Stir Fry with Ground Turkey

This Ground Turkey Stir Fry is made more than ANY other recipe at my house because it’s BIG on flavor with minimal effort!  It’s on your table in less than 30 minutes with a tantalizing umami-rich garlic, ginger stir fry sauce you will crave.  Use your favorite veggies, a bag of stir veggies or whatever you have on hand for a QUICK, healthy, wonderfully versatile stir fry that will shoot to the top of your family’s “favorite” list (shortcut variations included)!

up close of ground turkey stir fry showing how saucy it is


 

Watch How to Make Stir Fry with Ground Turkey

Ground Turkey Stir Fry

  • QUICK OR QUICKER STIR FRY. Shortcuts provided for the veggies and aromatics for zero chopping on those extra busy nights.
  • DIZZYINGLY DELICIOUS STIR FRY SAUCE.  This stir fry is only as good as the sauce – and this one is dynamite, elevated with game changing oyster sauce, chicken broth, and chili sauce.
  • RESTAURANT FLAVOR WITH SIMPLE INGREDIENTS. Find everything you need at the grocery store so you can make this any time!
  • CUSTOMIZABLE:  See the Variations Section to customize the sauce or to make this stir fry recipe with whatever veggies you have on hand.
  • NO MARINADE REQUIRED! No chopping or marinating raw chicken makes this the ultimate lazy day recipe!
  • THE NUTS! Peanuts or cashews are toasted in the skillet (optional) to deepen their nuttiness and then added back to the stir fry with the sauce so they remain delightfully crunchy in every bite.
  • KEEP IT LOW CARB. Serve with broccoli rice, zoodles, spaghetti squash, etc. Keep scrolling for all the options!
stir fry with ground beef with customizable vegetables
ingredient icon

Turkey Stir Fry Recipe Ingredients

Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to make this ground turkey stir fry. Keep in mind, you can swap in any desired veggies, but here’s my favs (measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

FOR THE stir fry: 

  • Ground turkey:  Use plain ground turkey or turkey sausage in log form which comes pre-seasoned (my preference for even more flavor). I wouldn’t recommend anything leaner than 93/7 or the turkey will be too dry.
  • Onion:  Half of a yellow onion chopped into 1/2-inch pieces will do the trick.  You may also substitute with 1 teaspoon onion powder mixed right into the stir fry sauce.
  • Bell peppers:  Chop the bell pepper into one-inch pieces so they remain crisp-tender.
  • Broccoli: Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces so they cook in the same time as the other vegetables.
  • Carrots: Thinly slice the carrots so they cook in the allotted time.
  • Nuts:  Cashews or peanuts are optional, but I love the nutty crunch they add.  You must use unsalted nuts otherwise your stir fry recipe will be way too salty!  I typically pick them up at the bulk bins at Sprouts.
  • Garlic:  This recipe calls for 4 cloves of garlic but you are welcome to use more if you love garlic! If you are in a bind, add 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the sauce.
  • Ginger:  Two teaspoons freshly grated ginger adds another spicy, zingy depth to the sauce.  You may substitute with a heaping ½ teaspoon ginger powder added directly to the sauce.
showing ingredients for ground turkey stir fry: ground turkey, broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic and cashews

For the stir fry sauce: 

  • Soy sauce:  Use low sodium so the recipe isn’t too salty.
  • Oyster sauce:  This is a thick, brown sauce with a balance between sweet and salty with an earthy undertone – it’s a game changer in stir fries!  You can find oyster sauce in the Asian aisle of any supermarket for only a few dollars.  Please use QUALITY hoisin sauce such as Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman.  You truly can taste the difference and will be sorely disappointed with less quality brands.
  • Chicken broth:  Use low sodium chicken broth so the dish isn’t too salty. You may swap in water but it’s not nearly as flavorful.
  • Brown sugar:  This adds a subtle sweetness to balance the soy and vinegar.  Use more or less depending on personal taste. 
  • Rice wine This should become a pantry staple if you do much Asian cooking.  I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it.  I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for.  The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry.
  • Asian chili sauce: Use your favorite chili sauce like sriracha or chili garlic sauce like Sambal Oelek. Use as much or as little as you like. 
  • Toasted sesame oil:  This “secret ingredient” adds an irresistible, subtle nutty flavor.
  • Cornstarch:  This helps thicken the sauce to a glossy, luscious consistency.
Showing ingredients for ground turkey stir fry sauce:  soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, chili sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice wine

Stir Fry variations

  • Use ground chicken: Ground chicken, beef or pork all work in this recipe.
  • Customize the stir fry sauce: The sauce is perfect for us, but you may find you like it sweeter, tangier, or spicier. Sweeten it up with honey or sugar, make it tangier with rice vinegar or spicier with chili sauce.
  • Mix up vegetables: Mix and match the veggies based on what’s in your fridge, your favorites, what’s in season or what’s on sale, to create a different stir fry every time.  Some options include mushrooms, snow peas, snap peas, zucchini, celery, baby corn, bean sprouts, cabbage, spinach and bok choy.
  • SHORTCUT store-bought vegetables: Pick up a large bag or a few smaller bags of stir-fry vegetables for minimal chopping – you’ll need about 6 cups. Often the cauliflower and/or broccoli is extra large, so you may need to chop those in half as well as the baby carrots.
  • SHORTCUT powders: Swap any of the fresh aromatics for 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and/or ½ teaspoon ground ginger. Stir the powders directly into the stir fry sauce.
  • Add water chestnuts: They would also be tasty!
  • Make it mild or spicy: Use less chili sauce or omit it completely for mild ground turkey stir fry or make it spicier by adding additional chili sauce or red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Gluten Free Stir Fry:  Use gluten free soy sauce or tamari, and gluten free oyster sauce.
  • Vegan Stir Fry: Use your favorite vegan meat substitute such as extra vegetables, mushrooms, Morning Star Crumbles, crumbled tofu or tempeh. Place firm tofu in a pie plate, top with a heavy plate and weigh down with 2 heavy cans (to release water). Set aside for 10 minutes before crumbling and stir frying. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and the oyster sauce for Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.
  • Ground Turkey Egg Roll Bowl: Decrease the vegetables or swap them for matchstick carrots, mushrooms and julienned snow peas (see my Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe for measurements). Stir fry the vegetables with 5 cups thinly sliced cabbage or coleslaw mix, and cook just until cabbage is wilted to desired crisp-tenderness. Top with optional chow mien noodles.

How to Make Stir Fry with Ground Turkey

Let’s take a closer look at how to make stir fry with ground turkey with step-by-step photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Make Stir Fry Sauce. Whisk the chicken broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, chili sauce and cornstarch together in a medium bowl; set aside. If skipping the fresh aromatics, add powders to the sauce (see notes).
showing how to make stir fry with ground turkey by whisking the stir fry sauce ingredients together in a bowl
  • Step 2: Brown Turkey. Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook while crumbling until browned. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon. Wipe out skillet.
showing how to make ground turkey stir fry by browning the turkey in a skillet
  • Step 3: Stir Fry Vegetables. To the now empty pan, heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and onions. Stir fry until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger to the veggies and stir fry 30 seconds.
a collage showing how to make ground turkey stir fry by stir frying vegetables until crisp tender
  • Step 4: Add Sauce. Add Stir Fry Sauce to the pan along with turkey. Bring the sauce to a simmer until sauce has thickened; 1-2 minutes. Stir in cashews or peanuts.
a collage showing how to make stir fry by adding ground turkey, stir fry sauce and then cashews
  • Step 5: Garnish. Garnish with additional chili sauce, green onions, salt and pepper to taste if desired.
showing how to make stir fry with ground beef by garnishing with green onions and sesame seeds

Ground Turkey Stir Fry Recipe Tips

  • Ginger pro tip:  I like to freeze ginger so it’s always at my fingertips. Grate it, spread it by the teaspoon or tablespoon on parchment paper and flash freeze until solid, about 1 hour.  Transfer to an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 6 months.   You can add frozen ginger directly to your stir fry.
  • Rice wine is NOT rice vinegar. DO NOT switch them.  Rice wine adds a sweetness and depth of flavor; rice vinegar, on the other hand, will add an acidic flavor.
  • Choose the right pan. Use a large, flat-bottomed wok or a wide skillet to allow for even cooking and quick tossing of ingredients. This will help the ground turkey brown instead of steam and the vegetables to comfortably stir fry.
  • Don’t overcook the turkey. Cook ground turkey over medium heat just until barely browned to ensure it stays extra juicy. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Wipe out excess moisture. If moisture is pooling while cooking the turkey, wipe it up with paper towels so the turkey can brown.
  • Set a timer and DON’T over-cook the veggies. The vegetables will continue to cook in the sauce – you want crisp tender veggies, not tender crisp.
  • Use higher heat for the vegetables. Stir-fries benefit from high heat to achieve a quick sear and maintain the crispness of vegetables.
up close of stir fry with ground turkey showing how juicy the turkey it is

 What to Serve with Turkey Stir Fry

This stir fry with ground turkey is dripping with flavor so it pairs well with neutral sides such as:

  • Rice: I like jasmine rice or brown rice but any rice will work.  Just pop the rice in your rice cooker for a hand’s off, easy side. You can also use microwave rice pouches if you’re making a single serving. 
  • Noodles: Ramen, soba noodles, rice noodles or even linguine are a fun way to mix things up.
  • Low carb options:  Cauliflower rice, quinoa, broccoli rice or a blend of brown rice and any of the aforementioned options.   You can also use low carb noodles such as zoodles or spaghetti squash.
  • Appetizers:  For a complete Asian feast, pair your turkey stir fry with  Cream Cheese WontonsCrab Rangoons, Potstickers, and/or Egg Rolls.
  • Soups: Asian soups make a fantastic starter to this stir fry such as Wonton Soup, Egg Drop Soup or Miso Soup.

Stir Fry Ground Turkey FAQs

How to add flavor to stir fry?


To add flavor to stir-fry, use plenty of ginger and garlic sautéed the last 30 seconds with the vegetables. For a savory and umami-rich sauce, don’t skip the oyster sauce! Combine it with soy sauce, chicken (instead of water) and toasted sesame oil. I also like to use chili garlic sauce instead of sriracha for a kick of heat.

Do you season ground turkey before or after cooking?

It depends on the recipe. For ground turkey stir fry, the ground turkey doesn’t need to be seasoned until after cooking. It will soak up the flavorful stir fry sauce as it simmers.

What should you not do when stir-frying?

When stir-frying, avoid overcrowding the pan, as it can lead to steaming rather than frying. Additionally, resist the urge to constantly stir; allow the ingredients to sear and develop a flavorful crust in between tossing.

Is ground turkey healthy?

Ground turkey offers several health benefits, making it a nutritious choice for many. It is generally lower in fat compared to ground beef, especially if you choose lean or extra lean varieties. Turkey is a good source of protein, essential for muscle development and repair, and it contains important nutrients like selenium, which supports the immune system, and vitamin B6, crucial for brain development and function. Additionally, ground turkey can be a healthier alternative for those looking to reduce their red meat intake, potentially lowering the risk of certain health issues when part of a balanced diet.

What is the best spice for stir-fry?

Stir fry is best seasoned with aromatic ginger, garlic and onions. These aromatic ingredients add depth and complexity to the flavor profile, infusing the dish with a warm and savory undertone. Garlic brings a pungent nuttiness, onions add a spicy sweetness, while ginger adds a zesty, fresh, and slightly spicy kick. Additionally, both garlic and ginger offer potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making them not only flavorful but also valuable additions to a nutritious meal.

How do I thicken stir fry sauce?

The cornstarch in the stir fry sauce will thicken the sauce as it simmers with the vegetables for up to 2 minutes.  If you still would like a thicker sauce, make a slurry by whisking 1 teaspoon cornstarch in 2 tablespoons chicken broth then adding to the simmering sauce.  Repeat this as step as desired.

How do I thin stir fry sauce?

Your stir fry sauce will thicken more the longer it is simmers. If it simmers to the point of too thick, don’t worry! It is easy to thin by whisking in additional chicken broth. 

showing what to serve ground turkey stir fry rice by adding to a bowl with rice

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showing what to serve ground turkey stir fry rice by adding to a bowl with rice

Stir Fry (Ground Turkey)

I make this Ground Turkey Stir Fry more often than ANY other recipe because it’s BIG on flavor with minimal effort!  It’s on your table in less than 30 minutes with a tantalizing umami-rich garlic, ginger stir fry sauce you will crave.  Use the listed veggies, a bag of stir veggies or whatever you have on hand for a QUICK, healthy, wonderfully versatile stir fry that will shoot to the top of your family’s “favorite" list!
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

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Ingredients

STIR FRY SAUCE

STIR FRY (May sub veggies with 5-6 cups stir-fry veggies)

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil of choice (light olive oil, peanut, grapeseed, canola, sunflower)
  • 1 pound ground turkey or turkey sausage
  • 1/2 large yellow onion cut into 1/2” pieces (may sub 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets (bite size)
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves minced (may sub 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger (may sub ½ tsp ground ginger powder)
  • 1 cup UNSALTED peanuts or cashews

Instructions

  • Make Sauce: Whisk Stir Fry Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. If skipping the fresh aromatics, add powders to the sauce (ginger, garlic and/or onion).
  • Toast Nuts: Toast the peanuts or cashews in a large skillet or wok over medium heat until toasted golden in spots, stirring a few times; remove from the skillet.
  • Brown Turkey: Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook while crumbling until browned. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon. Wipe out skillet.
  • Stir Fry Vegetables: To the now empty pan, heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and onions. Stir fry until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3 minutes. (Don’t over-cook because they will continue to cook in sauce). Add garlic and ginger to the veggies and stir fry 30 seconds.
  • Add Sauce: Whisk Stir Fry Sauce (to recombine) and add to pan along with turkey. Bring the sauce to a simmer until sauce has thickened; 1-2 minutes. Stir in cashews or peanuts.
  • Garnish: Garnish with additional chili sauce, green onions, salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Video

Notes

leftovers

  • How to store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating in microwave:  Microwave for one minute then at 15 second intervals until warmed through.
  • How to reheat on the stove:  Reheat over medium just until warmed through.

Vairations

  • Use ground chicken: Ground chicken, beef or pork all work in this recipe.
  • Customize the stir fry sauce: The sauce is perfect for us, but you may find you like it sweeter, tangier, or spicier. Sweeten it up with honey or sugar, make it tangier with rice vinegar or spicier with chili sauce.
  • Mix up vegetables: Mix and match the veggies based on what’s in your fridge, your favorites, what’s in season or what’s on sale, to create a different stir fry every time.  Some options include mushrooms, snow peas, snap peas, zucchini, celery, baby corn, bean sprouts, cabbage, spinach and bok choy.
  • SHORTCUT store-bought vegetables: Pick up a large bag or a few smaller bags of stir-fry vegetables for minimal chopping – you’ll need about 5-6 cups. Often the cauliflower and/or broccoli is extra large, so you may need to chop those in half as well as the baby carrots.
  • Add water chestnuts: They would also be tasty!
  • Gluten Free Stir Fry: Use gluten free soy sauce or tamari, and gluten free oyster sauce.
  • Vegan Stir Fry: Use your favorite vegan meat substitute such as extra vegetables, mushrooms, Morning Star Crumbles, crumbled tofu or tempeh. Place firm tofu in a pie plate, top with a heavy plate and weigh down with 2 heavy cans (to release water). Set aside for 10 minutes before crumbling and stir frying. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and the oyster sauce for Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.
  • Ground Turkey Egg Roll Bowl: Decrease the vegetables or swap them for matchstick carrots, mushrooms and julienned snow peas (see my Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe for measurements). Stir fry the vegetables with 5 cups thinly sliced cabbage or coleslaw mix, and cook just until cabbage is wilted to desired crisp-tenderness. Top with optional chow mien noodles.

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2 Comments

  1. Jennifer Fulk says

    Hi Jen! Ground Turkey! What a great idea! I can’t wait to try! I always tend to add more veggies to a stir fry than called for so I can stretch the recipe with leftovers for lunch. If I add more veggies do you think I could/ should double the stir fry sauce without a problem? Would it be too strong or are there some ingredients I shouldn’t double? I just don’t want it to come out less saucy than it should do to me adding more veggies. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      I’m glad you love the idea! I think that the sauce should stretch enough for a couple extra cups of veggies! If you love it to be extra saucy then the sauce recipe can easily be doubled! Hope you enjoy!