Mexican Ground Turkey Rice Bowls

This Mexican Fried Rice & Ground Turkey Bowl recipe with protein-rich black beans, salsa, bell peppers, and tomatoes is a healthy twist on restaurant-style Mexican rice! A great, easy weeknight dinner for when you have leftover cooked rice to use up.

overhead shot of two Mexican Fried Rice Ground Turkey Bowls

Mexican Ground Turkey Rice Bowls – the dinner that practically makes itself. Ok, almost! But seriously, this one I have filed under “easy healthy flavor bomb weeknight dinner”. You could also call these turkey bowls Mexican “fried rice” because it is made using leftover rice rather than making it “risotto-style” starting with uncooked rice grains.

Fried rice is one of my favorite quick dinners, and as with most of my “favorites” I already have a couple of rice bowls and fried rice recipes on the blog, along with some healthy low carb versions like this Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice

overhead shot of a serving of healthy Mexican Fried rice with ground turkey, topped with salsa and cilantro

Mexican fried rice is kind of a take-out classic and while I love restaurant-style fried rice, one of my big issues with it is that it is greasy as hell, plus there are never enough veggies and the seasoning tends to be on the tame side! All issues I addressed in this recipe. I packed this fried rice with protein-rich black beans,  tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, Mexican seasoning and some fresh salsa for flavor and freshness.

overhead shot of Mexican Fried Rice Ground Turkey Bowls sprinkled with fresh cilantro

Star ingredient – Ground Turkey

Let’s talk about the choice of meat for a second. I love cooking with ground turkey.  It is a SUPERB healthy alternative to ground beef and you can use it as an easy substitution in pretty much every recipe that calls for minced pork or beef.  It takes on whatever flavors you add and makes a mean chili or bolognese!

Yes, for this turkey bowl recipe you can use low-fat ground turkey and it will still taste amazing.

Now, I know some people are not huge on turkey and if you are one of them, feel free to use ground chicken or beef. Same goes for cilantro, if you’re not a super fan, you can use parsley or chopped scallions. A bit of green is a really nice finishing touch and makes for such a more “Mexican” presentation – all white, red, and green.

How to make this recipe:

picture collage demonstrating how to make Mexican Ground Turkey Rice Bowls

Step 1 – Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and turkey to the skillet. Cook, stirring often and breaking down the turkey into small bits with the spoon until turkey is no longer pink (it will finish cooking after).

Step 2- Stir in rice, black beans, tomato sauce, salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, to let the flavor develop. If it starts to dry out, add a bit more tomato sauce or salsa, just enough to moisten.

Step 3 – Turn off the heat, stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust salt if needed.

overhead shot of Mexican Fried Ground Turkey Rice in a pot sprinkled with cilantro

Serve immediately with more cilantro and some lime wedges, or pack in containers to eat later.

Leftovers will last a couple of days in the fridge and are great as a packed lunch you can take to work and eat warm or cold.

overhead shot of a healthy Mexican Ground Turkey Rice Bowl served with lime wedges

Tips:

  • Use cold pre-cooked rice: So leftover refrigerated rice is ideal! Yep, you’ve gotta plan ahead when making fried rice and use thoroughly-chilled cooked rice.  A fresh batch of rice will not fry that well when it hits the hot pan. If you are really in a hurry and GOTS to have your fried rice NOW, cook up a fresh batch of rice.  Then spread it out on a baking sheet or another large flat pan, drape the rice with a layer of plastic wrap, then pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until it is thoroughly chilled.
  • Leftover brown rice will work just fine as well.
  • When cooking with ground turkey seasoning is important, since turkey has a very mild flavor! Taste your rice before you serve it, and add more salt or salsa if necessary.
  • Yes, you can make a low carb cauliflower rice version of this fried rice. Add in the cauliflower rice, along with the tomatoes, salsa and spices, cover with a lid and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes until the cauliflower rice has begun to soften in texture. Lift the lid and continue to cook until liquid is evaporated, then stir in lime juice and cilantro.
  • Feel free to add in some corn or use kidney beans instead of black beans, if that’s what you’re having.
overhead shot of Mexican rice and ground turkey bowl topped with lime wedge and cilantro
5 from 6 votes
Print

Mexican Ground Turkey Bowl

This Mexican Ground Turkey Bowl recipe with rice, black beans and tomatoes is a healthier twist on restaurant-style Mexican rice! Leftover cooked rice is mixed with sauteed veggies, lean ground turkey, spices, lime and cilantro! YUM!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword healthy fried rice recipe, Mexican fried rice, turkey bowls
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 441 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bell pepper chopped finely
  • 1 lb/500 grams ground turkey - or ground chicken
  • 2 cups leftover cooked rice - if you don’t have leftover rice you can also start by cooking 1 cup dry rice.
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup plain tomato sauce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tbsp lime juice up to 2 tbsp to taste
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped + more for serving
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and turkey to the skillet. Cook, stirring often and breaking down the turkey in small bits with the spoon, until turkey is no longer pink (it will finish cooking after).
  2. Stir in rice, black beans, tomato sauce, salsa, chili powder and cumin. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, to let the flavor develop. If it starts to dry out, add a bit more tomato sauce or salsa, just enough to moisten.
  3. Turn off the heat, stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
  4. Serve immediately with more cilantro and some lime wedges; or pack in containers to eat later.

Recipe Notes

  • Use cold pre-cooked rice: So leftover refrigerated rice is ideal! Yep, you’ve gotta plan ahead when making fried rice and use thoroughly-chilled cooked rice.  A fresh batch of rice will not fry that well when it hits the hot pan. If you are really in a hurry and GOTS to have your fried rice and NOW, cook up a fresh batch of rice.  Then spread it out on a baking sheet or another large flat pan, drape the rice with a layer of plastic wrap, then pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until it is thoroughly chilled.
  • Leftover brown rice will work just fine as well.
  • Feel free to add in some corn or use kidney beans instead of black beans, if that's what you're having. 
  • Yes, you can make a low carb cauliflower rice version of this fried rice. Add in the cauliflower rice, along with the tomatoes, salsa and spices, cover with a lid and cook for another 5 - 7 minutes until the cauliflower rice has begun to soften in texture. Lift the lid and continue to cook until liquid is evaporated, then stir in lime juice and cilantro.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Ground Turkey Bowl
Amount Per Serving (1 /4th)
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 879mg38%
Potassium 990mg28%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 1978IU40%
Vitamin C 48mg58%
Calcium 91mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried this Mexican Fried Rice Turkey Bowl Recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Main Dishes Meal Prep Meat Quick & Easy Meals Recipes Refined Sugar Free Side dishes Summer Recipes Turkey
11 Comments
  1. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this dish! May I ask for the nutritional content underneath this recipe, cause I’m still trying this tracking macros method, thanks:)

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