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Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers

There are so many good flavors in this Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers and this tasty recipe is low-carb, low-glycemic, dairy-free, and South Beach Phase One (and gluten-free with the right ingredient choices). Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

I’ve mentioned how I’m working to embrace ground turkey, after years of thinking it was rather bland in the flavor department.  And lately I’m really loving it, especially when it’s in a highly-seasoned recipe like this Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers.

In this dish the oil is seasoned with onion onion and garlic, and then the cooked turkey is flavored with a stir-fry sauce that has fresh-frozen lime juice, Red Boat Fish Sauce, Sriracha Sauce, Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce, and just a touch of Agave Nectar.  With the addition of red bell this recipe has the sour-sweet-spicy-salty-bitter flavor notes that make Thai cooking so distinctive.  Use your garden basil if you have some!

If you’re new to stir-frying, you might want to read the basic rules for stir-frying that I learned many years ago when I studied Chinese cooking before you make this Thai Turkey Stir-Fry.  Once you’ve mastered those basic techniques, you can make an endless variety of good-tasting dishes!

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

Whisk together fresh-frozen lime juice, Red Boat Fish Sauce, Sriracha Sauce, Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce, and Agave Nectar to make the stir-fry sauce. Cut the onion and red bell pepper into same-size slivers.  Cut the garlic cloves into slices. I still had basil left growing in my herb pots, but this would be a great reason to splurge on Thai Basil at the market.  Coarsely chop the basil after you’ve prepped the other ingredients

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

If you don’t have a Wok, use a large heavy frying pan.  Heat the pan before you add the oil. Add oil and when it’s hot add garlic and cook just until it’s fragrant.  Remove garlic and discard. Then add red bell pepper and onion and stir-fry over high heat for 1-2 minutes.  Remove to a bowl. Add the other teaspoon of oil if needed, add tturkey, and stir-fry about 5 minutes, breaking it apart as it cooks. Cook the turkey until any liquid has evaporated and it’s starting to brown slightly.

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

Add the peppers back to the wok and cook 2 minutes. Add the chopped basil and cook 1 minute. Add the sauce and cook until it’s absorbed into the meat and the whole dish is hot, about 2 minutes.  Serve hot.

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers

(Makes  about 6 servings, depending on what else is included in the meal; recipe created by Kalyn and Jake.  If you’re new to stir-frying, you might want to read the basic rules for stir-frying before you make this.)

Stir-Fry Sauce Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed or fresh-frozen lime juice
1 T fish sauce (I love Red Boat Fish Sauce and it’s gluten-free and Paleo)
1 T Sriracha Sauce
1 T soy sauce (I used Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
1 T Agave Nectar (or honey, cane sugar, or something like Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener if you prefer)

1 onion, cut in slivers
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 T + 1 tsp. high smoke point oil (such as avocado oil, peanut oil, or grapeseed oil)
2-3 large cloves garlic, cut in slices (for seasoning the oil)
1-2 cups chopped basil leaves or Thai basil leaves (more or less to taste and depending on whether you have to buy basil)
1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey


Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, and Agave nectar to make the stir-fry sauce.  Cut the onion into thin slivers and cut the red bell pepper into strips.  Peel and slice the garlic.

Heat the wok or large heavy frying pan over high heat for about 1 minute before you add the oil.  Then add the 1 tablespoon of oil, heat about 45 seconds (or until it looks shimmery), add the garlic cloves, and cook the garlic just until it’s fragrant.  When you smell garlic (less than one minute) remove the garlic and discard.

Add the onion slivers and bell pepper strips to the woke and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes (just until they’re starting to soften), then remove to a bowl.  Add the other teaspoon of oil if it seem like you need it, then add the ground turkey and stir-fry 5 minutes, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks.  Cook the turkey until any liquid evaporates completely and the turkey is starting to get lightly browned.

Add the vegetables back into the wok, stirring to combine with the meat, and cook about 1 minute.  Add the chopped basil and cook about 1 minute more, just until the basil starts to wilt.

Then add the stir-fry sauce and stir to distribute it in the meat/veggie mixture.  Cook about 2 minutes more, or until the sauce is mostly absorbed into the meat and the whole dish is hot.  Serve right away.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you’re eating this Thai Turkey Stir-fry for Phase One of the South Beach Diet, you may wish to use Stevia-in-the-Raw granulated or another approved sweetener. (But even if you make it with Agave Nectar like I did, it’s still very low in carbs with all the other low-glycemic ingredients, so I might still eat it for Phase One. I also think it’s low enough in carbs to work for most other low-carb eating plans.)

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Tasty Ideas for Stir-Fry Recipes You Might Like:
Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Garlic Beef, Broccoli, and Cauliflower Stir Fry ~ The Little Kitchen
Sriracha-Spiced Stir-Fried Tofu with Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper, and Thai Basil ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

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39 comments on “Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers”

  1. I can't get a printout of this recipe and I NEED it :).

  2. So sorry about that, just added the printer-friendly link.

    And I am losing it the last few days! I think it's because when I was working on the recipe yesterday I was going later in the day to get a skin-cancer spot cut out of my leg, and I was worried about it! But all is fine, other than a little bit of absent-mindedness on my part.

  3. Very glad to hear you are well! You are a treasure 🙂

  4. Aw gee, thanks so much!

  5. Have you calculated how much a serving size is?

  6. The recipe says 4-6 servings, and I don't know any more than that. But if it was six servings, that would be only 1/4 pound ground turkey plus 1/6 of an onion and 1/6 of a red pepper, plus some basil, so I'm guessing it's more like 4 servings if it's a main dish.

  7. Thank you so much! SO excited about this recipe.

  8. I've made this now 3 times since first trying it just a few weeks ago! It is so quick and healthy but also SO flavorful. Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. Was browsing for "ground turkey recipes" and stumbled across this page. So glad I did! It was incredibly flavorful. My only modification was to double the stir-fry sauce. I wanted it moist because it was so flavorful. Question, though, Kalyn: what do you suggest serving this with? I want to make this again for my family but need advice on what else to pair it with for a true family dinner.

  10. I can't believe I've never made this! It may be my new favorite Kalyn recipe. It was simple to assemble and sooooo flavorful and delicious. My wok is a pain to use, so I made it in a big cast iron skillet that worked beautifully. I could also see adding some veggies like mushrooms. I had the leftovers tonight over lettuce with just a tiny bit of creamy Caesar dressing thinned out with vinegar – so good!!!

  11. Delicious! The sauce has lots of great flavor and its easy to make.

  12. Great recipe!! Thank you for sharing a unique, low-carb way of using ground turkey. We will definitely be making this again and again.

  13. This recipe is so deceiving… its not even thai.. its thai esque.
    This is what i hate about sites like this, take a pretty picture but the recipe is crap. I can tell by what was put into it.

    • First of all, not sure why you felt the need to make such a rude comment. If it doesn't appeal to you, just don't make it. And I guess you didn't notice the recipe title said THAI-INSPIRED. So I wasn't claiming it is authentically Thai, but it's delicious as you can see from all the comments from other people who have enjoyed it.

  14. I Loved It! My extremely picky 15 year old son Loved It! I always change a recipe to make it my own. I found not one thing that I would change about this recipe. Placed the Thai-Inspired dish on some Butter Lettuce and it needed nothing else. Thank you, Kalyn. This recipe is a keeper.

  15. This is one of those recipes that I want to eat again, right after I finished the first plate! I have made this several times and there's something completely and utterly addictive about it! I LOVE IT! Thanks so much!

  16. My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. I will definitely be making it again! Thanks a bunch for posting it!

  17. This has become my favorite meal. Now, I add a side of rice for my husband, but I absolutely love it!!

  18. Wow!, great recipe for light lunch, lots of flavor , I increased a little more of the wet ingredients and added serrano chillies & scallions and used a ton of Thai basil as you said. "A+" dish .

    I am a avid cook, I thank you for the recipe.

    Rene & Karen
    Sarasota, Florida.

  19. this is absolutely amazing. my boyfriend and i have been making this once a week for almost a year now – no joke

  20. my boyfriend and i are obsessed with this recipe. we have made it once a week for almost a year now – no joke. LOVE IT!

  21. I made this tonight and it was amazing! The whole family loved it, thank you!

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