Enjoy the rich, deep flavor of these Teriyaki Turkey Bowls. Nothing screams flavor more than the teriyaki and Szechuan sauce that is added to the turkey mixed in with the spicy Szechuan sauce and accompanied by fresh vegetables like zucchini and kale or spinach.
For more recipes that use ground chicken or ground turkey, try this Asian Egg Roll Bowl with a delicious garlic sesame sauce, shredded cabbage, carrots, and fried wontons. This Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps and this Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Cup recipe are also easy to prepare and make for lunch or dinner.
When most people think of turkey, they think of mild meat heaped with gravy for taste, but when most think of “ground” turkey their minds go blank. In this Teriyaki Turkey Bowl recipe, we add two powerful layers of flavor to our ground turkey, each being very easy to tweak depending on taste.
Teriyaki is a Japanese sauce that is primarily used for glazing/coating and basting meats, tofu, or vegetables. Though it derives from soy sauce there are sugars such as honey or brown sugar added to make it thicker and saucier. Szechuan sauce originated in China using hot peppers, onions, garlic, and ginger and is a hot and spicy sauce that is sure to add a fiery kick to any recipe. We commonly taste this on some restaurant food, often used on chicken nuggets, glazed on chicken wings, in stir-fries, vegetable bowls, and tossed in noodles. It can be bought as is or made from scratch and is a nice way to add heat in a different form.
How to Make Teriyaki Turkey Bowls
- Place ground turkey in a skillet and break up with a spatula over medium heat.
- Stir frequently, breaking up any big pieces until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add water and stir in Szechuan and teriyaki sauce with onion, and garlic powder.
- Fold in kale and add cut up zucchini.
- Cook until kale and zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes.
Teriyaki Turkey Bowl Ingredients
- Turkey: Buy turkey already ground up, this usually comes in a 1 lb package.
- Garlic Powder: Be sure to use the powder because the dish doesn’t need any more salt.
- Water: Adding water helps the sauces blend together and evenly coat everything.
- Teriyaki Sauce: A super simple sauce which combines soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, rice vinegar, honey and garlic. Adding a little cornstarch whisked in helps thicken the sauce.
- Szechuan Sauce: A type of hot sauce that contains hot peppers, onion, garlic ginger and can have a taste of sesame if added.
- Green Onions: Use the green tops in this dish. Use the white bulbs in the pan while cooking to impart onion flavor.
- Zucchini: Slice the zucchini and add towards the end to prevent overcooking.
- Kale or Spinach: Either one is a great nutritious additive and it’s easy to add a good amount as it cooks down. I like to add a couple handfuls.
- Meat: Change out the turkey for ground chicken or pieces of steak, or tofu.
- Sauces: Sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sriracha sauce, or hoisin sauce.
- Spices: Fresh ginger, garlic, or onion.
- Vegetables: Carrots, spinach, chives, chili peppers or bell peppers, bok choy, snow peas, broccoli or cauliflower, edamame, chick peas, or mushrooms.
- Sides: Serve over raman noodles, lo mein, pot stickers, noodles or vegetable fried rice.
Reader Tips and Questions:
Can I use cut-up turkey or chicken? Yes, you can use cut-up turkey and chicken, just be sure to cut it into small enough pieces so the sauce has a chance to flavor it.
Can I leave out the Szechuan sauce? If you don’t have the Szechuan on hand and don’t want to run to the store, you can leave out the Szechuan sauce. A spicy Asian chili sauce, sriracha, or red pepper flakes make great substitutions.
I don’t have the Szechuan or the teriyaki sauce on hand. Now what? If you are not looking to suddenly add either sauce and don’t have any of the flavorful variations listed above, soy sauce, western, french, or ranch dressing make delicious substitutions.
Can I serve this another way? After cooking this per the instructions, you can add it into a hard-shell taco for a great variation. Also, I like to serve ground turkey or ground chicken in lettuce wraps like in this garlic sesame chicken lettuce wrap recipe.
Can I make this ahead of time? If you make this ahead of time you should leave out the kale or spinach. When you reheat it in a skillet, add the kale or spinach after the rest of the ingredients are heated through. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
How long does this keep in the refrigerator? This dish can be kept for 1-2 days if you have already added the greens as they will not be as fresh for a longer period.
Teriyaki Turkey Bowls
- 1 lb ground turkey or ground chicken
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp water
- 2½ tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp szechuan sauce (see notes)
- 4 green onions, divided (diced)
- 1 zucchini (sliced)
- 2 cups kale or spinach
- Break up turkey with a spatula in a skillet over medium heat.
- Cook and stir frequently until no longer pink; about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in white parts of green onion, garlic powder, water, teriyaki sauce, and Szechuan stir-fry sauce.
- Fold in kale and zucchini.
- Cook until kale and zucchini are tender; about 5 minutes.
- Serve with diced green onions.