Which is better, ground turkey or ground chicken? All breast meat or a mix?

From   |  February 16, 2010
In Healthy Living, Kitchen Basics
Featured Recipe: Mediterranean Turkey Stew with Artichokes

Mediterranean Turkey Stew with Artichokes

Do you ever substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for ground beef in your recipes? I used to experiment with ground turkey years ago, and somehow I sort of forgot about it. Now, since I’m looking to shed a few inches of “heart-attack fat,” I’ve started cooking with these low-fat turkey and chicken ingredients again in recipes like this one for Mediterranean Turkey Stew with Artichokes. (Click here for full recipe.)

My biggest question is which type to use in what types of dishes. Should I use all breast meat, which is lower in fat and dryer, or will the taste be better if I use the ground turkey with more fat? (And I am assuming that higher fat content probably means dark meat as well as some skin is added?)

In a quick survey of the supermarket meat case yesterday, it seems that ground chicken breast, (Perdue is the brand at my store), weighs in as the lowest in fat with only half a gram per 4-ounce serving. But I noticed on various Internet chats that this type of ground chicken can be difficult to cook without adding in some additional oil (such as olive oil). Veggie oil is better than chicken fat, but it’s still fat!

Hmm, to me this seems like a big dilemma still, and I’m hoping that our readers can shed some light on this topic. Please share you comments of whether you use ground turkey or ground chicken, what type and when! (You can place comments in the discussion section following this post. Thanks in advance for your help!)


From Kandice - February 15, 2010

You don't have to use oil to brown your ground chicken/turkey. You can add a little stock or even water. A friend of mine basically boils her ground poultry. While I don't care for the texture of this, it works well. If I'm browning just poultry, I prefer to add a little canola oil or stock. Most of the time I use half poultry/half beef. I get the flavor of beef, but a little more healthy.

From Melinda Neely - February 15, 2010

Our family has made the complete switch from ground beef to ground turkey. We eat the ground turkey by itself in turkey burgers and also in a a variety of dishes - spaghetti sauce, Shepherd's Pie, turkey tacos, turkey goulash. I always buy the lowest fat content available, even though it's more expensive than the higher fat version. I think it tastes better than ground chicken, but I don't base my preference on fat content. I don't use oil to brown the meat, either.

From Alicia Ross - February 15, 2010

Hi ladies, two questions: Do you mostly use a nonstick skillet? Do you find you have to "pump up" the spices when using ground poultry? Thanks, Alicia

From Melinda Neely - February 16, 2010

Yes, non-stick pans work better if you are using turkey that is low in fat. (If that fat content is higher, there's enough oil regardless of pan used). I bump up the spices only when I'm making turkey burgers.

From Kandice - February 16, 2010

I find that the ground poultries are a bit more bland, or at least not as strong tasting as beef, so I do tend to season more. We usually raise our own beef, so likely won't be switching to solely ground poultry.

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Mediterranean Turkey Stew with Artichokes

Mediterranean Turkey Stew with Artichokes

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