*written by Cecelia Schmitt, Dietetic Intern – University of Michigan
Try swapping ground turkey for beef in your favorite lasagna, chili or taco recipe! Our Dietitian’s Choice this week is Honeysuckle Ground Turkey available for $5.99 per pound from October 21st to October 27th. 

What is Ground Turkey?

I know it’s shocking, but ground turkey is indeed turkey that has been ground up through a meat grinder. Usually, the meat is turkey thighs of drumsticks, but can also be the more expensive turkey breasts as well. Ground turkey can either be light or dark meat or a combination of both. The leaner, light meat is made with all (or mostly) breast meat and tends to be drier when cooked as the fat has been trimmed out.

Varieties Available

Ground turkey can be purchased in different forms, including fresh, frozen, patties, and sausages. In addition, the different forms of ground meats can vary based on their fat content. Our Honeysuckle Turkey at Mackenthun’s is the typical combination of 93% lean meat and 7% fat. There are other options including 85/15, 90/10, 98/2, or 99/1, where the first number always represents the percentage of lean meat, and the second represents the percentage of fat.

Food Safe Practices

When raw ground turkey is unopened, it should be stored in a refrigerator at 40°F or lower. Try to store turkey and other raw meats on the lowest part of your refrigerator. Bacteria can be found in raw meat, including ground turkey, and proper food safety can help avoid foodborne illness. Be sure to clean and sanitize your surfaces and utensils before preparation and ensure your ground turkey reaches 165 °F with a meat thermometer. 

Nutritional Benefits

Honeysuckle White products are raised by independent family farmers and don’t include hormones, steroids or growth-promoting antibiotics. In addition, ground turkey often contains less saturated fat, calories and cholesterol than traditional ground beef. This lean meat offers 22 grams of protein and 160 calories per serving, while also providing key B vitamins. B vitamins are essential for energy production, building amino acid and red blood cell formation. Ground turkey also provides key minerals such as phosphorus and zinc, which help to regulate metabolism and gene expression. Turkey also contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is used to create melatonin and serotonin promoting good mood and sleep.

Creamy Turkey Pumpkin Chili

By Karen, Family Style Food



  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chili
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds (675 g) ground turkey thigh
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, rosemary or sage (or a mixture of one or more)
  • 1 15-ounce (285 g) can unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 2 15-ounce (850 g) cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 cups (500 ml) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup (125 ml) heavy whipping cream, optional


  1. Pour the oil into a 4 or 5 quart soup pot or Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and all the spices through the black pepper, stirring to coat in the oil. Add the turkey and cook until it’s no longer pink, stirring and breaking the meat up with a spoon, about 8 minutes.
  3. Set to cook on low for 6 hours or 3 hours on high.
  4. Stir in the cream and serve