What Is Ground Turkey Breast?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Ground turkey breast is a raw ground poultry product that is created by running fresh cuts of turkey breast through a meat grinder. The final product has a consistency that is similar to that of ground beef, and can be used in a number of recipes that normally call for the use of some type of hamburger product. One of the benefits of ground turkey breast over other forms of ground turkey is that the skin is normally removed, allowing the fat content of the finished product to be significantly lower.

A turkey.
A turkey.

In comparison with other forms of ground meat and poultry products, ground turkey breast contains a significantly lower amount of both fat and cholesterol. This makes the product ideal for anyone who still craves some sort of grilled patty but must limit the use of ground beef in order to deal with high levels of bad cholesterol in the system. Dieters may also find ground turkey breast to be an excellent ingredient for use in the preparation of an entrée, since the turkey breast provides plenty of protein while providing fewer calories.

Ground turkey can be used in place of beef to make hamburgers.
Ground turkey can be used in place of beef to make hamburgers.

It is possible to use ground turkey breast in place of ground beef in a number of recipes. Fans of hamburgers can prepare turkey burgers by mixing spices into the ground meat, then shaping the turkey into patties for grilling or broiling. Since turkey absorbs flavors readily from spices and herbs, the end result can provide a tasty and filling alternative. There are also recipes that call for combining the ground turkey breast with mashed black beans to add additional flavor to the patties.

Other types of recipes can be adapted to make use of ground turkey breast. For example, the turkey can be substituted in equal amounts for ground beef in the preparation of a meatloaf. Since the turkey contains less fat, adding some olive oil to the recipe will usually aid in maintaining the proper texture during baking and prevent the loaf from scorching. There are also a number of recipes that call for using equal portions of ground beef along with the turkey, providing a compromise for those who insist they must have some beef in their meals.

While ground turkey breast is sold in many supermarkets and other food outlets, it is important to read the label closely to make sure the product only contains the breast of the turkey. There are a number of ground turkey products on the market today that include ground portions of dark meat and even turkey skin along with some percentage of the breast. In order to enjoy the maximum amount of health benefits, always make sure the ground product is 100% turkey breast.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I don't know if other people have had this experience, but I find that ground turkey, much like fresh ground beef, does not last very long in the refrigerator. I always need to use it up or freeze it within a day or two of opening the package. That's why I try to buy only as much as I'll need for a recipe. Ground turkey in bulk is no bargain unless you're prepared to portion it out and refreeze it for future use.


I have used ground turkey as crumbles in spaghetti sauce, chili and Sloppy Joes in the past. I'd say it works well in dishes where you want the texture of ground beef, but not all the fat and red meat. The flavor won't fool you, though. To me, ground turkey doesn't really lose its poultry taste, and that can be good or bad. If I use ground pork or vegetarian crumbles, I can't distinguish them from ground beef as easily as I can ground turkey.

The article isn't kidding when it talks about adding additional oil or other fat when working with ground turkey. I used to fry my turkey burgers in a skillet, but lately I've been getting the same results by baking them in an oven. I also think meatloaf should be a mixture of ground meats, because any single ground meat may not give it the structure it needs.

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