These 15-minute Asian Ground Turkey Bowls are inspired by the flavors of lettuce wraps! Made with ground turkey, mushrooms, bell peppers, and water chestnuts tossed in a delicious Asian sauce with rice and tons of crunchy veggies.
If want a healthy, easy, and versatile dinner that can be made in just 15 minutes, these Asian Ground Turkey Rice Bowls are it! They take the classic flavors or chicken lettuce wraps and turn them into a delicious rice bowl that works for lunch, dinner, and meal prep.
When it comes to quick and easy dinners, bowls are always at the top of my list. They are healthy, easy to customize with whatever protein and veggies you have on hand, and double for meal prep.
While I love making Asian-style rice bowls with chicken and salmon, like these Chicken Teriyaki Bowls and Crispy Salmon Bowls, lately I have been working on making really affordable meal prep recipes.
These turkey rice bowls are just that. Made with affordable ingredients, this is a great way to make a healthy and hearty meal on a budget.
Why You'll Love These Asian Ground Turkey Bowls
- 15-Minute Meal: If you use precooked rice or grains, this is truly a quick and easy meal. Grab presliced veggies for even faster prep if you need and don't forget to double the recipe and save extras for lunches.
- Healthy and Nutritious: Packed with lean protein, whole grains, and tons of veggies, this is a meal you can feel good about eating.
- Versatile: This meal is easy to customize! Use ground chicken or beef instead of turkey. Change out the veggies. Swap in store-bought sauce. Try it with cauliflower or greens for something low-carb. Make it spicy with chili crunch or Sriracha. The options are endless.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make these filling and healthy bowls.
- Ground turkey: Normally I use 93% lean ground turkey since it is lean but still has some fat and moisture. Feel free to use 99% lean ground turkey breast for something lighter or ground turkey thighs for more flavor and fat. Or swap in ground chicken, beef, pork, or veggie crumbles. This recipe is also great with diced chicken breasts, shrimp, and tofu.
- Veggies: Since these bowls are inspired by lettuce wraps, I added diced red bell peppers, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Feel free to use any veggies you like including diced cauliflower, green beans, sugar snap peas, cabbage, carrots, edamame, zucchini, or broccoli.
- Asian sauce: This sauce is sweet and savory from a combination of hoisin sauce, soy sauce (or tamari/coconut aminos), rice vinegar, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and garlic. If you want to save time, swap in teriyaki sauce or Asian stir fry sauce.
- Rice or grains: For the base of this bowl you can use white rice, brown rice, quinoa, soba noodles, cauliflower rice, or greens.
- Toppings: To create that classic lettuce wrap flavor, I like to top these ground turkey bowls with butter or Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and green onions. From there you can add peanuts, cashews, sprouts, crunchy noodles, extra sauce, Sriracha, or any other toppings you like.
How to Make Ground Turkey Bowls
These bowls come together in just a few simple steps.
1. Make the Asian Sauce
To make a sweet and savory sauce for the turkey, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. If you want to make things spicy, consider adding some Sriracha or sambal olek.
Make sure to taste the sauce and adjust it to your taste. If you like things sweet, you may want to add some honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. If you want a nutty flavor, you may add some sesame seeds or even almond butter. Or consider adding spices like garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, or ground ginger.
One more tip! If you like lots of sauce, double the sauce ingredients so that you can drizzle some on top of your bowls before serving.
2. Brown the Turkey and Saute the Veggies
Grab a large skillet and heat it over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and once hot, add the ground turkey. Break the turkey up as it cooks, letting it brown and cook through. Once it is all cooked through, push the turkey to one side of the pan.
Then add the bell peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 4-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
Please note, that the veggies in this recipe maintain some crunch and texture. If you prefer a softer vegetable, saute the vegetables before browning the turkey so you can cook them until they are softer.
Add the sauce to the pan and stir to coat the turkey and veggies. Simmer everything for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed.
3. Assemble the Bowls
Now it's time to build the bowls. Start by layering in your rice, quinoa, greens, or noodles. Then add the ground turkey and vegetable mixture. Finish the bowl with lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers. Add any additional toppings and drizzle with extra sauce if using.
Best Turkey Rice Bowl Toppings
There are so many different ways to change up the flavor of these bowls with different toppings and sauces. Here are some favorites:
- Peanut sauce
- Spicy mayo
- Cilantro lime sauce
- Shredded cabbage
- Bean sprouts
- Pickled onions
- Fresh cilantro or basil
- Fresh lime juice
- Sesame seeds
Storage, Leftovers, and Meal Prep
These bowls are great for meal prep since they keep well in the fridge and the turkey mixture also freezes well.
- Fridge: Once the turkey mixture and rice have cooled, store everything in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
- Freezer: The rice and turkey mixture can both be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to let it cool before freezing.
- Meal Prep: These turkey bowls can be eaten warmed up, cold, or at room temperature. If you plan on warming them up, pack the raw vegetables separately.
- Reheating: Reheat these bowls in the microwave or in a hot skillet.
Can these bowls be made with a different protein?
These ground turkey bowls can be made with all types of proteins including:
- Ground pork
- Ground chicken
- Ground beef
- Vegetarian crumbles
- Diced chicken
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these bowls.
For a gluten-free option, you will need to swap out the hoisin sauce and the soy sauce. Since it can be hard to find gluten-free hoisin sauce, look for a gluten-free teriyaki sauce or stir-fry sauce. Then simply use that sauce or enhance it with extra flavor from chili paste, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, or herbs.
Ground turkey needs to be fully cooked to be safe to consume. Do not leave any pink. This normally takes between 5-7 minutes when cooked over medium-high heat.
Asian Ground Turkey Bowls
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz 93% lean ground turkey (or chicken, beef)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup water chestnuts, diced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (white rice, quinoa, cauli rice)
- 1 cup cucumbers, sliced
- 1 cup butter lettuce
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Customize it: This recipe can be made with ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork. Use rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or noodles as the base. Make the sauce spicy with Sriracha or red pepper flakes. Change out the toppings.
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