Ground Turkey vs. Ground Beef
Can you save money by switching from ground beef to ground turkey? Yes. But there’s more to the story. Keep reading for recipe ideas, ways to make ground turkey taste better, and practical tips to help you save money.
Save Money On Food: Switch From Ground Beef To Ground Turkey
Saving money on food sometimes requires a shift in thinking. Growing up, we ate ground beef all the time. My mom would often make casseroles, sloppy joes, taco salads, and other dishes where the main component was ground beef.
Ground turkey, on the other hand, wasn’t on our radar. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started cooking with ground turkey. I don’t make a lot of meat-based dishes, but I am learning to appreciate the taste and versatility of ground turkey.
I also appreciate the cost.
Ground Turkey vs. Ground Beef: The Cost
I did some comparison shopping to find out how much, on average, a pound of ground turkey and a pound of ground beef cost. Here’s what I found:
- Ground turkey: $2.49
- Ground beef (85% lean): $4.09
- Ground turkey: $3.79
- Ground beef (85% lean): $5.29
High-end grocery store:
- Ground turkey: $4.49
- Ground beef (85% lean): $6.49
In each of the three grocery stores I visited, ground turkey was cheaper.
So how much will you save if you make the switch? Let’s say you buy a pound of ground beef every week. If you make the switch to ground turkey and you shop at ALDI, you will save $83.20 over the course of a year.
Money-saving tip: Buy ground turkey and beef in a tube instead of buying it in a plastic tray. Also, purchase frozen meat instead of fresh for extra savings.
Cheap Recipes To Get You Started
Here are some affordable and easy-to-make ground turkey recipes to add to your meal rotation:
- Turkey burgers
- Turkey meatballs in marinara sauce
- Turkey lettuce wraps
- Turkey loaf
- Turkey-stuffed peppers
- Mexican ground turkey skillet
I happen to like ground turkey, so this is not a difficult swap for me (see tips below for making ground turkey taste better).
If you like ground beef in recipes, I urge you to give ground turkey a try. Once the meat is seasoned and the dish is complete, it’s usually hard to notice the difference.
Ground Turkey vs. Ground Beef: The Taste
Ground beef can come from different cuts of meat from a cow. Ground sirloin and ground round are common, but a lot of ground beef includes meal from several areas of the cow.
Ground turkey typically includes ground meat from the thighs and drumsticks, but may include some ground turkey breast, as well.
Ground beef has more flavor and more fat than ground turkey, making it generally a more popular and flavorful option for cooking. However, don’t discount incorporating more ground turkey into your diet. You just have to know how to flavor it and cook it.
How To Make Ground Turkey Taste Better
Ground turkey can be dry and lacking in flavor – if you don’t cook it right.
My favorite way to cook ground turkey to ensure it is flavorful and moist is to add additional (animal) fat to the meat when cooking. The easiest way of doing that is to brown the turkey in bacon grease.
Another simple way to do this is to use a mix of ground turkey and ground beef. The fat from the ground beef (try 85% lean) will add flavor and moisture to the ground turkey.
You may also want to use a seasoning blend such as this turkey taco seasoning to add flavor to ground turkey. If you first add fat – and then add seasoning – your ground turkey will most likely taste great!
Which Is Healthier?
Ground turkey is a leaner meat than ground beef, so people following a heart-healthy diet may prefer ground turkey.
The ground turkey you buy in a grocery store is usually contains about 7 percent fat, while ground beef usually contains between 25 and 30 percent fat. Ground turkey is also lower in calories than ground beef. Ground turkey has slightly more cholesterol than ground beef. Both options are good sources of protein.
So which option is healthier? It depends on your health goals. Learn more about the nutritional comparison of ground turkey and ground beef.
5 Ways To Save Money Using Ground Turkey Instead Of Ground Beef
- When you find ground turkey on sale (or at a good price), stock up and store in the freezer
- Switch completely from ground beef to ground turkey, or use a 50/50 blend
- To make ground turkey taste better, brown it in bacon grease
- Stretch your turkey-based meals further by adding inexpensive add-ins and side dishes (like potatoes, pasta, rice, mixed vegetables, etc.)
- Make use of your ground turkey leftovers by making a double batch and eating the same meal again – or repurposing your leftovers to make something new