Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet

$9.96 recipe / $2.49 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 63 votes
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OMG yum yum yum! This recipe is an instant new favorite! I’ve been all about the skillet and one-pot meals lately because I’m super busy, so today I made this Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet, which is like a deconstructed version of my Greek Turkey Burgers. The recipe is super simple and uses small amounts of super flavor potent ingredients, like feta and Kalamata olives, to deliver a big flavor punch without driving the price way up.

Overhead view of Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lemon wedges.

Lower Carb Options

I went a little lower on the carb to meat ratio than I usually do, which made the final cost per serving a bit higher, but that’s what fit my needs today. You can make this a super low carb meal by eliminating the rice and broth, doubling the spinach, and adding in some fresh diced tomatoes at the end (you won’t need to simmer since there’s no rice to cook, just stir and cook until heated through). A can of white beans or garbanzo beans would also be nice in there.

Keep Expensive Ingredients in Check

I love using small amounts of feta (and I’m talking small, like 1 oz.) to really punch up the flavor in recipes, but you can’t usually buy just one ounce of feta at a time. So, I buy an 8 oz. block of feta, cut it into four 2 oz. cubes, and freeze them. They thaw fairly quickly at room temperature and then I can use one or two ounces as needed. Like other cheeses, feta does get more crumbly after the freeze/thaw cycle, but I always crumble it over my dishes anyway so it’s not a problem. :)

Trouble Cooking Rice?

Just another couple of quick notes about this one skillet cooking method. You must have a quality thick bottomed pot for this to work. If it heats unevenly you may have some rice that gets scorched while other rice remains uncooked. If you often have trouble with cooking rice or these one pot methods, try cooking the rice separately in the broth, then combining it with the other ingredients in the skillet after cooking.

A wooden spatula stirring the Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet, with lemon wedges on the sides.

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Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet

4.91 from 63 votes
Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet is an easy and flavorful ground turkey recipe that cooks in one skillet for maximum flavor and minimum effort. 
Everything cooks together in one pot for this fast and easy Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet, creating big flavor without a lot of fuss. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4 to 6 servings (7 cups total)
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 19 oz. Ground turkey, 97% lean ($4.59)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked ($0.66)
  • 1/4 lb frozen cut leaf spinach ($0.42)
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomato halves (about 7 pcs), sliced ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced ($1.08)
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth* ($0.21)
  • handful fresh parsley ($0.25)
  • 1 fresh lemon ($0.75)
  • 1 oz feta ($0.56)

Instructions 

  • Add the olive oil and garlic to a large deep skillet and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the ground turkey, oregano, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the turkey is cooked through (about 5 minutes).
  • While the turkey is cooking, slice the olives and sun dried tomatoes. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the rice, frozen spinach (no need to thaw first), olives, and sun dried tomatoes to the skillet. 
  • Add the chicken broth and stir until everything is very well combined. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low or medium low, and allow it to gently simmer for 15 minutes. Use the lowest level of heat that maintains a steady simmer in the skillet.
  • After 15 minutes, give the skillet a brief stir, replace the lid quickly, turn off the heat, and allow it to sit for an additional 10 minutes.
  • While the skillet is resting, zest half of the lemon and slice it into wedges. Roughly chop the parsley. Give the skillet a final fluff and stir, then top with lemon zest, parsley, and crumbled feta. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over top.

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Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 600.1kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 27.9gFat: 34.83gSodium: 1012.08mgFiber: 3.35g
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Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet on a stoneware plate with a lemon wedge and feta sprinkled over top.

How to Make Greek Turkey Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Browned ground turkey in the skillet

Begin by adding 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 cloves of minced garlic to a large deep skillet. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, then add 19oz. ground turkey (97% lean), 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Continue to sauté until the turkey is cooked through. I used Honeysuckle White ground turkey, which inexplicably comes in a 19oz. package. 

Add rice, spinach, olives, and sun dried tomatoes to skillet

To the cooked turkey add 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, 1/4 lb. frozen cut leaf spinach (no need to thaw first), about 1/3 cup dried tomato halves (about 7 pieces) sliced thinly, and about 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (sliced). I use sun dried tomatoes that are *not* packed in oil. I get them in little bags in the produce department and only use a small handful at a time in recipes. The rest store easily in my pantry.

dish of Kalamata Olives

Instead of buying a whole jar of olives, which usually runs $6-$7 dollars, I just grabbed a handful from the olive bar in my grocery store. I did a price calculation to compare the price per pound for the olive bar vs. the jar olives, and they were almost the same, so I opted for the “no leftovers” choice. 

Add Broth to Skillet

Also add 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet, then give everything a good stir until the ingredients are evenly combined. I use Better Than Bouillon to mix up the exact amount of broth that I need for recipes and the jar of concentrate stores easily in my fridge without spoiling. Super convenient.

Cooked Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low or medium-low (the lowest temp where it maintains a gentle simmer), and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, give it a quick stir, replace the lid, turn off the heat, and let it sit for an additional 10 minutes. After that the rice should all be tender and the broth completely absorbed.

Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet finished with feta on top

While the skillet is simmering, zest the lemon and then cut it into wedges. Roughly chop the parsley. Sprinkle the lemon zest, parsley, and feta over the skillet once it’s finished cooking.

A large skillet full of Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet with lemon wedges, garlic, and parsley on the sides

Serve with the lemon wedges to squeeze over top just before eating. NOM. I could seriously eat that whole thing! 

Close view of a forkful of Greek turkey and rice skillet

So many colors and flavors in this Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet! 

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  1. This recipe is in heavy rotation at our house. I love the flavors and how filling it is!

  2. I’ve been making this recipe for 3 years. I started making it just the same as the directions, and it was great as is. Recently I’ve modified it into a two pot meal. I brown the rice in saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil,butter or ghee, then I add 2 cups of chicken stock or chx bouillon to the rice and cook until done. I saute the rest of the ingredients in a saute pan and it turns out great. This way both the turkey is not overcooked and rice is super flavorful. I add the salt at the end for more control over how salty it is. Thanks for the recipe it’s been a go to for years.

  3. My family tried this tonight and it got devoured. Might try with ground lamb next time!

  4. We’re just not fans of ground turkey. Do you think this would work the diced chicken breast?

    1. Loved this one, Beth! Made a few substitutions for personal preference and what I had available:
      – I only had 1/2 lb ground chicken in the freezer, so I added about half a can of drained & rinsed cannellini beans to make up the difference (plus fiber!). These practically “melted” into the dish after cooking and didn’t add a noticeable texture. 
      – I added 1 diced red bell pepper and 1 diced yellow onion – sautéed them with the ground meat and garlic – since I had them.
      – I used a brown basmati & wild rice blend from Aldi rather than white rice (more fiber!). The instructions on the rice called for a 1:2 rice:broth ratio and 25 minute cook time, but following those instructions, I had crunchy rice. I added another 3/4 cup broth and cooked for another 10 minutes to fully cook. (So 2.75 cups broth and 35 mins cook time total) 

      In addition to the feta and lemon zest (didn’t have fresh parsley), I topped with a shawarma-inspired hot sauce because everything gets hot sauce at our house. It was delicious!! Will be making again. Thank you thank you! 

  5. This is one of our all-time favorite recipes! My husband and I love this dish- so delicious and easy to make. We substitute brown rice (need to add more water and cook longer) and it still turns out so great. Sometimes we’ll add fresh spinach instead of frozen and that too works very well. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  6. I’d love to see a version of this using brown rice or quinoa! I love the convenience of one-pot meals, but so many of your recipes use white rice and I’m not confident enough in my cooking skills to modify on my own for this type of change. I know I can’t be the only one who needs to choose more whole grains for personal nutritional needs!

    (Don’t get me wrong, white rice is great. But when you cook for one and eat all the servings as leftovers over the span of a few days it’s hard to balance with my dietary needs.)

    1. I completely agree with you here! Tonight I tried this with quinoa. All I did was sub out the rice for equal amounts quinoa and then upped the broth to 2 cups. Waiting on it to finish up now, and it seems to have worked out so far!!

      1. Did the quinoa work? I would love to try it, but am not much of a chef or about to substitute much on my own!