Skip to Content

Ground Turkey Skillet with Veggies

This ground turkey skillet with veggies gives you a whole meal—actually, multiple meals—in a single dish!

Ground turkey skillet with veggies

I don't think every single meal needs to be a one-pot wonder. Sometimes it's great to cobble together a dining experience from multiple sources, and to enjoy some totally separate small plates that complement each other. Some of the best food comes like this!

That said, for those times when you want to remove the complexity from the equation, it's nice to have a dish where everything stays in one place.

This ground turkey skillet with veggies is here for those days, or any day that you want something easy, flavorful, and filling.

Recipe ingredients

You can go a long way combining a favorite protein source with some fresh veggies. In this case, I pick lean ground turkey and chose some zucchini, tomatoes, and spinach for a vegetable medley. Finally, I round it out with some riced cauliflower to make a complete meal in every serving!

Here's the full breakdown of ingredients for this ground turkey skillet:

  • Lean ground turkey
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • zucchini
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Frozen riced cauliflower

Seasonings:

  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: red pepper flakes

Substitution ideas

If something in here doesn't float your boat (or you just want to take things in a different direction), here are a few substitution ideas off the top of my head:

  • Use other ground meat (beef, chicken, plant-based crumbles, etc)
  • Add any seasonal veggies (use this guide from USDA to find out what's in season near you!)
  • Add black beans (or another kind of bean, or add whatever else you're feeling)
  • Use white or brown rice instead of cauliflower rice (you'll want to cook it before adding it to the skillet)

How to make a ground turkey skillet

You can probably predict that this recipe will follow a basic outline: prep ingredients --> cook meat --> set meat aside --> cook everything else --> add meat back in -->enjoy.

If you predicted that, you're pretty much right, and you have the foundation you need to make basically any form of this dish.

That said, I've provided some specifics about how I made this in case you feel like copying!

  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Slice zucchini & garlic. Set aside.
  • Add seasonings to a small bowl. Mix and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add turkey to a large skillet. Brown. When finished browning, drain. Add ½ of the seasoning mixture to the turkey. Stir to coat. Add the cooked meat to a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Place the skillet back on the heat. Add olive oil.
  • Add garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the bag of frozen riced cauliflower to the skillet. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked.
  • Add zucchini. Cook for 10 minutes. Add remaining seasoning and mix.
  • Cut the heat to low.
  • Add spinach to the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, until leaves are wilted.
  • Add meat and tomatoes. Stir well.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  • Enjoy!

How long do you cook ground turkey in a skillet?

If you like to follow food safety best practices, you'll want to bring the meat up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, it's ground turkey, which you might find harder to temp than a cut of meat.

Even though ground meat seems a little finicky, you can definitely still use a food thermometer. I recommend taking the temperature in a few different places to ensure it's cooked uniformly. Judging doneness by color is not particularly reliable!

All of that and I still didn't give you a time... because it depends! Set a timer, cook to the safe temperature, and see how long it takes you.

How do I cook ground turkey without drying it out?

Directly related to the food-safety comments above, you want to cook the turkey long enough that it's able to reach a safe temperature for consumption but not too long to the point where it dries out. Staying reasonably vigilant near the cooktop can ensure you finish cooking the meat but don't turn it into turkey jerky in the process.

What to add to ground turkey to give it flavor?

While you can get some great flavor naturally out of ground meat, particularly if it's fresh, I don't rely on the flavor of turkey alone to carry a dish.

As you can see in the recipe above, I use a simple mix of ground spices in this dish along with some garlic. The world's your oyster in terms of combining different flavors here–the mix I included tends to work well for me. And I don't skip the red pepper flakes!

Is ground turkey healthy?

There are different schools of thought about what makes a particular meat healthy or healthier than an alternative. Like other ground meats, turkey can provide a good source of lean protein when eaten as part of a balanced nutrition plan.

You'll notice, however, that I don't just recommend making a big bowl of ground turkey and calling it a day. The veggies are important here, not just to add new dimensions of flavor but for providing some critical nutrients.

What veggies go well with turkey?

I think turkey plays nicely with the zucchini/tomato/spinach combo I picked out, but I honestly think it's hard to go in the wrong direction with some fresh veggies and ground turkey. I can imagine a lot of combinations that would work well!

Sweet potatoes? Asparagus? Broccoli? Snap peas? It's all possible. It's all yummy.

Are you supposed to drain ground turkey?

However, since you're taking the meat out anyway in this recipe, it makes sense to drain the liquid and start from scratch.

Whether to drain the pan after cooking a ground meat has more to do with 1) how fatty it is and 2) what you need to do next in the recipe. It's possible, for example, not to drain things and begin throwing more and more ingredients in with the meat once it's done cooking.

How to store this recipe

You can store this ground turkey skillet for up to 5 days in the fridge if you use a sealed, airtight container. I think this is a great one for meal prep!

More skillet recipes

Why not try one of these Jordo's World staples:

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Ground Turkey Skillet with Veggies

This ground turkey skillet with veggies gives you a whole meal—actually, multiple meals—in a single dish!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: skillet recipe, veggie skillet
Servings: 4
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • Large Skillet

Ingredients

Skillet Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Lean ground turkey
  • Garlic 5 cloves, minced
  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • 580 g zucchini we used 3 squashes
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
  • 2 cups Spinach 85 g
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese 15g
  • Frozen riced cauliflower 10 oz bag

Seasonings:

  • Paprika 1 tsp
  • Cumin 1 tsp
  • Cayenne ¼ tsp
  • Salt & pepper ½ tsp
  • Optional: red pepper flakes sprinkle

Instructions

  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Slice zucchini & garlic. Set aside.
  • Add seasonings to a small bowl. Mix and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add turkey to a large skillet. Brown. When finished browning, drain. Add ½ of the seasoning mixture to the turkey. Stir to coat. Add the cooked meat to a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Place the skillet back on the heat. Add olive oil.
  • Add garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the bag of frozen riced cauliflower to the skillet. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked.
  • Add zucchini. Cook for 10 minutes. Add remaining seasoning and mix.
  • Cut the heat to low.
  • Add spinach to the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, until leaves are wilted.
  • Add meat and tomatoes. Stir well.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 572mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 11mg

Recipe Rating




Kate Clinton

Thursday 4th of August 2022

Super easy, super yummy! The sweet chili Turkey meatballs were the bomb too! New favorite site!

Allie

Sunday 31st of July 2022

Made this for dinner last night and leftovers tonight. So good, quick, easy! Tastes amazing and very fresh! 10/10

Julie

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Delicious!! The flavor is amazing!!!

Anita

Monday 25th of July 2022

Tried this tonight for the first time and we loved it! I subbed rice for the orzo and added corn (to use up some leftovers) but everything else according to the recipe! Delicious and flavorful! We will enjoy the leftovers but will definitely try it again.

Cori

Monday 25th of July 2022

Easy weeknight meal. Super delicious! Will make again!