Turkey gets a bad rap. Yes, it’s the center to a certain fall holiday, but it still gets dragged for being dry and bland. Ground turkey, often touted as a source of lean protein, gets the brunt of the ire because of its low fat content, which some say results in less flavor.

It helps to think of ground turkey as a blank slate for flavor. That low fat content means you get to add a fat of your choice to impart taste and moisture. Whether that means olive oil, a little bacon fat (as per Washington Post Recipes Editor Ann Maloney’s suggestion) or even cheese, ground turkey will synthesize with other flavors. You also can opt for ground turkey made from the slightly fattier dark meat.

Remember to add fresh or dried herbs to your heart’s content to punch up the taste. Here are some of our most delicious ground turkey superstars from our archive.

Turkey, Feta and Herb Burger, above. Your fat here: feta. This juicy and softly spiced herby burger might not be the fabled Chris Traeger burger of “Parks and Recreation,” but we have a feeling he’d absolutely love it. We borrowed a little mango chutney from him to spread on top.


(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post)

Turkey Breakfast Sausage. Channel that burger energy into a miniature treat with these sausage patties from Cathy Barrow. Creme fraiche gives you lightness, moisture and flavor. A little bit of gochujang and fresh herbs elevate the flavor.


(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Ground Turkey, Asparagus and Basil Stir-Fry. Turkey’s gamy qualities work well with fruit — that’s why cranberry sauce is so crucial to a Thanksgiving spread. That principle applies here in this stir-fry, where apricot jam flavors a light sauce.


(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Turkey Tortilla Skillet. This one’s for a breezy weekend morning: Crisp up tortilla strips in the oven (or use chips, we won’t judge), then saute a breakfast skillet of ground turkey, aromatics and beans.


(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

Ground Turkey and White Bean Stew. If you think your chili could use an extra kick of protein, this is the stew for you. Ground turkey, beans, quinoa and spinach combine to make this satisfying and cozy meal that will freeze wonderfully.


(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Turkey-and-Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers. Stuffed peppers are a fun, maybe slightly retro dinner. These get a mix of turkey and herby quinoa and a tomato sauce topping.

More from Voraciously:

Jamie Oliver brings a little plant power to the mac-and-cheese game

6 hearty chili recipes to warm you up or feed a crowd this winter

How to season your cast-iron skillet — and keep it seasoned