Ready in 20 minutes, full of color and flavor, these Korean-inspired ground turkey and rice bowls are perfect for a healthy, quick, and easy weeknight dinner.
These ground turkey rice bowls are perfect for a night you want a tasty meal but you’re short on time. Whether it’s been a long day at the office or you’re in a rush to get the kids to practice, these bowls go from fridge to table in minutes without forgoing nutrition or flavor.
Not to mention, they keep well in the fridge and freezer, which makes them a wonderful make-ahead meal that you can prep and enjoy for healthy lunches or dinners for days or weeks to come.
Why You’ll Love This Ground Turkey Rice Bowl Recipe
- Quick and Easy – This recipe can be made in less than 20 minutes and is super simple to prepare.
- High in Protein – With almost 30 grams of protein per serving, these ground turkey and rice bowls are protein-packed.
- Full of Flavor – Covered in a sweet, salty, and spicy Korean-inspired sauce, these bowls are full of flavor and you can make them as spicy as you like.
- Great for Meal Prep – These turkey and rice bowls are a great meal prep recipe for lunches.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Turkey – You can use white or dark, 99% or 94% lean ground turkey. You could also use ground chicken or ground beef.
- Rice – You can use jasmine rice, basmati rice, long-grain rice, or brown rice.
- Sesame Oil – To cook the ground turkey and add some flavor. You can also use olive oil or avocado oil.
- Soy Sauce – To season the turkey and make the sauce.
- Brown Sugar – To balance the saltiness. You can use honey or maple syrup if you prefer.
- Rice Vinegar – To balance the saltiness and sweetness. If you don’t have rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar will also work.
- Gochujang – This fermented Korean chili paste adds heat and flavor. If you can’t find gochujang, you can use sambal oelek, sriracha, or another red chili paste.
- Green Onion – To flavor and season the ground turkey.
- Garlic – To flavor the turkey.
- Carrots – To add some color and fiber. You can add the carrots cooked or raw.
- Cucumber – To add some crunch and balance the spice.
- Sesame Seeds – A sprinkle to serve.
If you want to make these bowls extra spicy, you can add additional red chili paste, hot sauce, or serve them with red pepper flakes on top.
To Make it Dairy-Free: No adaptations are needed, this recipe is dairy-free.
To Make it Gluten-Free: Swap the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
To Make it Low-Carb: Serve the bowls with cauliflower rice instead of white rice.
To Make it Low-Sodium: Use low-sodium soy sauce.
How to Make Ground Turkey Rice Bowls
- Cook the rice. Add rice and water to a pot, bring to a boil, and cook until rice is tender and fluffy.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar and whisk to combine.
- Cook the turkey. Warm the sesame oil in a pan on medium-high heat, add ground turkey and green onions, and cook, breaking up the turkey with a spatula.
- Add the sauce. Add the soy sauce mixture, garlic, and gochujang, mixing until the sauce has thickened and is well incorporated with the ground turkey.
- Make the bowls. Once the rice and turkey are fully cooked, assemble the bowls with rice, turkey, carrots, cucumber, and sesame seeds on top. You can also add some red pepper flakes for extra heat, as desired.
- Serve and enjoy!
You can find the detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
These ground turkey rice bowls are high in protein and full of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. If you wanted to add more fiber, I would recommend adding more carrots, or some cabbage, broccoli, or green beans.
Make Ahead Tips
To make these ground turkey rice bowls ahead of time, I recommend cooking all the ingredients and assembling the bowls with the rice, ground turkey, and carrots in separate storage containers, and only adding the cucumber, green onion, and sesame seeds when you are ready to serve.
Best Type of Rice to Use
I used jasmine rice in my recipe; however, basmati or long-grain white rice will also work. You could also use brown rice if you prefer. Moreover, you can use parboiled rice if you want to reduce the cooking time.
Other Ways to Serve this Korean Ground Turkey
In addition to working well in rice bowls, this Korean-style ground turkey works well with noodles, in lettuce cups or lettuce wraps, in instant noodle cups, or on top of an Asian-inspired salad.
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.
More Easy Ground Turkey Recipes:
- Teriyaki Ground Turkey Meal Prep Bowls
- Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers
- Turkey Taco Skillet
Korean Ground Turkey Rice Bowls
These ground turkey and rice bowls are perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or meal prep idea.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 bowls 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian
- 1 1/2 cups white rice, dry
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons gochujang, or other red chili paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds, to serve
- In a pot, combine the rice with 3 cups of water and a pinch of 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 small bowl, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or cast-iron pan on medium-high heat, warm the sesame oil, then add ground turkey and cook, breaking it apart with a spatula or wooden spoon into small pieces, for 2-3 minutes until partly cooked. Add sliced green onions (white parts only) and cook for an additional minute until the turkey is mostly cooked.
- Pour the soy sauce mixture over the turkey and add minced garlic and gochujang on top. Mix until well incorporated in the turkey, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened and coated the turkey.
- Optional: While the turkey is finishing cooking, add the shredded carrots to a separate small pan with a small drizzle of sesame oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. If you prefer to add the shredded carrots raw, you can skip this step.
- Once the ground turkey and rice are cooked, assemble the bowls by layering the bottom of the bowl with some fluffy rice, topping it with some cooked ground turkey, a bit of shredded carrot and sliced cucumber, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced green onions (green parts only).
- Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 520 calories
- Sugar: 9 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 71 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 29 grams