Covered in a sweet and salty teriyaki-inspired sauce, and served over rice with veggies, these ground turkey meal prep bowls are a flavor-packed recipe that is easy to make. Whip them up on a Sunday and you’ll have healthy meals ready to go for the week.
If you’ve never made ground turkey, you should definitely give it a try. When paired with the right ingredients and flavors, this lean meat delivers big-time satisfaction any way that you cook it. So, if you’re looking to mix up your meal prep plan for weekday meals, give these Asian-inspired ground turkey meal prep bowls a go.
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these ground turkey meal prep bowls.
- Ground Turkey: Ground turkey is the star of the show in these bowls, however, you can use ground chicken, ground beef, or ground tofu if you prefer.
- Carrots: To add some veggies and color. You can shred your own carrots or buy matchstick carrots, like I did, to cut down on prep time.
- Cabbage: You can shred a head of green cabbage or grab a bag of shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix in the salad section of your grocery store to save some prep work.
- Onion, Garlic, and Ginger: To add some fragrance and flavor. I used powdered garlic and ground ginger to save time, but you could use fresh ginger and garlic if you prefer, just be sure to grate it finely before adding it to the sauce.
- Sesame Oil: To add some nutty flavor to the ground turkey. You can use regular or toasted sesame oil in this recipe, or just use olive oil if you don’t have sesame oil.
- Soy Sauce: To season the dish with some salty flavor.
- Brown Sugar and Honey: To balance out the salt with some sweetness and add a sticky texture to the ground turkey.
- Rice: I used jasmine rice in my recipe; however, any medium-grain or long-grain white rice will work well. Alternatively, you can use brown rice if you prefer.
In addition to the primary ingredients above, you’ll also need some pantry essentials including cornstarch (to thicken the sauce) and some crushed red pepper flakes to add a bit of heat, although they are optional. I also recommend serving the bowls with chopped fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime, but this is completely optional. A sprinkle of sesame seeds and bit of sriracha would pair nicely too.
To Make it Gluten-Free: Swap the soy sauce for gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos if you’d like to make the bowls paleo-friendly.
To Make it Dairy-Free: No adaptations are needed, the bowls are dairy-free.
Make it Higher in Protein: While the bowls already contain 28 grams of protein, you can cook additional ground turkey and make some extra sauce, either 1.5 or 2 times the recipe, to increase the protein content per bowl.
Make it Low-Carb: To make it a low-carb meal, swap the rice for cauliflower rice or serve the ground turkey with stir-fried vegetables instead; zucchini, bell peppers, and green beans would all work well.
Increase the Fiber Content: Add more carrots and cabbage to the bowls or serve them with additional high-fiber vegetables such as broccoli or green peas. You can also swap the white rice for brown rice for an extra boost of fiber.
How to Meal Prep Ground Turkey
Meal prepping ground turkey is easy as it’s quick to cook and its neutral taste makes it a great vehicle for flavor. Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll realize that the seasoning and flavor options are endless.
- Cook the rice. Begin by cooking the rice in a pot or in a rice cooker.
- Brown the turkey. Add the ground turkey to a hot pan with oil and cook until its browned and broken up into small pieces.
- Make the sauce. While the ground turkey is cooking, prepare the sauce.
- Add the veggies. Once the turkey is cooked, add the veggies, and continue to cook until softened.
- Add the sauce. Cover the cooked ground turkey and veggies with the sauce and stir until everything is well combined and the turkey and veggies are well coated in the sauce.
- Portion into meal prep containers. Once the rice is cooked and the ground turkey mixture is ready, portion everything into meal prep containers and allow them to cool completely before storing them in the fridge.
Although I opted to go the Asian flavor route and use a teriyaki-style sauce for the ground turkey meal prep bowls, once you get the concept down you can flavor the turkey any way that you like. For example, a simple taco seasoning on the ground turkey, like these fiesta chicken rice bowls, would be equally tasty and quick to cook.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
Using lean protein sources, such as ground turkey, helps to create a high-protein meal without overly increasing the calories. While higher-fat styles of meat, such as ground beef or ground pork, are not inherently unhealthy, fat is an essential macronutrient after all, sources of lean ground meat like ground turkey and ground chicken are particularly helpful for individuals monitoring calorie intake and/or dietary fat intake.
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Allow the bowls to cool completely, then cover them with a lid in airtight meal prep containers and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Once the bowls have cooled completely, cover them with a lid in an airtight container, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: You can reheat thawed turkey meal prep bowls in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm. If using frozen bowls, remove them from the freezer and allow them to that overnight in the fridge before reheating.
I’ve done my best to keep these bowls budget-friendly by using common pantry ingredients and hearty vegetables that go a long way. Both carrots and cabbage are relatively inexpensive vegetables that are not only very versatile but last for several weeks in the fridge so you can make these ground turkey meal prep bowls over and over again.
And although I designed these ground turkey bowls as a meal prep idea for healthy, ready-to-go lunches, this recipe works very well as an easy dinner idea too.
More Healthy Ground Turkey Recipes:Print
Ground Turkey Meal Prep Bowls
Filled with veggies, rice and covered in a teriyaki-style sauce, these ground turkey meal prep bowls are high in protein, full of fiber, and full of flavor.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 bowls 1x
- Category: Meal Prep
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup white rice, dry
- ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- In a pot, combine the rice with 2 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook covered for 15 minutes, or as per package directions, until it can be fluffed with a fork.
- In a large skillet or cast-iron pan on medium-high heat, warm the sesame oil, then add ground turkey, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, breaking it apart with a spatula or wooden spoon into small pieces, for 4-5 minutes until mostly cooked.
- While the turkey is cooking, in a small bowl, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, cornstarch, ground ginger, and powdered garlic, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Once the turkey has mostly cooked, add the crushed red pepper flakes (optional) and sliced green onions (white parts only) and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Once the turkey is cooked, reduce the temperature to medium heat, add the carrots and cabbage to the pan, along with one tablespoon of water, stir to combine with the turkey, cover, and allow to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until vegetables are tender. (The water helps the veggies steam and cook when covered.)
- Once the vegetables are tender, add most of the remaining green onion (green parts) and sauce to the turkey mixture, stirring to ensure everything is well coated in the sauce, and cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken.
- Once the turkey is cooked, assemble the bowls. Divide the rice evenly across 4 meal prep containers or bowls, layer with ¼ of the turkey mixture, and top with extra green onion, cilantro, and a wedge of lime.
- The bowls can be served immediately, stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 465 calories
- Sugar: 16 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 61 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 28 grams
Keywords: meal prep ground turkey, ground turkey and rice meal prep
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