Attention buffalo sauce fans: We have a treat for you! Our Buffalo Ground Turkey Quinoa Bowl has ground turkey stir-fried with onion, carrot, celery, and spinach atop fluffy quinoa, dressed with blue cheese crumbles and Buffalo yogurt sauce! Yum!
Buffalo sauce makes for a delicious meal. From chicken wings to dips and casseroles, Buffalo sauce makes many things better.
Check this out: Creamy Greek yogurt mixed with spicy Buffalo sauce makes a delicious topping for this fun weeknight dinner.
Plus, it’s a creative way to sneak in a handful of veggies for your pickiest eaters.
Luckily, our kids like some spice sometimes; I hope yours do too! If not, use less Buffalo and more yogurt for a much more subdued flavor and level of spiciness!
Quinoa power bowls are some of my favorite healthy meals for busy weeknights or meal prep for workweek lunches. When searching for more varieties of quinoa meals, we developed this buffalo quinoa ground turkey skillet.
Our 4-year-old loves hot sauce lately, so we tried something new! Buffalo chicken dip is something she can eat all day long. So we transformed it into a healthy dinner with ground turkey!
It turned out to be such a tasty bowl that we have it on our regular dinner rotation. There are many ways to add or change the bowl to fit your tastes or dietary needs, so be sure to check out our Substitutions/Variations section at the bottom of this post.
Also, be sure to check out our Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl for another great recipe using the superfood quinoa!
Let’s start with some healthy intentions. Take a few deep cleansing and grounding breaths. Set intentions for your health, meal, and/or evening or event ahead. Some suggestions are:
My intention is to serve a healthy meal the whole family will love. We will enjoy each other’s company while eating a tasty and nutritious meal.
I feel fantastic when I eat clean and nutrient-dense foods.
I am grateful for the continued improvement in my health, wellness, energy, and mood. Every bite I eat is satisfying. I eat just the right amount every meal.
Form your intentions and affirmations to your needs and desires and watch the magic of positivity, prayer, and intention transform your life! This is the most important ingredient and step in every recipe! Read more about intentions and affirmations here.
For the turkey stir fry:
Ground turkey- Organic is best!
Avocado oil- Avocado oil is a stable cooking oil with a high smoke point. You can also use extra virgin olive oil
Onion- White or yellow onion works best, rather than red onion with buffalo sauce and ground meat mixtures.
Organic Baby Spinach
For the Quinoa:
Tri-color quinoa- Any quinoa will suffice! The most important part is the pre-soaking process outlined below. Opt for organic quinoa if you can find it!
Organic Chicken broth or water (for cooking quinoa)
For the sauce:
Buffalo sauce- Be sure to check the ingredients to make sure there aren't added preservatives or artificial ingredients.
Plain Greek yogurt
Crumbled Blue cheese (optional) Also check ingredients to ensure you are getting whole food ingredients only!
See the recipe card for quantities.
Soaking and sprouting grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is an essential step that is beneficial for many reasons. These foods typically have a layer of phytic acid that protects them from environmental factors. Phytic acid is known as an anti-nutrient and blocks the absorption of essential nutrients. It may also cause digestive upset.
The simple remedy to remove the phytic acid and maximize benefits from your grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds is to simply rinse, soak, and/or sprout to activate nutrients and disable anti-nutrients. Each food has a slightly different recommendation for soaking. Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that benefits greatly from sprouting and soaking.
If you do not have time to soak, be sure to at least rinse.
Hint: The amount of water used to cook will vary depending on how long the quinoa has been soaked. The ideal Soaking time is 6-8 hours.
If you need to soak for longer than 12 hours be sure to strain and rinse the quinoa and replace it with fresh water for additional time if needed/desired. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and warm purified water for optimal results. Drain and rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Check out our guide to sprouted quinoa for more information on soaking and sprouting!
Cooking liquid to soaking time ratios:
Rinse only: 3 cups water: 2 cups quinoa
Soak for 1 hour: 2 cups water: 2 cups quinoa
Soak for 3 hours: 1.5 cups water: 2 cups quinoa
Soak longer or overnight: A minimum of 1 cup water no matter how much quinoa is needed, especially in an instant pot!
Hint: The foam is the phytic acid soaking off! Be sure the rinse the foam and bubbles away to the best of your ability. Try to let the water run as clear as possible.
- Cook quinoa
Sause onions and celery. Add ground turkey and ¼ cup of buffalo sauce to cook in a skillet Add shredded carrots and spinach, stirring while spinach wilts. Remove from heat.
3. Mix Greek yogurt and 2 TB buffalo sauce.
4. Add turkey mix to quinoa in a bowl and top with yogurt sauce and blue cheese. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Hint: If using an instant pot to cook quinoa, only use one cup of liquid. and set to 1 min on high pressure. Let it naturally release. This should take a total of 15-20 minutes.
Substitutions and Variations
For a ground turkey substitute, use ground beef, ground chicken, or bison meat if desired.
Omit any of the vegetables in the stir fry if desired.
You can also add or substitute vegetables like bell pepper or broccoli.
For dairy-free Omit blue cheese and substitute Greek yogurt with plain cashew milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt.
Sour cream can also be used if you can't get ahold of yogurt.
Quinoa can be substituted with wild or brown rice or riced cauliflower.
For a vegan or vegetarian meal, consider substituting with black beans, tempeh, or jackfruit. (Note: I have not tried this, but I would love to hear how it works out for you if you choose to!)
Note: Quinoa is a complete protein, so you needn't add protein unless you are looking for additional textures!
If you aren't a fan of the flavor of ground turkey, cooking it with extra seasonings or sauce may be the ticket. You can also cook it with onions, garlic, carrots, and/or celery as we do in this recipe!
Sometimes extra lean ground turkey can turn out a bit bland and dry. If you came home with an extra-lean version, simply add olive oil or avocado oil to the pan while cooking. You can also use Ghee, which is clarified butter for a healthy nutritional boost!
Both turkey and chicken are poultry and considered lean protein. Turkey actually tends to have fewer calories and fat than chicken while having slightly more iron. The most important thing to consider is the quality of the meat. Organic, free-range chicken and turkey that were raised humanely and minimally processed tend to produce healthier products.
Looking for other healthy recipes? Try these:
Buffalo Ground Turkey Quinoa Bowl is a complete meal by itself!
But if you like a side with your meal, as my husband calls "WIT FOOD", consider steamed green beans, artichoke hearts, roasted Brussels sprouts, or your favorite vegetable.
In case you are wondering what WIT food means, it's the food that goes "WITH" the main dish. I will forever call it this now. SO fun. haha.
Healthy Buffalo Ground Turkey Quinoa Bowl with Yogurt Sauce
- 1 lb Organic ground turkey
- 2 cups quinoa soaked, drained, and rinsed
- 1-1.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 blue cheese crumbles optional
- ½ onion minced
- 2 teaspoon avocado oil
- 2 celery stalks minced
- 1 carrot shredded or minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup Buffalo sauce separated plus 2 TB
- 1 cup Plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cups baby spinach
- After rinsing the soaked quinoa for at least 3 hours, add 1.5 cups of liquid (broth or water) to the pan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add quinoa and give it a stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 8 minutes or until water absorbs. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 3-5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside. Hint: shred carrot, chop onions, garlic, and celery while quinoa is cooking if you haven’t already
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and onions and celery and sauté, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground turkey and ¼ cup of buffalo sauce and cook in a skillet, breaking up into crumbles while stirring and flipping until brown and cooked to 165F internal temp. Add shredded carrots and spinach, stirring until spinach wilts. Then remove from heat.
- Stir Greek yogurt and 2 TB buffalo sauce in a small bowl.
- Add turkey stir-fry to quinoa in a bowl and top with yogurt buffalo sauce and Blue cheese, if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
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Be sure to thoroughly wash all vegetables before cutting. I like to use white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Put produce in a clean sink and spray vinegar on them generously and let sit for 2 min then rinse thoroughly. Dry and cut as per instruction.