Ground turkey stir fry is an easy, delicious dinner that comes together in a snap. In this recipe, ground turkey is cooked with a shredded cabbage mix and homemade stir fry sauce. It’s a different take on an Asian-style favorite, made just a little lighter without compromising flavor.
I love making take-out favorites at home because they’re usually quick, affordable, and I can get some vegetables in without hearing complaints. Take this beef stir fry, for example It’s half vegetables and so is this shrimp and vegetable stir fry, but no one grumbles.
This stir fry is made with a less conventional ground turkey. Lean ground turkey is a great alternative to ground beef. Maybe you’re trying to cut down on red meat or save a few calories, either way, ground turkey recipes are a delicious and simple swap to make. Use it in just about any recipe that calls for ground beef as a lean, affordable substitute. These loaded sheet pan nachos and this turkey taco soup will not disappoint.
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- Turkey – Use lean ground turkey, but not turkey breast, we use 93/7 which is 93 percent lean and 7 percent fat. 85/15 will also work well.
- Pantry – Basic pantry ingredients are used in this stir fry: cornstarch, brown sugar and a neutral oil with a high smoke point (we use canola oil)
- Condiments and Spices – Soy sauce (use reduced sodium only), hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger powder, salt and crushed red pepper add a ton of flavor to this dish. The crushed red pepper will add a kick so if you don’t like spicy leave it out.
- Vegetables – Shredded cabbage and carrots, we use a prepackaged cole slaw mix that contains mostly shredded green cabbage and just a little bit of shredded red cabbage and carrots. Find it in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle with the prepackaged lettuce mixes. For extra flavor and garnish add some sliced green onions.
The prep work for this dinner is easy breezy! A prepackaged cole slaw mix makes it even easier. If you are shredding your own cabbage, use green cabbage and cut it into very thin strips. Add a little color too by including a handful of red cabbage and shredded carrots.
Make the stir fry sauce
I like using small canning jars, to make the sauce. I keep several sizes on hand. They’re super convenient for mixing sauces, marinades and dressings. I also like using a microplane zester/small grater to break down the garlic. If you don’t have one, finely mince it.
Add the cornstarch and water to a jar or a medium bowl. Use a fork or a small whisk to stir the mixture until the cornstarch dissolves. Then add the: soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir the stir fry sauce vigorously until well combined.
If you’re not using the stir fry sauce right away make sure to give it a good stir right before cooking. The cornstarch will settle at the bottom so get in there and stir well until it is incorporated again.
- Don’t use a lot of salt in this recipe. We do want to add a little salt while browning the turkey because, well, it’s turkey it needs flavor. But the ingredients in the stir fry sauce contain a good amount of salt already so you won’t need much. Plus, you can always add some at the end.
- Things move quickly with this ground turkey stir fry so have everything ready to go before you start cooking.
- Break up the pattern in the ground turkey before adding it to the skillet so you don’t end up with stringy pieces in your stir fry.
- This turkey stir fry cooks so quickly that if you plan on serving it with rice or noodles start them first. Have them almost ready to go before you start cooking.
- Use a large, deep skillet or wok. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the ground turkey to brown completely and let the liquid rendered cook out. Break up the pieces until it’s a crumble.
- Add the cabbage to the skillet.
- Fry the ground turkey and cabbage to continue cooking the turkey and to get the cabbage going.
- Combine the turkey and cabbage with the stir fry sauce and cook for a few minutes to let the flavors come together.
Add the green onions and serve with white rice or noodles.
Storage and reheating
Turkey stir fry is great for meal prep because it reheats well. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Place the leftovers on a microwavable plate and heat on high until hot.
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Ground Turkey Stir Fry
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves grated or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Powder use fresh if you have it on hand (grated or minced)
- Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper or to taste – leave it out if you don’t like spicy
- 1½ tablespoons Oil use a neutral (flavorless) oil with a high smoke point – we use canola oil
- 1 pound Ground Turkey use lean but not turkey breast (we used 93/7)
- 1 teaspoon Salt – we use kosher salt
- 12 ounces Shredded Cabbage Mix about 6 cups packed down lightly (we use a prepackaged cole slaw mix that contains shredded green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons Green Onions sliced – plus extra for garnish, if desired
- Add the water and cornstarch to a jar or medium bowl.
- Use a fork or a small whisk to stir the mixture until the cornstarch dissolves.
- Add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper (if using).
- Stir the stir fry sauce vigorously until well combined. Stir the sauce well right before using too.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground turkey and salt, break it up some and arrange it in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir the turkey while breaking it up and arrange it in a single layer again. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir the ground turkey and cook another 2-3 minutes until it is browned, and all the liquid has cooked out. Stir frequently and continue to break up any large pieces.
- Add the shredded cabbage mix to the skillet, stir well to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the stir fry sauce, stir well to combine.
- Cover the skillet and cook the turkey stir fry for 5 minutes to let the flavors come together, stir occasionally.
- Add the green onions and stir.
- Lower the heat to low, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Use very little salt in recipes using this stir fry sauce. The soy sauce and hoisin sauce both contain a good amount of salt already. You can always add it in at the end if needed.
- This turkey stir fry cooks so quickly that if you plan on serving it with rice or noodles start them first.