Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey

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Healthy Thai slow cooker ground turkey is an easy dinner recipe that only takes 10 minutes to prepare and can be served in many ways including over rice or noodles.

Overhead view of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey in a bowl over rice


Asian fare is one of favorite cuisines. Probably because common Asian ingredients like hoisin sauce, coconut milk, garlic, ginger etc. are rich in flavor and they’re nutritious.

This Thai slow cooker ground turkey combines the flavors I love with a cooking method that makes executing this dish very easy (thank you crockpot).

This ground turkey recipe is an easy dinner that only takes 10 minutes to prepare. It can be served in many ways including over rice or noodles!

Overhead view of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey in the crockpot with a spoon stirring it

Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey: Ingredients & Substitutions 

Here are a few potential substituions for this healthy slow cooker turkey recipe!

  • Ground turkey. Ground chicken or beef work well in this recipe.
  • Soy sauce. For a paleo version use coconut aminos.
  • Brown sugar. honey or coconut sugar are great substitutes for browns sugar.
  • Powdered garlic. use fresh or minced garlic instead of powdered, if desired.
  • Powdered ginger. use fresh minced ginger instead of powdered, if desired.
  • Bell Peppers & Edamame. use your favorite vegetables. Sometimes I even put sweet potatoes in the dish.
  • Cornstarch. Arrowroot or tapioca starch can be used in place of cornstarch.
Overhead view of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey in a bowl over rice

How to make Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey

This Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey is crazy easy to make, but we’ll walk through the process step-by step and don’t forget to watch the video.

Make the sauce

The first step in this recipe is making the sauce. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in the container of your slow cooker. No need to dirty an extra bowl by whisking it in a separate dish.

A collage of six overhead photos showing how the sauce for this Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey is made inside of the slow cooker

Brown the ground turkey & onion. 

Next, brown the ground turkey & onion together in some olive oil before adding it to the slow cooker is a key step in making this healthy ground turkey recipe.  Browning adds both texture and flavor to this dish.

front view of turkey and onions browning in a cast iron skillet in the making of this Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey recipe

Add Turkey mixture & Vegetables to the slow cooker. 

After the turkey/onion mixture is browned, put it into the slow cooker.

Next, add the veggies and stir to combine.

Overhead view of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey after veggies and turkey have been added to the sauce in the crockpot before cooking

Cook

Since the turkey in this recipe has already been cooked, this dish only needs to be cooked until the veggies are done.  I recommend cooking it on high for at least 2 hours, or on low for at least 4 to give the flavors time to blend.

I love this recipe because It doesn’t need to cook all day to still be delicious.

Overhead view of a spoon taking a scoop of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey recipe out of the crockpot

Thicken the sauce

If necessary, use cornstarch (or tapioca starch) and water to thicken the sauce in the crockpot. This step isn’t always necessary. It mostly depends on the water content of the vegetables you use.

Cook for 30-60 minutes on high or until sauce is thick. Add the cornstarch and water to the mixture in the crockpot, then leave the top slightly ajar and cook for 30-60 minutes, until thickened.

front up close view of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey in a bowl served over white rice

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few delicious ways to serve this Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey (other than all by itself, of course!

  • always serve it with crushed peanuts or cashews sprinkled on top!
  • Serve it over Noodles or vegetable noddles of your choice (zucchini, sweet potato, etc).
  • Enjoy it with rice of any kind (white, brown, fried rice, cauliflower, etc)
  • Over a salad
  • Stuffed inside a baked sweet potato

Store/freeze

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

front view of a hand sprinkling crushed peanuts into a bowl of Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey over rice

Recipe FAQs

Can you put raw (or frozen) ground turkey into a crockpot? 

Yes you can! If you’d prefer to skip the browning step you can add raw or frozen ground turkey to the crockpot. However, I’d recommend modifying the method a bit if you do this:
Cook the ground turkey alone in the sauce for at least 3-5 hours (on low or high), until it is cooked.
You may need to skim fat off the top of the sauce or break up the meat during this process so it doesn’t end up in clumps.
Add the vegetables after the meat is cooked and continue on with the recipe.

Do you have to brown ground turkey before putting it in the crockpot? 

Technically the answer is no as long as you cook it long enough. However, I believe browning the ground turkey gives this recipe the best texture and flavor, and I do not recommend skipping this step!

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free! However here are a couple that you need to be mindful of and choose gluten-free varieties:
Gluten-free hoisin sauce
Gluten-free Soy sauce

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes! You can easily put it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to two months!

How do you store Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey?

Store this Thai Slow-Cooker Ground Turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days! It’s a great meal prep idea to make on a Sunday and enjoy all week long!

front view of slow cooker ground turkey in a bowl with a spoon taking a scoop

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Healthy Thai Slow Cooker Ground Turkey Recipe

Laura
Healthy Thai slow cooker ground turkey is an easy dinner recipe that only takes 10 minutes to prepare and can be served in many ways including over rice or noodles.
4.96 from 43 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, asian
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 198.5
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Sauce :

Turkey & Veggies:

  • 20 0z ground turkey
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 bell pepper any color, diced
  • ½ cup edamame shelled
  • 1 TBS cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 TBS water

Instructions 

  • Add coconut milk, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce, sesame oil, powdered ginger & garlic powder to your slow cooker. Whisk together until smooth. Set slow cooker off to the side.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil. Add ground turkey and onion and cook until turkey is browned on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the turkey/onion mixture to the crock pot and stir until it’s evenly distributed in the sauce. 
  • Add diced bell peppers (or any color of your choosing) and edamame to the crockpot and stir until everything is evenly distributed. 
  • Cook on high for at least 2 hours, or low for at least 4 hours, until the veggies are cooked to your liking. 
  • To thicken the sauce: Mix together cornstarch and water, add to crock pot and cook on high for 30-60 minutes, with the lid slightly ajar. 
  • Once veggies are cooked to your liking and sauce is thick, serve over rice or noodles!

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Ground turkey. Ground chicken or beef work well in this recipe.
  • Soy sauce. For a paleo version use coconut aminos.
  • Brown sugar. honey or coconut sugar are great substitutes for browns sugar.
  • Powdered garlic. use fresh or minced garlic instead of powdered, if desired.
  • Powdered ginger. use fresh minced ginger instead of powdered, if desired.
  • Bell Peppers & Edamame. use your favorite vegetables. Sometimes I even put sweet potatoes in the dish.
  • Cornstarch. Arrowroot or tapioca starch can be used in place of cornstarch.

Store/freeze

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 198.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.5g | Protein: 16.3g | Fat: 11.2g | Saturated Fat: 4.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 972mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 4.5g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 18.2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

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Recipe Rating




49 Comments

  1. This was delicious!! Only thing I changed was omitting the onions as my husband cannot have them. I added chopped red Peppers and green squash. Next time I will add yellow squash too!
    I served it over mashed potatoes for hubby and I had over rice.yum!! I left out edamame as he does not like it.

  2. 5 stars
    I substituted teriyaki because I ran out of soy sauce and just had garlic chili sauce. I left out brown sugar as teriyaki and hoisin had a good amount of sugar already. I added broccoli and made a rice noodle. I loved it! Lots of flavor and a good amount of spice. Still plenty sweet. Turned out great! My new favorite..

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! I didn’t sub anything and loved every bite. I had it over cauliflower rice but am really forward to having it with white rice . Great recipe!

  4. 4 stars
    It’s in the slow cooker, and smells delicious! Just what I’m hoping for, when I want Thai food. The problem is the prep time. Following the directions, I put the sauce in the cooker first. But then the time delay starts, You need to cut the onions, no? Then add to the turkey – to brown for 10 minutes. Plus the other instructions, but my issue is that prep time of 10 minutes predicted for this recipe. You cannot have a 10 minute prep time if one step itself takes 10 minutes. So this needs to be realistic – I’d change this to a prep time of 30 minutes, then people will be pleasantly surprised if it takes less time.

    Please not that this isn’t just this recipe. I have never encountered a recipe online that uses a realistic prep time. This really does need to change.

    1. I have doubled it with great results. You can always leave the lid ajar in the final 30-60 minutes of cooking if it looks watery. Then it will cook off!

  5. 5 stars
    First time making Thai food in my life, and I am not a “spring chicken”! It turned out delicious, My husband loved it, too, even though I had to buy low-salt soy sauce, and make my own hoisin sauce with less salt for him. It was just great! I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which I finely chopped, and served all over rice! I have shared this recipe with many! Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    O. M. G. This. Recipe. Is. Amazing!
    I didn’t make many adjustments just more turkey and black beans instead of the edamame (cos that’s all I had in the pantry lol I know it’s weird). Also used light coconut milk. Everything else was the same and boy, was it yummy! Had it over cauliflower rice and I couldn’t get enough! I’ll probably add more spice to it for my preference but I’m so happy I found this recipe thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    so good, had everything including bang pho noodles. added eggplant cause i had it. id make this every week..cant wait to try more of your recipes.