How to Cook Frozen Ground Turkey? All You Need to Know

Do you often find yourself asking, “How do I cook frozen, ground turkey?” If so, you are not alone. Ground turkey is a good source of protein and other nutrients, but it can be difficult to know how to prepare it. In this article, we will show you the best way to cook frozen ground turkey, as well as answer some common questions about cooking with this product.

When you’ve got a craving for some turkey, but don’t want to go through the hassle of thawing out a whole turkey or cooking an entire bird, ground turkey is your best bet. There are so many questions about how to cook a frozen, ground turkey? We’ll answer all of these questions in this article on how to prepare frozen, ground turkey.

What is Ground Turkey?

Ground turkey is made from a mixture of dark and light turkey meat with remaining skin and visible fat processed together that is then cooked and mechanically pressed until it becomes a “ground” form.

This process makes it ground up and minced which is perfect for casseroles, pot pies, pasta dishes, and more!

Does Ground Turkey Only Come Frozen?

Ground turkey doesn’t always come frozen. It can be purchased fresh, but it’s more often found frozen in the meat section of the grocery store.

Do I Have to Defrost Ground Turkey Before you Cook it?

Cooking frozen meat is not terribly difficult and is much the same concept as cooking fresh meat.

Frozen ground turkey can be cooked safely without thawing and will take about 50 percent longer than fully defrosted or fresh turkey.

So now you don’t have to kick yourself too hard if you forgot to take your ground turkey out of the freezer the night before.

Can I Put Frozen Ground Turkey in the Stove?

You can indeed. It will take a little longer to cook, so add at least 5-10 minutes to your cooking time, however, it is perfectly safe and has no impact on nutrition, health benefits, or flavor.

How Do I Defrost Ground Turkey Quickly?

If you’re cooking ground turkey, and want to form it into meatballs or burger patties, it’s important that you have enough time to thaw it if it’s frozen. This is not difficult and can be done in a number of ways.

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1. In the microwave: The quickest way to defrost a ground turkey is with a microwave. Use the defrost setting on your microwave-safe dish, and be sure to rotate the meat halfway through the process, so it cooks evenly. It should take about 2 minutes per pound for medium-sized pieces, longer for smaller pieces such as ground meat.

2. On top of a pan of simmering water: Place the ground turkey in a heatproof container or sealed plastic bag over boiling water on the stovetop and prop the lid open with a wooden spoon.

How Long Can Frozen Ground Turkey Sit Out?

Frozen ground turkey can only sit out at room temperature for a maximum of two hours.

If you happen to have cooked ground turkey, then put it in the fridge in an airtight container and eat it within five days.

How Do You Defrost Ground Turkey Without a Microwave?

There are a few different ways to defrost the ground turkey.

You can place it in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw there, on the counter and then return to the fridge if you don’t want to cook it, or use one of the following techniques:

In a big bowl of cold water: place the ground turkey in its container in a big bowl with cold tap water and change the water every 30 minutes until they are completely thawed. This is an effective method for large amounts of frozen turkey.

How do you Cook Frozen Ground Turkey?

It’s not too hard to cook the frozen, ground turkey. You first need to decide if you want to place it in a pot of water (like pasta) or on a prepared baking sheet to bake in the oven.

When cooking in the oven, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 – 25 minutes is recommended, and then err on the longer side when gauging the cooking time. (25 – 30 minutes). You can even cover the meat in marinara sauce about halfway through with some garlic, so it comes out as a delicious roasted sauce to top your pasta.

When cooking frozen ground turkey in a covered pot of boiling water over low heat on the stovetop, make sure to keep an eye on it and break it up with a wooden spoon. To help the turkey to cook all the way through evenly.

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If frying the frozen ground turkey in oil, medium-high heat is recommended, and be sure to use enough oil. Again, use a wooden spoon to break up the meat for even heat distribution.

What Do You Use Ground Turkey In?

Frozen ground turkey is a great convenience to have in the freezer for those times when you don’t want to run out and get fresh meat. It’s also a healthy, inexpensive way to add more protein to your diet.

Ground turkey can be used for many dishes, from burgers, meatloaf, or spaghetti! It’s a versatile ingredient that can make anything from hearty classics like tacos or chili, and combined with plenty of different ingredients for variety!

Some quick and easy recipes to use ground turkey in are:

Peppers stuffed with turkey mince and b├ęchamel sauce, sprinkled with pepper jack cheese, and baked in the oven. This makes a quick and easy, protein-laden meal that will delight guests and families of all ages.

How about a high-protein twist on a home favorite? A turkey mince lasagna is a healthier choice over the traditional beef, while still packing a flavorful punch everyone can enjoy!

For those cold, winter nights, how about spicing things up with a turkey pumpkin chili. It’s a dish with all the autumnal flavors and just enough heat to chase the chills away.

Another staple that can use a healthy turkey twist is the humble taco. A switch of turkey meat inside will take these dinner-time favorites to a lean, delicious, health-packed punch that won’t have any member of the family complaining.

The classic burger can get a nutritious update by switching to a ground turkey burger with Mediterranean trimmings. Tzatziki, halloumi, onions, and delicious herbs will have the whole family clamoring to grab seconds of this healthy, yet hearty, burger.

Think ground turkey is only for lunch and dinner? Think again! Turkey breakfast patties are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast. Low-carb, low-effort, and endlessly delicious, this recipe proves that any meal, at any time of day, can be both tasty and healthy.

Now we all know turkey meatballs, but what about using turkey meatballs with a curry sauce? Served on top of fluffy white rice, I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised at the combination of flavors in this healthy twist on a winter staple.

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Are There Alternatives to Ground Turkey?

Yes, ground beef can be used as a substitute in much the same manner ground turkey can be used. Ground beef is great in hamburgers, pasta, tacos, and much more.

However, ground turkey is much healthier than ground beef.

Ground beef has more saturated fat than ground turkey. Ground beef contains about 2 grams of fat per ounce, while ground turkey contains just .5 grams.

But it’s not the only factor to consider when comparing the two types of meat. Ground beef also has significantly more cholesterol and calories than ground turkey.

Ground beef has roughly 100-150 calories for every 4 ounces, but a mere 80 calories in every 4 ounces for frozen Turkey. And there are 10 milligrams of cholesterol in every 4 ounces for ground beef, and just 7 milligrams in the same amount of frozen Turkey–less than half!

So, it just goes to show that cooking with frozen, ground turkey is not only quick, easy, and convenient, it is also healthier than using regular ground beef too!


The versatility of the frozen, ground turkey allows you to use it in a variety of dishes for any meal at any time or day. It also provides more protein per ounce than other meats such as ground beef while being lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat content.

As you can cook it from frozen, it adds value in the fact that it is very difficult to let spoil. Sitting happily in the freezer for up to a year, or 5 days in the fridge, when it is cooked. It is a brilliant addition to any health-conscious family’s meal regime!

With all these benefits cooked into one handy package that slips so easily into a wide and tasty, variety of meals, there’s no excuse not to try cooking with frozen, ground turkey!

Let us know how this article has helped you make better decisions about what type of cooking adventure this article has inspired you to try next!