and Easy Recipe

For salads, taco bowls, or turkey tacos, this seasoned ground turkey is the ideal complement. Cook it in 15 minutes with a few basic ingredients. It’s ideal for weeknight quick meals or meal prep.

Make your own seasoned turkey taco meat at home instead of purchasing prepackaged taco seasoning. Having seasoned ground turkey on hand is a great idea for taco night or any other day of the week. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare and is bursting with flavor!

To make your own homemade taco meat, season the ground turkey with a few simple seasonings instead of using a packet purchased from the store.

Serve with corn tortillas or taco shells as ground turkey tacos. To make a taco salad, serve it over a bed of lettuce with your preferred taco toppings. Alternately, pile it into a burrito or bowl with cooked rice and additional taco toppings.

Ground turkey is a versatile and healthy ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from tacos to pasta sauces. However, cooking ground turkey can be tricky, as it can easily dry out if not cooked properly. This guide will walk you through the steps on how to cook ground turkey perfectly, resulting in a juicy and flavorful dish.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin powder
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water or enchilada sauce


  1. Heat the pan: Place a large skillet over medium heat and add a thin layer of cooking spray or oil.
  2. Cook the ground turkey: Add the ground turkey to the pan and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it is browned on all sides. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add the spices: Once the ground turkey is browned, add the garlic powder, cumin powder, chili powder, dried oregano, paprika powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook until done: Add 2 tablespoons of water or enchilada sauce to the pan and continue to cook the ground turkey for a few more minutes, or until it is cooked through.
  5. Serve or assemble tacos: You can enjoy the ground turkey as is, or use it to make tacos. To make tacos, simply add the ground turkey to tortillas and top with your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa.

Tips for Cooking Ground Turkey:

  • Use a non-stick skillet: This will help to prevent the ground turkey from sticking to the pan.
  • Don’t overcook the ground turkey: Overcooked ground turkey will be dry and tough.
  • Add moisture: Adding a little water or enchilada sauce to the pan will help to keep the ground turkey moist.
  • Use a meat thermometer: A meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that the ground turkey is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


How long should you cook ground turkey?

Ground turkey typically needs to cook for about 5-8 minutes over medium heat in a pan on the stovetop Once all of the ground turkey meat turns from pink to white, it’s done. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to pull it from the heat pretty quickly after the meat turns white – if can easily dry out if you do.

Can you cook ground turkey in a pan?

Yes, you can cook ground turkey in a pan. In fact, sauteeing ground turkey in a pan or skillet is one of the best ways to cook it evenly and also keep it super juicy since you can pull it from the heat right when it’s done cooking. Other cooking methods for making ground turkey make it harder to do that. 

Do you need oil to cook ground turkey?

You don’t need oil to cook ground turkey, but it does help prevent it from sticking to the pan if you’re sauteeing it. Also, if you don’t have oil, you can use some butter – or even water – to cook the ground turkey in.

Cooking ground turkey is a simple process that can be easily mastered with a few key tips. By following the instructions in this guide, you can ensure that your ground turkey is cooked perfectly every time. Whether you enjoy it as is or use it to make tacos, this versatile ingredient is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s made with simple seasonings.
  • It’s ready in 20 minutes or less.
  • The flavorful ground taco meat adds a lot of versatility to your favorite recipe.
  • To make it your own, simply change the amount of seasonings.

To make seasoned ground turkey, all you need is ground turkey and a few basic seasonings!

how to cool ground turkey

  • Ground turkey: Any variety of ground turkey meat will do, but I personally like the lean variety (93% lean meat and 7% fat) because it has the best texture and flavor. You can also substitute with ground beef or ground chicken.
  • Spices: For the turkey taco seasoning, you’ll need chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. You can substitute with taco seasoning, if desired.
  • Chicken Stock: You can substitute with water, if desired.

how to cool ground turkey

Step 1: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. A nonstick skillet or cast iron pan works great. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns, until the turkey is fully browned. (The pan shouldn’t need any oil, but if you’d like, you can brown the turkey with a tiny bit of olive oil.) ).

Step 2: After the meat is no longer pink, lower the heat to a low level and stir in the spices and chicken stock. Mix everything together until the sauce coats the crumbled turkey. Simmer the mixture for five minutes, or until the liquid slightly thickens and reduces.

Serve the spiced turkey meat in salads, lettuce wraps, burritos, taco bowls, quesadillas, and other dishes.

Taco toppings that are delicious include cheese, guacamole, lime juice, black beans, avocado, and cilantro.

how to cool ground turkey

  • Double or triple the recipe to yield a larger batch that can feed eight to twelve people.
  • Meal Planning and Storage: After cooking, meat can be kept in the fridge for up to four days. Just before serving, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Freezing: You can freeze ground turkey taco meat. Place in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. Close tightly and keep chilled for a maximum of two months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Enhance flavor: Although this spiced ground turkey is delicious on its own, you can make it even better by adding some fresh salsa. After cooking, just stir in the salsa and serve with your preferred dish.

Ground turkey can be flavored with simple seasonings or spices. Use store bought taco seasoning or make your own. Just seasoning the turkey with salt and pepper enhances its flavor.

Ground turkey pairs well with taco seasoning such as chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Additional herbs that work well are paprika, dried oregano, basil, and rosemary.

how to cool ground turkey

Try some of our other top-rated ground turkey recipes if you’re a fan of ground turkey. Enjoy stuffed peppers or turkey enchiladas with seasoned ground turkey. Alternatively, make a tasty taco casserole with ground turkey instead of beef. The options are endless!.

How To Cook Ground Turkey

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