Ground Turkey and Green Beans Skillet (20-Minute!)
This ground turkey and green beans skillet comes together in 20 minutes using one pan! It’s savory, satisfying, and packed full of Asian-inspired flavors. Asparagus or broccoli florets can easily be substituted for the green beans. My top tip? Double this quick and easy recipe. You’ll want leftovers!
5 star review
“Perfect weeknight meal. Quick, easy and flavorful. Definitely making again.”– Erin
about this 20-minute ground turkey & green bean skillet
So I often reach for ground turkey to help me get an effortless dinner done and on the table fast.
I love how versatile ground turkey is and how it works with almost any spices & flavors (seriously…you can use it to make everything from Turkey Chili, to Turkey Meatballs, to Turkey Tacos, to Turkey Sloppy Joes, and one-pan skillet meals like this one).
For this recipe, I’m pairing everyday ground turkey with delicious Asian-inspired flavors like garlic, ginger, lime juice and fresh green beans for a pop of green color & texture.
And trust me when I say you’ve gotta try this honey garlic-ginger sauce!
To me, it’s the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and tangy flavors and (bonus points) it’s super simple to throw together.
Meal Prep Tip: The sauce can be made ahead to save time during busy weeknights! Keep it in a lidded container like a glass mason jar and it’ll be ready for you to use whenever you need it!
process & tips
What makes this a 20-minute recipe?
There’s NO chopping involved for the turkey or the green beans (especially if you buy your green beans with the ends already trimmed off).
And when it comes to cooking protein at home, ground meat always wins in my book for both the fastest cook time and the simplest prep.
After sautéing your meat, you add your green beans to the pan until they’re cooked through and finally add your simple healthy sauce.
Plus the sauce is made as the meat & veggies cook in the skillet, so it doesn’t take you any extra time to infuse all those flavors into your dish.
tips for how to cook ground turkey
There’s lots of ways to cook ground turkey (I’ve got plenty of ground turkey recipe ideas for the slow cooker or instant pot here on Real Food Whole Life) – but quickly pan-frying it on the stovetop is definitely one of my favorite methods!
It gets a little extra flavor from browning it in the pan and is done in a matter of minutes without a lot of effort on your part.
The secret to cooking ground turkey with veggies is to cook your turkey first in a little hot cooking oil, remove it once done and then add your vegetables to the same pan to cook through.
That way your veggies pick up all the delicious flavor & any spices from the browned bits left behind in the skillet AND you don’t have to worry about having overcooked meat & undercooked green beans (or vice versa).
How long does it take to pan fry ground turkey? In my experience, when cooked over medium-high heat it only takes about 8-10 minutes until it’s done & cooked through!
ingredients & modifications
Ground turkey: I used 93% lean ground turkey, you can use an even leaner ground turkey if you like but it will be drier, less tender and less flavorful. Ground chicken also works great in this recipe in place of ground turkey.
Green beans: I used fresh green beans and trimmed the ends for this recipe, but asparagus or broccoli florets can easily be swapped for green beans if you prefer and they’ll cook just as quickly & easily.
Chicken broth: I used low-sodium chicken broth for this recipe, but you could also use bone broth or vegetable broth if you prefer.
Tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce, but you can also use regular soy sauce in its place if you tolerate gluten. For a soy-free dish, you can use coconut aminos in place of tamari.
Garlic and ginger: I used fresh garlic cloves and fresh ginger in this dish, since there’s so few ingredients in the sauce I find that using these fresh ingredients provides the best flavor. However, you could also use garlic powder and dried ginger in its place.
Honey: I find that the light sweetness from the honey provides a nice balance to the salty, savory flavors in this dish. You could also use another liquid sweetener like agave or coconut nectar in its place.
Fresh lime juice: Fresh squeezed lime juice provides a nice bright & tangy lift to this recipe. You could also use lemon juice or rice wine vinegar in its place.
Arrowroot: Also called arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder, you can usually find this in your local natural foods store (look in the baking aisle or gluten-free section) or online. It’s a great pantry staple to keep on hand that’ll help you thicken sauces, soups and stews naturally. If you don’t have or can’t find arrowroot starch, cornstarch works great to make this recipe too!
Olive oil: I love using olive oil in this recipe but you could use any other neutral flavored cooking oil you like in this recipe – such as avocado, coconut oil, vegetable or canola oil.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
For paleo, be sure to use lime juice, a paleo-friendly oil (olive, coconut, or avocado) and coconut aminos. For whole30, do the same as the paleo version and also omit the honey.
what goes well with this ground turkey and green beans recipe
I love serving this atop white or brown rice, cooked quinoa or cauliflower rice, but it’s also just as delicious as a stand-alone one-pot meal.
You can also turn it into a ground turkey & green bean rice bowl by serving it over a bed of rice and ladling over any extra sauce from the pan.
Feel free to get creative with any toppings you like – toasted sesame seeds, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, bean sprouts, sriracha or chili garlic sauce, and even an extra squeeze of lime juice would all go great with this.
this recipe is…
Ground Turkey and Green Beans Skillet 20-Minute
For the Skillet
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or avocado oil, or coconut oil, divided
- 1 ½ pounds 93% lean dark meat ground turkey, dark or light meat
- ¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
For the Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or finely grated
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 8 ounces chicken stock
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice , or rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup gluten-free tamari
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder*
Optional Topping Ideas
- toasted sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, and hot sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or pan. Add the turkey, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook on medium-high until browned and cooked through, flipping once or twice, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the turkey and set aside, leaving any browned bits in the pan. To the same pan, add an additional tablespoon of oil, the green beans and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook on medium high, flipping once or twice, until the green beans are browned and slightly tender.
- While the turkey and green beans are cooking, make the sauce by combining and whisking together the garlic, ginger, honey, stock, lime juice or vinegar, and tamari until smooth. The sauce can also be made up to this point ahead and refrigerated up to 5 days.
- Just before adding the sauce, whisk in the arrowroot powder until very smooth.
- Add the turkey back to the pan with the green beans. Pour in the sauce, turn the heat to medium, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes. If you want a thinner sauce, add a splash more chicken stock.
- Serve warm sprinkled with sesame seeds, cilantro, green onion and hot sauce if you like, atop rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or alone.