Ground Turkey Teriyaki Stir Fry is a delicious, 25 minute recipe that uses lean ground turkey, an easy homemade teriyaki sauce, and one pan to make a healthy protein packed dinner that can be used in tons of different ways. This kid-friendly sweet teriyaki turkey is perfect with rice, veggies, noodles, and more!
Versatile recipes like this ground turkey teriyaki stir fry are the BEST for busy nights when your schedule feels out of control. Think of this recipe like a base, you can whip up a huge batch and use it in TONS of ways!
Whether you toss it over rice for a teriyaki turkey rice bowl, serve it in lettuce wraps or on a bun, familiar ingredients like brown sugar, honey, sesame, soy sauce, and garlic combine to make flavors that the whole family will love. Plus with just one pan and a 25 minute total time, both cooking and clean up will be easy too!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Fast & Easy! – With easy prep and a 25 minute cook time, this is perfect for busy families.
- Versatile – This recipe can be used in a wide variety of dinners, or makes great leftovers if you want to meal prep lunches.
- One Pan – I love when I have less dishes to clean after dinner, I’m sure you do to!
- Family Friendly Flavor – Sweet teriyaki sauce makes the ground turkey and bell pepper delicious for even the pickiest of kids.
- Easy to Adjust – Swap in different veggies like broccoli, snow peas, carrots, baby corn, or cabbage to add more nutrition and make it just right for your family.
This ground turkey teriyaki stir fry recipe is as simple as promised! Just one pan and 25 minutes for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make teriyaki ground turkey to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Ground Turkey – Any lean ground turkey can be used. Get 1.5 lbs so it makes a full, family sized batch.
- Red Bell Pepper – I like the color and flavor a sweet red bell pepper adds. You can use any color your family likes, or swap in another sweet vegetable like shredded carrots or a chopped onion.
- Soy Sauce – Good alternatives for this are tamari, coconut aminos, or liquid aminos.
- Brown Sugar
- Rice Vinegar – This might be sold as rice wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. It’s usually sold near the Asian ingredients on the ethnic food aisle or with the other vinegars.
- Ginger – Fresh ginger is super flavorful, and extra pieces can be wrapped in plastic wrap and popped in the freezer for the next time you need it. But, ground ginger can also be used. Swap in just a scant 1/8 teaspoon.
- Garlic – It takes about 4 cloves of fresh garlic to equal 2 teaspoons minced. To swap in garlic powder, use 3/4 teaspoons.
- Sesame Oil – This fragrant oil is key to building the recognizable flavor in your ground turkey teriyaki. A small amount goes a long way and it lasts forever in the fridge. Look for it in the ethnic food aisle.
Make sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full quantities and ingredients list.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Spicy Ground Turkey Teriyaki Stir Fry– Add 2 teaspoons of sriracha sauce to your teriyaki sauce, then continue with the recipe as directed.
- Ground Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry– Swap in equal parts of ground chicken for the ground turkey and then continue with the recipe as written.
- Ground Turkey and Vegetable Teriyaki Stir Fry– Brown the meat then remove it from the pan. Add in a 12 ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables and 4 cups of coleslaw mix like I do for my ground turkey stir fry recipe, then cook until tender. Add the turkey back to the pan with the teriyaki sauce and simmer until thickened.
Recipe Step by Step
I am going to highlight a few key steps in the recipe here, but make sure to jump down to the recipe card for comprehensive instructions on how to make ground turkey teriyaki stir fry.
- Step 1– Whisk together all the sauce ingredients aside from the cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water.
- Step 2– Make a slurry by mixing the cornstarch with the reserved water, then whisk it into the sauce until thoroughly combined.
- Step 3– Cook the ground turkey and diced bell pepper in a hot skillet over medium high heat until browned.
- Step 4– Add in the teriyaki sauce and reduce the burner to medium heat, then simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Make the teriyaki first – Recipes like this ground turkey teriyaki move fast once you start cooking. It’s important to make the sauce first, including the cornstarch slurry, so it’s ready to go when you need it.
- Stir sauce REALLY well – Brown sugar and honey have a habit of settling to the bottom of the sauce. Whisk the sauce ingredients together really well so they dissolve into the sauce instead of sticking to the bottom of your bowl. Then give it a good couple of stirs right before you add it into the pan for good measure.
- Use a large pan – A big wide skillet with high sides is ideal for making your teriyaki ground turkey. It will let the meat brown more evenly and quickly, plus makes it much easier to stir in the sauce without spilling it all over your stove!
- Simmer until thick and sticky – The key to that iconic sweet and salty teriyaki flavor is cooking it until it’s thick enough to really cling to the ground turkey. Let it simmer until it’s syrupy and thick, and your turkey will be amazing!
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Prep ahead – You can chop the bell pepper and whisk the sauce together in advance. Leave the cornstarch slurry out until you’re ready to cook, and make sure you stir the sauce really well again before adding it to the pan.
- Use a bottled sauce – Cut your prep time down to practically nothing by grabbing a bottle of teriyaki sauce from the grocery store. Make sure you’re grabbing a thick, sweetened sauce, not a marinade. You can even find pre-chopped bell peppers too!
- Cook in advance – Ground turkey teriyaki stir fry is a GREAT option for cooking ahead. Make the recipe all the way through to the end, then let it cool and portion it into airtight containers. Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat, then simply reheat it in a sauté pan or the microwave and serve.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this ground turkey teriyaki stir fry recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to Freeze Turkey Teriyaki Stir Fry
- Chop the bell pepper and place it in a freezer bag with the ground turkey and freeze.
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients together except for the cornstarch and the 2 teaspoons of water.
- Pour the sauce into a freezer safe container and freeze.
- When you’re ready to cook, thaw both the turkey and sauce in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
- Cook as directed, starting with step 2.
What to Serve with Ground Turkey Teriyaki
Since this protein based dinner has the delicious flavors of teriyaki sauce, it will pair well with many of your favorite Asian and traditional side dishes.
Choose one or several of these side dishes to create a wholesome, well-rounded dinner. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Rice – White or brown rice are a great option for serving with your teriyaki turkey. Other grains like farro or quinoa, or a veggie alternative like cauliflower rice will work as well.
- Noodles – Either dried ramen or udon noodles make a great side for stir fries like this one.
- Sauteed Spinach – This healthy stove top side is ready in minutes and delicious with teriyaki sauce.
- Sauteed Green Beans – With just a splash of soy sauce or Asian chili sauce, you’ll have the perfect side dish for ground teriyaki turkey.
- Salad – A crisp green salad with ginger or sesame dressing, a coleslaw like my spicy sriracha Asian coleslaw, or my crisp cucumber salad make great additions to a meal like this one!
Ground Turkey Teriyaki Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this recipe, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Turkey Teriyaki Rice Bowl– Combine leftover stir fry with cooked white rice, crisp veggies, and spicy Japanese mayo for the perfect well balanced dinner.
- Ground Turkey Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps– Wash and pat dry a crisp lettuce like butter or romaine. Gently reheat the teriyaki turkey and spoon into the cups. Garnish with sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, scallions, or a drizzle of Japanese spicy mayo.
- Ground Turkey Teriyaki Egg Rolls– Fill pre-made egg rolls wrappers with leftover ground turkey teriyaki and shredded veggies like carrots or cabbage. Seal and cook according to the wrapper instructions and serve with a dipping sauce.
- Teriyaki Turkey Stuffed Peppers– Hollow out fresh red bell peppers. Combine the leftover turkey with 1.5 cups of cooked white rice. Place them in a baking dish and cook at 350°F for20-30 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot throughout.
How do you keep ground turkey tender?
The secret to keeping lean ground meats, like turkey, tender is to not overcook it. As soon as the meat is browned, it’s done. For this recipe, we add extra tenderness, moisture, and flavor by adding in the teriyaki sauce.
Should I cover the ground turkey while it’s cooking?
For this recipe you should not cover the ground turkey. Covering during the first step will inhibit browning and create more moisture in the pan, which can make the sauce watery. During the last step while you’re simmering the teriyaki sauce covering it can prevent the sauce from thickening properly.
More EASY Ground Turkey Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 1.5 pounds ground turkey
- 1 red pepper, diced
For the Teriyaki Glaze
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- Create the stir fry sauce by whisking together soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, stirring until it is all absorbed. Then pour the cornstarch mixture into the sauce, whisking until fully combined.1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons cold water
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground turkey and red pepper and cook until meat is browned and the peppers are tender. Drain any excess fat or liquid.1.5 pounds ground turkey, 1 red pepper
- Place the skillet back on the burner over medium hot heat and pour in the stir fry sauce. Let the meat simmer in the sauce about 3-6 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
- Ground Turkey – Ground chicken
- Red Bell Pepper – Any color of bell pepper
- Soy Sauce – Tamari, coconut aminos, liquid aminos
- Brown Sugar – White sugar
- Honey – Maple syrup or agave
- Fresh Ginger – ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- Fresh Garlic – ¾ teaspoons garlic powder
- Freeze the chopped bell pepper and turkey in a bag or container.
- Make the sauce and freeze it separately. Leave out the cornstarch slurry.
- Thaw overnight and cook as directed from step 2.