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Many people are switching to ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef in many of their favorite dishes for a healthier lifestyle. Ground turkey is low-fat and high in protein, perfect for any diet plan. Although ground turkey is slightly higher in cholesterol than ground beef, the rest of the health benefits outweigh this, unless you must follow a strict low cholesterol diet. Be sure when you're cooking your turkey to thoroughly brown it, leaving no pink.

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Turkey Fried Rice

Add ground turkey to your favorite fried rice recipe for a healthy, satisfying Chinese dish. Use white rice, cooked, and slightly stale. Mix rice in a wok or large saute pan with sesame oil, diced carrots, peas, and onions, and soy sauce to taste. Move the rice to the edges of the pan and crack an egg or two in the center. Scramble the egg and mix. In a separate pan, brown the turkey until it's completely cooked. Stir in the ground turkey and serve with diced scallions on top.

Fried Rice LauriPatterson / Getty Images
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Turkey Sliders

These delicious mini-burgers are tasty and kid friendly! Mix ground turkey with your favorite burger seasonings. Measure out into 3oz portions and hand-patty. Turkey sliders cook easily on a griddle or flat-top pan, although tend to become dry when cooked on a grill. Top with a small slice of Havarti or Gouda cheese and serve on small slider buns.

Sliders LauriPatterson / Getty Images
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Turkey Meatballs

When making turkey meatballs, remember that the lower fat content in turkey can make meatballs drier, so it's important to use enough eggs for a binder and extra moisture and to reduce the amount of breadcrumbs in your favorite recipe by half. To make enough meatballs for a family of four, use two pounds of ground turkey, one-half cup of breadcrumbs, two eggs, and your favorite seasonings. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out 2-ounce servings. Roll the meatballs by hand and cook in a 350-degree oven until they're browned and cooked through. Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce!

Meatballs 4kodiak / Getty Images
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Turkey Dirty Rice

Spicy dirty rice is a Creole favorite, and ground turkey easily substitutes for the ground beef in this recipe. Dice sweet bell peppers, yellow onions, garlic, and jalapeño peppers - although if you don't like spicy dirty rice, you can opt for green bell peppers instead. Brown one pound of ground turkey in a pan then add the vegetables and cajun seasoning to taste. Sweat the veggies with the turkey until the onions are clear, then add rice and chicken stock. Cook until the rice is tender, and serve topped with green onions.

Dirty Rice bhofack2 / Getty Images

Turkey Tacos

Turkey tacos are another kid-friendly dish that's fairly easy to assemble on a busy weeknight. You may choose to use either dry taco seasoning or sauce in a bag, and simply follow the instructions for adding water or other ingredients, substituting turkey for ground beef. Brown the turkey and stir in seasonings. Because turkey s low fat, you shouldn't need to drain the pan. Simply serve in taco shells with your favorite toppings, including shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, or sour cream.

Tacos LauriPatterson / Getty Images

Five Spice Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are a tasty, low-calorie Chinese classic dish. These can be made with ground turkey, water chestnuts, and hoisin sauce. Mince the water chestnuts, one red bell pepper and a touch of fresh ginger. Brown the turkey and add the vegetables. Sautee until the peppers and water chestnuts are soft and add Hoisin sauce to taste. Serve in iceberg lettuce cups with turkey fried rice or steamed white rice.

Chinese LEttuce CUps yeestudio / Getty Images

Ground Turkey Noodle Bake

Nothing hits the spot more on a cold night than a warm, cheesy baked pasta dish. For this healthy take on lasagna, brown one pound of ground turkey with one small onion, finely diced. Add a can of tomato sauce and heat. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and boil 3 oz wide egg noodles in salted water. Combine half a cup of milk with 12 oz of cream cheese and one bunch of fresh parsley. Once the tomato sauce mixture comes to a boil, stir in the cream cheese mixture and noodles. Spread in a wide lasagne dish and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with crusty garlic bread.

Noodle bake Mariha-kitchen / Getty Images

Greek Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are a quick, all-in-one dish that can be prepared ahead of time and heated in a pinch. Combine one pound of ground turkey with two cups of pearl couscous. Add Greek seasoning and feta cheese, combine and set aside. Choose your favorite color bell peppers and carefully remove the tops, making a cup out of the bottoms. Scrape out the seeds and fill with the ground turkey mixture. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes and serve with a small salad.

Stuffed Bell Peppers LauriPatterson / Getty Images

Turkey Chili

Ground turkey can be substituted for ground beef in any chili recipe. For one that's a crowd pleaser, not too spicy and hearty, brown two pounds of ground turkey with one finely diced sweet onion and one or two Poblano peppers. Add to a slow cooker with one can of kidney beans and one can of black beans, including the juices. Stir, then add in one can of tomato paste and one large can of diced tomatoes. Allow the flavors to meld, stirring in chili powder to taste. When the tomatoes have cooked down to a sauce, and the beans are tender, serve with fresh cornbread and top with cheese if desired.

CHili and cornbread grandriver / Getty Images

Turkey Meatloaf

Classic meatloaf means a different recipe to each family, but or a fast, delicious meatloaf that you can serve anytime, simply combine two pounds of ground turkey, one 14 ounce package of frozen tri-colored peppers, diced, and one cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs. Combine by hand and shape into a loaf or pack into a greased loaf pan. Cover with tinfoil and cook for 45 minutes in a 40-degree oven. Let rest for ten minutes and serve with mashed potatoes.

meatloaf LauriPatterson / Getty Images

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