Category Archives: Appetizers

Cinco de Mayo – 9 Mexican Turkey Recipes

Most of your favorite Mexican recipes can be made with turkey, which has more protein and fewer calories than other alternatives. Try one of these today!mexican turkey recipes


 Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos           Fajitas Fast and Easy      Baked Turkey Chimichangas 

Crock Pot Turkey Tacos

 Fajitas Fast and Easybaked turkey chimichanga




Turkey Quesadillas                   Mini Turkey Empanadas   Spicy Turkey with Black Bean Salsa

turkey quesadillasmini turkey empanadas recipespicy turkey with black bean salsa





Turkey Tostadas        Mexican Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Salsa        Turkey Fajita Pizza

mexican turkey meatballsturkey tostadas recipe with leftover Thanksgiving turkey

 Turkey Fajita Pizza (6)


Turkey Sausage Zucchini Boats

turkey sausage zucchini boats 

 It’s zucchini time in Iowa! Head to your local farmer’s market (or find a neighbor with a garden!) and try this AMAZING turkey sausage zucchini boat recipe!


Turkey Sausage Zucchini Boats
Serves 4
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  1. 1 cup Jimmy Dean cooked turkey sausage crumbles
  2. 2 medium zucchini
  3. 1 cup tomato sauce with onion and peppers
  4. 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  6. 1/4 tsp pepper
  7. 2 Tbsp reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
  8. 1/2 cup low moisture, part-skim, shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut zucchini length wise. Using a spoon or melon baller, remove seeds and scoop out flesh and chop the flesh into bite size pieces. Set aside the flesh in a small bowl.
  3. Drop the zucchini halves in boiling water and boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove zucchini halves from water and dry zucchini with a paper towel.
  4. In a 9 x 12 inch baking pan spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce into bottom of pan.
  5. Place the zucchini halves on top of the sauce with the open side facing up.
  6. In a large saute pan add olive oil and saute garlic. Add chopped zucchini. Season with pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Return chopped sausage to pan and mix in tomato sauce. Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese.
  8. Using a spoon, add equal amounts of sausage mixture to each zucchini half.
  9. Top each zucchini half with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese has melted and zucchini is cooked through.
Iowa Turkey Federation

Breakfast Deviled Eggs Recipe

No, we’re not cooking with turkey eggs.  (And this is a very good explanation why we aren’t.) We’re just adding a little turkey bacon to deviled eggs, to add some great “breakfast” flavor to this classic!

breakfast deviled eggs


Breakfast Deviled Eggs
This is a clever way to enjoy bacon and eggs!
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  1. 6 hard-cooked eggs*
  2. 2 slices turkey bacon, finely chopped
  3. 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  4. 1 teaspoon dry dill weed
  5. 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  1. 1. Wash hands.
  2. 2. Cut eggs in half, remove yolks and place in self-sealing plastic bag. Set whites aside on serving tray. Wash hands.
  3. 3. Place chopped bacon in microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until desired level of crispness.
  4. 4. Add bacon, mayonnaise, dill weed and mustard to plastic bag. Seal bag and massage to combine ingredients.
  5. 5. When ready to serve, press deviled eggs filling to one corner of the bag. Snip off the conrner and pipe the egg mixture into the reserved egg whites.
  6. 6. Garnish with an additional sprinkle of dill, if desired.
  7. *For added convenience, look for packaged hard-cooked eggs in your grocery store. Or, make your own.
  8. Hard-cooked Eggs: Place eggs in a single layer in a medium saucepan. Run cold water over eggs until the tops are covered with 1-inch of water. Place on heat and bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Allow eggs to stand for 15 to 17 minutes. Drain water and immediately cool eggs with ice-cold water.
  1. Tip: When traveling with deviled eggs, complete recipe through Step 4 and place the sealed bag in a cooler with ice packs. Place whites in separate container and store in cooler. When ready to serve, continue with Steps 5 and 6.
  2. Makes 6 servings.
  3. Serve with whole wheat toast.
  4. 1 serving: calories 140, protein 7.2 g, fat 11.7 g (saturated 2.7 g), cholesterol 218.9 mg, sodium 169.6 mg, carbohydrate 1 g, fiber .1 g
Iowa Turkey Federation
turkey recipes

14 Tasty Turkey Recipes from The Slow Roasted Italian

We love turkey recipes, obviously.  So we get positively giddy when we find others who love them as much as we do!

Recently, we stumbled upon The Slow Roasted Italian – this husband/wife team creates amazing recipes and blogs about them together.  Donna is originally from Florida, but Chad hails from Iowa (or “God’s Country,” as they call it on their blog!)

You will love these turkey recipes: everything from kid-friendly veggie turkey meatballs to a traditional herb roasted turkey.  The Slow Roasted Italian‘s recipes are a testament to the versatility of turkey!

turkey recipes


hearty tex mex breakfast burrito

Hearty Tex-Mex Breakfast Burrito

Over 40 grams of protein and less than 400 calories…this breakfast burrito is amazing!



cheesy farfalle with turkey and peasCheesy Farfalle with Turkey and Peas

This is a great, easy weeknight meal that kids and grownups will love!



Little Kick Jalapeno turkey burger

“Little Kick” Turkey Jalapeno Burger

A fiery burger, perfect with a margarita on a warm summer night!




Simple Herb Roasted Turkey

Donna’s take on the classic Thanksgiving Bird!



southwestern turkey meatloaf

Southwestern Turkey Meatloaf

At 267 calories per serving, we think you should have seconds!



broccoli-cheddar-turkey-egg bowl

Broccoli Cheddar Turkey Egg Bowl

High protein breakfast – make it on the weekend and then reheat throughout the week!



Fully-Loaded-Tex-Mex-Turkey Burger

Fully Loaded Tex Mex Turkey Burger

Crunchy, creamy, hearty and flavorful a burger so fantastic you can’t help but eat 2, or 3…. 



munchkin-veggie-turkey meatballsMunchkin Meatballs

Kid friendly, mommy approved.  Mini-meatballs with zucchini and carrot.



20 minute homemade taco bowls with turkey

20 Minute Homemade Turkey Taco Bowls

This fun twist on an ordinary taco night is just what your family night needs!



tsri-ravioli-and-sasauge-skillet-30-minute-mealRavioli and Sausage Skillet
30 Minutes, one skillet, and enough inactive time to clean the kitchen:  this is perfect.








 Green-Chile-Cheese-and-SausGreen Chile and Cheese Sausage Poppers

Makes 100 mini meatballs – great for parties, or freeze and reheat as a quick snack!



dash-italian-mini-meatloafCheesy Italian Mini Meatloaf Cups

Fabulous Italian flavors in a moist cheesy meatloaf. Turning meatloaf into a family favorite is as easy as following this simple recipe!


cheesy-sun-dried-tomato-meaCheesy Sun-dried Tomato Meatball Poppers

Game day or Valentine’s Day these are an impressive appetizer! 



Chipotle Bacon Monte Cristo tsri-chipotle-bacon-monte-cristo-sandwichesSandwiches

Spicy Chipotle Pepper sauce spread over bread topped with mild cheddar cheese, turkey slices and bacon. 







Donna and Chad also have dozens of other amazing recipes on their site – be sure to check it out and tell them we sent you!



mini turkey empanadas recipe

Mini Turkey Empanadas

mini turkey empanadas recipe

Katie here – I made these mini-turkey empanadas as part of our big Food Photography day.  To be honest, I didn’t even know what empanadas were, and I was really concerned that the empanadas would be TOO mini.

But they weren’t.  They were perfect.  As soon as they were cool enough to touch, I was sampling them, and my friend and I quickly devoured the extras that weren’t needed for the photo shoot.

Although the pie crust adds some calories, ground turkey breast is so lean that these still come in under 400 calories per serving.  And the filling was so absolutely delicious – I’d use it in a tortilla or on top of nachos, too.

One last thing I have to add – these would be a great snack to freeze and reheat, and of course they’d be great for the big game!


Mini Turkey Empanadas
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  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 1 cup chopped onion
  3. 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes, drained and crushed
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  7. 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  8. 1 teaspoon cumin
  9. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  11. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  12. 2 (15 ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts (4 crusts)
  1. 1. Wash hands.
  2. 2. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook and stir turkey, onion, green pepper and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  3. 3. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, or until liquid is evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and cool.
  4. 4. Using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter, cut 12 rounds from each pie crust for a total of 48.
  5. 5. Spoon heaping teaspoon of filling in center of each round. Fold pastry in half and pinch edges together to seal.
  6. 6. Lightly coat 2 (15x10x1-inch) baking sheets with nonstick spray. Place empanadas on baking sheets and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until mini empanadas are golden brown.
  1. Makes 12 servings (4 per serving)
  2. Serve with sour cream and chopped green onion.
  3. 1 serving: calories 399, protein 8.9 g, fat 22.5 g (saturated 9.1 g), cholesterol 43.1 mg, sodium 386.5 mg, carbohydrate 3.7 g, fiber 1.1 g
Iowa Turkey Federation
hot turkey dip

Hot Turkey Dip

This hot turkey dip is quick and easy, using leftover turkey breast and the microwave or crock pot.  

hot turkey dip



Hot Turkey Dip
A great dip utilizing leftover turkey breast in the crockpot!
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  1. 1 cup (4 ounces) Pepper Jack cheese
  2. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  3. 1 pound processed cheese
  4. 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  5. 1 can cream of chicken soup
  6. 1 can shopped green chilies
  7. 2 cups cooked, finely chopped turkey breast
  8. Diced green peppers, to taste (optional)
  9. Chopped onion, to taste
  10. 2 sliced green onions, top dip to taste
  1. 1. Wash hands.
  2. 2. Place ingredients in slow cooker or large microwave safe dish. Stir to combine. Cover and turn slow cooker on or place on low in microwave. Heat until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with taco or corn chips.
Iowa Turkey Federation
turkey quesadillas

Turkey Quesadillas

turkey quesadillasAdd your favorite toppings to customize this quick and easy quesadilla.







Turkey Quesadillas
Serves 48
Add your favorite toppings to customize this quick and easy quesadilla.
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  1. 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese OR Colby-Jack cheese
  2. 12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  3. 1 1/2 pounds smoked OR cooked turkey breast, shredded
  4. 3/4 cup diced mild green chilies
  5. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  1. 1. Wash hands.
  2. 2. Sprinkle cheese on half the tortillas. Top with turkey meat and chilies. Cover with remaining tortillas.
  3. 3. Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each quesadilla until golden brown and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (Or, place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.)
  4. 4. Cut into wedges.
  1. Serve with: Guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, salsa and/or olives
  2. Photo from: Ontario Turkey Producers Marketing Board
  3. 1 serving: Calories 71, Protein 5.1 g, Fat 2.5 g (Saturated 1.1 g), Cholesterol 11.3 mg, Sodium 287.5 mg, Carbohydrate 6.8 g, Fiber .1 g
Iowa Turkey Federation
ground turkey chinese spring rolls

Ground Turkey Chinese Spring Rolls

ground turkey chinese spring rollsTry these flaky spring rolls made with purchased phyllo pastry.  The sesame oil adds a hint of nutty flavor.





Ground Turkey Chinese Spring Rolls
Yields 16
Try these flaky spring rolls made with purchased phyllo pastry. The sesame oil adds a hint of nutty flavor.
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  1. 1 pound ground turkey or shredded cooked turkey
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  4. 2 cups bok choy, sliced thin OR 2 cups bagged coleslaw mis
  5. 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  6. 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  8. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  9. 8 sheets phyllo pastry
  1. 1. Wash hands.
  2. 2. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high head, cook and stir turkey, garlic and ginger until turkey is no longer pink.
  3. 3. In a medium bowl combine turkey mixture, bok choy, onion, soy sauce, sherry and oil.
  4. 4. On clean, dry counter layer phyllo sheets into a stack and cut in 2 (7 x 18) rectangles. Work with one sheet of phyllo at a time. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp cloth.) Place sheet of phyllo with one of the short sides facing you. Coat with nonstick spray.
  5. 5. Place 1/4 cup of turkey mixture in a 5-inch strip, 1 inch away from bottom and sides of phyllo. Fold 1-inch bottom edge of phyllo over filling. Roll up, folding in sides to completely enclose filling.
  6. 6. Repeat previous steps with remaining sheets of phyllo. On 2 large cookie sheets coated with nonstick spray, place rolls, seam-side-down, and coat tops with cooking spray.
  7. 7. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until all surfaces of rolls are golden brown. Serve immediately.
  1. 1 Serving: Calories 79, Protein 6.2 g, Fat 3.2 g (Saturated .8 g), Cholesterol 22.4 mg, Sodium 152.2. mg, Carbohydrate 5.9 g, Fiber .5 g
Iowa Turkey Federation

Mexican Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Salsa

mexican turkey meatballs

This is a fun and healthy appetizer to serve at cocktail parties.  Sherrie suggests shaping and refrigerating the meatballs ahead, and then baking them as the first guests arrive.


Mexican Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Salsa
Serves 36
This is a fun and healthy appetizer to serve at cocktail parties. Sherrie suggests shaping and refrigerating the meatballs ahead, and then baking them as the first guests arrive.
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  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 1 egg, beaten
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  5. 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  6. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
  9. 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  10. 1/2 cup salsa
  1. 1. Wash hands.
  2. 2. In medium bowl combine turkey, egg, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, chili powder and cumin. Shape into approximately 36, 3/4 inch balls.
  3. 3. Place tortilla chips in self-sealing plastic bag. Add meatballs to bag and toss gently to coat meatballs thoroughly. Wash hands.
  4. 4. Lightly coat 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and arrange meatballs. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink in center.
  5. 5. In small bowl combine sour cream and salsa. Use as dip for meatballs.
  1. 1 serving: Calories 126, Protein 2.9 g, Fat 2.1 g (Saturated .5 g), Cholesterol 16.3 mg, Sodium 55 mg, Carbohydrate 3.7 g, Fiber .3 g
Iowa Turkey Federation
turkey peppers recipe

Atomic Turkey Pepper Recipe

turkey peppers recipe



Atomic Turkey Pepper
Tasty appetizers; prepare in advance and grill!
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  1. 15 peppers - Jalapeño, mini sweet red, yellow or green
  2. peppers to make 30 pieces
  3. 1 package turkey bacon, cut in half
  4. 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Turkey Lit'l Smokies®
  5. 2, 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  6. 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  1. 1. Slice the peppers lengthwise to form two pieces. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and membrane.
  2. 2. Mix the cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Fill the hollowed out portion of the peppers with the cheese mixture.
  3. 3. Place one Lit'l Smokies® on top of the cream cheese mixture. Wrap the half slice of bacon around the pepper. If the bacon is not staying tightly wrapped, it may be necessary to use a toothpick to hold it in place.
  4. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours before grilling.
  5. 4. Place top side down on a medium heat grill until the bacon is crisp.
  6. Flip to the pepper side and cook until the pepper is tender and the
  7. bacon is browned. Keep the lid covered while cooking.
  8. * To cook in the oven: Bake in the oven, set at 425 F, for 20-30 minutes
  9. or until the bacon is browned.
Iowa Turkey Federation