September 30, 2015
Make Ahead Cooking : Ground Turkey 3 Ways
Make ahead cooking and bulk cooking is a must for getting dinner on the table in our home. One of my favorite methods is to figure out a couple recipes that can be made semi-simultaneously in an hour or so. Ground turkey 3 ways is just that – three basic components with simple ingredients that create a handful of meals to stock the freezer.
Simply follow these step-by-step directions and you’ll have made three different types of turkey meals for the for at least 6-8 meals for 4-6 people in the freezer in about an hour! (Don’t worry – I have a step-by-step printable guide at the end of the post for you!)
Start with these ingredients:
- about six pounds of ground turkey – divided in half (I used a 6+ pound package of 93% lean ground turkey from Costco)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
SEASONED AND BROWNED GROUND TURKEY
Scramble half of the ground turkey with garlic, salt and pepper – cook thoroughly. TIP: use a potato masher to stir and mash the ground turkey as you are cooking it.
Drain any liquid.
Take out half of the cooked ground meat and place in a freezer safe container or bag. Allow to cool completely before putting in the freezer. This is your all-purpose ground turkey mixture – use in tacos, pasta sauce, chili, burritos, burrito bowls, etc.
- about a pound and a half cooked ground turkey – this is what you have left in your pan
- 1 jar red sauce
- 1 jar white sauce
- ½ cup pesto
- 30 oz. ricotta cheese
- no-bake lasagna noodles
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 package (12 slices) sliced provolone cheese
- parmesan cheese
Taste the cooked meat and add salt and pepper and Italian seasonings if necessary. Add white and red sauce to leftover meat in saucepan. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Combine ¼ – ½ cup pesto with 30 ounces ricotta cheese.
Use 2 baking dishes – I used a 9×13 pan and an 8×8 baking pan – add sauce to bottom of each pan. Layer noodles, ricotta/pesto, grated cheese and repeat until all ingredients are used up. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top. Add plastic wrap and foil to seal; label and freeze.
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dry parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined, but don’t overmix.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line 2-3 baking sheets with foil and parchment paper – spray with cooking spray.
Scoop with a small scoop or use a tablespoon and form into balls with your hand.
Place turkey meatballs on baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Cool thoroughly and place in 2-3 zip top bags and freeze until needed. I like to put the meatballs in barbecue sauce and serve as an appetizer or as an entrée with mashed potatoes or a meal with pasta sauce. You can also make a cream sauce and make it Swedish meatball style. The options are endless!
Go here to grab your 2 page FREE step-by-step guide for making ground turkey 3 ways.
(Please note: You’ll need to put the printable in your cart and checkout – it’s still FREE – once you create an account it will save any free printables and you can come back and access them anytime. Upon checkout you’ll see the link for the free printable AND it will also be emailed to you automatically!)
Add these make ahead meals to a quiet afternoon, evening, or weekend afternoon – the small amount of time invested is totally worth it!
Interested in other posts about menu planning and make ahead cooking? Go here to see other posts!