Best Seasoning for Ground Turkey (Two Ways!)

Do you want to start cooking ground turkey but you’re not sure how to season it? Let’s dive into two simple, delicious seasoning blends you can use for all of your ground turkey needs- and added bonus, you probably have all of these spices in your spice rack already!

And PS- don’t miss my Ground Turkey Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli!

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A large serving dish of cooked ground turkey seasoned and garnished with parsley.

How to season ground turkey

As a Registered Dietitian, I’m a big fan of ground turkey. Ground turkey is a great lean protein option, it’s super versatile, and it cooks up really quickly. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need an easy, delicious meal without the hassle.

But, ground turkey can be a bit bland and dry if it’s not seasoned or cooked well. Here are my favorite tips for cooking delicious ground turkey that has great flavor every time.

1. Use a great seasoning blend

In this post you’ll learn my two favorite ways to season ground turkey using an garlic onion ground turkey seasoning blend, and a ground turkey taco seasoning.

Ground turkey isn’t naturally as flavorful as other meats, like ground beef, so you want to make sure to use plenty of seasoning.

2. Cook with a fat

Most ground turkey is “lean ground turkey”, meaning it has a low fat content. While it makes for a great leaner alternative when you’re choosing meat, it also means it can be a little dry. Make sure to add a good source of cooking fat like olive oil or avocado oil.

3. Add moisture

Because ground turkey meat is typically lower in fat, you’ll need to add an additional source of moisture so that your meat isn’t too dry. You can do this by adding sauces and/or condiments, depending on the dish.

A few examples: pasta sauce in a pasta dish, salad dressing on a salad, sour cream and salsa on a taco, or ketchup and mustard on a turkey burger.

It’s also helpful to add a few tablespoons of broth or water to the pan while you’re cooking the turkey. Simply add a few tablespoons of water or broth after you’ve seasoned the ground turkey and let simmer until the liquid is thickened and reduced down.

Garlic onion ground turkey seasoning

This versatile seasoning blend is great for “every day” meals and uses. This is the best seasoning when you’re making ground turkey for things like salads, grain bowls, pasta dishes with sauce, or even homemade turkey burgers or turkey meatballs.

A plate full of different seasonings for ground turkey garlic onion seasoning with each seasoning labeled.

Ingredients

  1. Garlic powder
  2. Onion powder
  3. Paprika
  4. Black pepper
  5. Salt
  6. Italian seasoning
A grey ceramic bowl full of ground turkey seasoning with a measuring spoon.

Ground turkey taco seasoning

Use this ground turkey taco seasoning for- you guessed it, taco night! Making your own taco seasoning is surprisingly easy. You can also use it for nachos, burrito bowls, taco salads, or quesadillas. You can also use this spice mixture to taco-season any other meats, too.

A plate full of different seasonings for ground turkey taco seasoning with each seasoning labeled.

Ingredients

  1. Garlic powder
  2. Onion powder
  3. Cumin
  4. Chili powder
  5. Paprika
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
A white bowl of ground turkey taco seasoning with a measuring spoon on a wooden board.

How to cook and season ground turkey

Here’s step-by-step instructions for cooking ground turkey perfectly every time!

  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add a 1 lb package of ground turkey and break apart using a spatula or ground meat tool. Continue cooking until the meat is cooked through and no pink is visible.
  3. Add your seasoning blend and incorporate evenly throughout the turkey.
  4. Add 2-3 tbsp of water or chicken broth to the skillet.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the ground turkey simmer, stirring occasionally.
  6. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced down and absorbed.

Ways to use ground turkey

  • Pasta dishes: Add ground turkey to your favorite tomato sauce, pesto or Alfredo sauce and serve with whole grain pasta and top with parmesan cheese.
  • Taco salad: Taco-seasoned ground turkey served with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes rice, black beans, salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
  • Ground turkey tacos: Serve on soft tortillas or hard shells with your favorite salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and sour cream.
  • Mediterranean Turkey Bowl: Ground turkey served over couscous or bulgur, topped with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and a drizzle of tzatziki sauce.
  • Quesadillas: Put taco-seasoned cooked ground turkey, Mexican shredded cheese and sautéed peppers and onions in between two tortillas and cook in a pan until cheese is melted.
  • Salads: Add as your protein source with mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced red onion, cheddar cheese and your favorite salad dressing. You can also use it as your protein source for deconstructed burger salad bowls.
  • Ground turkey lettuce wraps: Serve in lettuce wraps with green onions, shredded carrots and peanut sauce.

Frequently asked questions

What can I add to ground turkey for flavor?

You can really add any seasonings or seasoning blends that you love to ground turkey, especially because it’s pretty neutral in flavor. If you don’t feel like making your own homemade seasoning blend, you can always use a pre-made blend- I love this one.

For even more flavor, sauté fresh minced garlic and chopped onions with your ground turkey.

Can I meal prep ground turkey ahead of time?

Yes! Ground turkey is a great protein to meal prep because it’s quick, easy and versatile. I recommend prepping a big batch ahead of time of ground turkey and then using it for quick and easy meals throughout the week- like tacos and salads. Store it in an airtight container and use within 3-4 days.

How to make ground turkey taste like beef

Ground turkey isn’t as flavorful as ground beef, but if you want it to feel a little bit more like ground beef, try adding some Worcestershire sauce.

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A large serving dish of cooked ground turkey seasoned and garnished with parsley.

Best Seasoning for Ground Turkey (Two Ways)

Two easy seasoning blends to make flavorful ground turkey
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Ground Turkey Taco Seasoning

  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Garlic Onion Ground Turkey Seasoning

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning

Instructions

  • Mix all spice ingredients from spice blend of your choosing in a small bowl.
  • Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet on medium heat.
  • Add a 1 lb package of ground turkey and break apart using a spatula or ground meat tool. Continue cooking until the meat is cooked through and no pink is visible.
  • Add your seasoning blend and incorporate evenly throughout the turkey.Add 2-3 tbsp of water or chicken broth to the skillet.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the ground turkey simmer, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced down and absorbed.

Notes

Feel free to adjust spices to your taste buds!
Course: dinner

Nutrition

Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 746IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?