5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Ground Turkey

March 11, 2014

Must See Nutrition Videos

Student-athletes are busy people. STACK understands that. That’s why we are bringing you our “Non-Boring Ways to Eat” series, each installment of which presents a week’s worth of healthy, performance-fueling lunches you can make from the same staple ingredients. Best of all? You can prepare each meal in 15 minutes or less. This week’s featured item: Ground Turkey.
Unlike chicken, you need to cook a new batch of ground turkey every night. But before you close your browser in frustration and head to Mickey D's, hear us out—cooking ground turkey isn't much harder than setting your microwave. Here's how it works: You grab a pan, slap it on a burner set to medium-high heat, spritz it with some cooking oil and dump the turkey in. Stir every couple of minutes. That's pretty much it.
Of course, you will add other ingredients to each meal along the way, but in each case the cooking is the "hard part"—and obviously, it isn't very hard. Drop your cooked meal into a Tupperware container and you've got lunch for tomorrow (and possibly dinner, too). These five recipes, courtesy of Chef Michael Roddey of the American Culinary Federation, will fool your friends into thinking you're a five-star cook with fast food effort.

Monday: Open-Face Southwest Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Stuffed Peppers

Photo courtesy of Chef Michael Roddey

Mondays can be a drag, but that doesn't mean your lunch has to be. This healthy, filling stuffed pepper is packed with protein and carbs and is just exotic enough to take your mind off the fact that when you're finished eating . . . well, it's still Monday.

Makes 4 portions

Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 14.5-oz. can tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 green peppers
  • ½ cup cooked black beans
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic
  • 1-1/4 tbsp.  taco seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tbsp.  oil


  1. Sauté onions in the oil over medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add turkey and season with salt, pepper, garlic and taco seasoning.
  3. Cook the mix until done, stirring to work out the large pieces of turkey. It should take approximately 5-7 minutes.
  4. Chill slightly, add corn, beans, rice and ½ of the cheese.
  5. Fill the peppers with the mixture.
  6. Add the whole can of tomatoes and ½ cup of water to the pan.
  7. Add the filled pepper halves to the pan.
  8. Top the peppers with the remaining cheese.
  9. Cover and simmer on low to medium-low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes until the peppers are soft.
  10. Serve and garnish as desired.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 447
Protein: 40g

Tuesday: Pennsylvania Dutch Cabbage Roll Stew

Dutch Cabbage Stew

Photo courtesy of Chef Michael Roddey

Anyone else cold? After hibernating all weekend, actually going out into the world two days in a row might freeze you to the core. A hearty stew will hit the spot and warm you up as you settle into the week.

Makes 3 quarts

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 15-20 minutes


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ pound chopped cabbage
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups vegetable bouillon
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning


  1. Sauté onions in the oil until translucent.
  2. Add turkey and season with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning.
  3. Cook for 5-7 minutes until done.
  4. Add cabbage, stir, cover and heat cabbage for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomato, tomato sauce and bouillon and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add cooked rice and simmer 3-5 minutes until rice is hot.
  7. Scoop, serve and enjoy.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 517
Protein: 36g

Wednesday: German Style Turkey Patties

Turkey Patties

Photo courtesy of Chef Michael Roddey

You probably thought we'd suggest turkey burgers, right? A little different from what you're used to, but still tasty, these German Style Turkey Patties mix great y with sauerkraut for a Bavarian twist to a healthy meal.

Makes 4 portions

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ pound chicken sausage
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 cups sauerkraut
  • 3 tsp. oil (2+1 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 pound whole grain pasta
  • 3 tbsp. (1+2 tbsp.) Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 cup gravy (brown, turkey or chicken)
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  1. Sauté onions in 2 tsp. oil and chill.
  2. Add onions to the turkey and chicken sausage with the salt, pepper and 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard.
  3. Mix until combined, divide into four portions.
  4. Make patties. Press into discs (not domes).
  5. Sear patties in 1 tsp. of oil on medium heat for approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
  6. Add 1/2 cup of water to patties in the pan and simmer for 5-7 minutes to cook the patties through.
  7. Remove the patties, hold on a plate, covered, to keep warm.
  8. Add 2 tbsp. of Dijon to the pan and whisk with remaining water.
  9. Add gravy, whisk and heat over medium heat.
  10. Reheat the sauerkraut and pasta in microwave.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 552
Protein: 27g

Thursday: Turkey, Spinach, Onion and Cheese Fritatta

Turkey Fritatta

Photo courtesy of Chef Michael Roddey

A staple of an athlete's diet, eggs mix fantastically with ground turkey to create a healthy, easy dish that can be eaten as easily for lunch as it can for breakfast (or dinner, for that matter). Simple and packed with protein and veggies, this one can and should become a staple in your rotation.

Makes 1 portion

Prep time: 7 minutes   |  Cook Time: 5-7 minutes


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2.5 oz. cooked ground turkey
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. oil


  1. Whisk eggs with water.
  2. Heat oil in a 6- to 8-inch pan over medium to medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion. Sauté until it starts to turn translucent.
  4. Add turkey to pan and reheat.
  5. Add spinach and stir until it is wilted to half its size.
  6. Add salt and pepper, stir to coat and distribute.
  7. Spread ingredients evenly in pan, add egg mixture and tilt pan until eggs are evenly distributed. Cover.
  8. Turn heat to medium low and allow to slowly cook while covered for about 3-4 minutes (be sure heat is low to prevent burning the bottom of the frittata).
  9. Check that eggs are set, turn off the heat, add the cheese and cover for another minute (lift the edge with a spatula to see the bottom; if it's dark, slide it onto a plate, add cheese and cover for a minute).
  10. Remove/slide frittata from the pan to plate.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 615
Protein: 65g

Friday: Sweet and Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Turkey Wrap

Photo via Thinkstock

You've eaten healthy all week and earned a reward. These tangy, spicy lettuce wraps have all the flavor of a buffalo chicken sandwich with none of the guilt. Swapping lettuce leaves for the tortilla wrap shown in the photo will keep you feeling light as you head into your weekend.

Makes 4 portions

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 head washed and dried lettuce (iceberg or Boston)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. oil


  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion and pepper until the onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add turkey and season with salt and pepper. Stir as it cooks to break up any chunks.
  4. When the turkey is fully cooked (about 7-10 minutes), add the hot sauce and honey. Stir to coat all of the mixture.
  5. If it is still watery, continue to cook until 95 percent of the liquid is evaporated (do not burn the honey).
  6. If desired, add ½ cup of cilantro and stir before removing from the pan.
  7. If not, remove from the pan and garnish with some of the cilantro if desired.
  8. The lettuce leaves serve as the "wrap." Add the turkey mix inside the leaf, top with cilantro, fold and enjoy.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 229
Protein: 22g

Read More: 

Sam DeHority
- Sam DeHority is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at 'Men’s Fitness' and 'Muscle & Fitness,'...
Sam DeHority
- Sam DeHority is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at 'Men’s Fitness' and 'Muscle & Fitness,'...


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