In my house, we love a good meatball, bowl of chili and sloppy joe–all made with ground beef. But I don’t serve ground beef every night. Why? Look at the numbers. One 4-ounce serving of cooked ground beef has more than twice the calories of ground turkey and five times the saturated fat of ground chicken. And that’s for the 90% lean beef.

Here are the stats for 4 ounces cooked:

Ground Beef (90% lean): 261 calories, 14 grams fat, 5.4 grams saturated fat, 32 grams protein
Ground Beef (85% lean): 290 calories, 17 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 32 grams protein

Ground Turkey Breast: 120 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 26 grams protein
Ground Chicken Breast: 160 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 31 grams protein

So I like to mix up my menu by using ground chicken and turkey in dishes that call for beef. Here are 25 great ways to get you started on the same path!

  1. Chili (try Food Network Kitchens’ Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili, above), soups, and stews
  2. Bolognese Sauce: Use over pasta and mashed potatoes.
  3. Burgers and sliders: Add seasonings and fresh herbs as desired. (Try Food Networks Kitchens’ Asian Turkey Burgers or Food Network Magazine’s Asian Chicken Burgers.)
  4. Pot pies and shepherd’s pie: Add cooked meat to mixed vegetable fillings; top with refrigerated pie crust, mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes before baking. (Try Food Network Kitchens’ Individual Turkey Shepherd’s Pies.)
  5. Sloppy joes
  6. Taco salad: Fill baked taco shells with mixed greens and vegetables; top with cooked meat, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes and black olives. (Try the Neelys’ Chicken Taco Salad.)
  7. Salisbury steak: Mix ground meat with egg and seasoned bread crumbs; shape into oval patties; sear in a pan until browned on both sides; braised in a “gravy” made from a blend of condensed onion soup, water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.
  8. Meatloaf (Try Ellie Krieger’s Turkey Meatloaf.)
  9. Frittatas: Add to cooked egg and egg-potato dishes.
  10. Lasagna, baked ziti and other baked pasta dishes: Add cooked meat to the sauce layer.
  11. Stuffed pasta shells: Mixed cooked meat with ricotta cheese and herbs; stuff into shells.
  12. Meatballs (try Giada’s Mini Turkey Meatballs) and meatball subs with melted provolone
  13. Calzones and empanadas: Stuff seasoned, cooked meat into rolled out bread or pizza dough; fold over; seal and bake as directed.
  14. Loaded potatoes and potato Skins: Top baked potatoes and hollowed potato skins with cooked meat and cheese.
  15. Enchiladas and burritos
  16. Loaded nachos: Use baked tortilla chips, sharp cheddar cheese, salsa, sliced black olives.
  17. Stuffed bell peppers: Combine cooked meat with brown rice before stuffing into peppers. (Try Food Network Magazine’s Turkey-and-Rice Stuffed Peppers.)
  18. Curried potatoes: Brown meat with diced potatoes; braise in a curry paste-spiked broth and garnish with cilantro.
  19. Asian lettuce wraps: Season cooked meat with soy sauce and sesame oil; stuff into Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves with shredded carrots and cabbage; roll up.
  20. Stroganoff: Combine cooked meat with cooked egg noodles, light sour cream, sautéed mushrooms, beef broth, sherry, and thyme.
  21. Quesadilla fillings: Fill tortillas with seasoned, cooked meat and shredded pepper jack cheese.
  22. Stuffed acorn and butternut Squash: Fill seeded and steamed squash halves with cooked meat and shredded cheddar cheese; bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese melts.
  23. Fried rice
  24. Pizza and flatbread topping
  25. Taco fillings

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