How To Cook Ground Chicken

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Ground chicken is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can elevate your cooking. Whether you’re a seasoned home chef or a newbie in the kitchen, this complete guide will give you inspiration and guidance on how to cook ground chicken and make the most of this lean and tasty protein source!

Suitable for low carb, Whole30, paleo, keto, and gluten free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the finished how to cook ground chicken recipe

Learning to cook involves learning a lot of basic skills that come together and help you form delicious meals for your family. Learning how to cook ground chicken is a simple skill that’s easy to master in just a few steps.

And, learning how to navigate the protein base for your meal, like How to Cook Ground Turkey and in this case, cooked ground chicken, can take your cuisine to the next level! 

My imagination is always inspired when I look at the different ways other people prepare their meals and the regional influences on their cooking. Do you have a favorite place to travel? Or maybe a place you’ve always dreamed of going? Let your cuisine take you there.

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From chicken taco meat with zesty seasonings that are perfect for Taco Lasagna or this Taco Casserole to savory chicken meatballs served with pasta, there’s a world of flavors to explore when you use cooked ground chicken.

Try a healthy stir-fry with colorful veggies or a classic Ground Chicken Chili for a hearty, satisfying option.

the completed how to cook ground chicken recipe

Yeap, a taste of the Mediterranean or the Orient is only a handful of spices away! Your imagination is the only limit to the plethora of easy ground chicken recipes out there, and learning how to cook ground chicken is just the beginning

Making ground chicken can also be a delicious and healthy alternative to ground beef and ground pork and can be substituted in just about any recipe calling for those ingredients.

Want to expand your knowledge of ground chicken? Click to learn How to make Meatballs using ground chicken. 

the completed how to cook ground chicken recipe made into a stir fry

Why Make This Recipe

  • It’s easy to freeze – Freezing cooked ground chicken makes for easier meal prep. It is so convenient to pull out partially cooked meals because it means less prep time when you and everyone else are already hungry! 
  • Affordable – Sometimes it pays (literally) to buy ground chicken or other ground meats in bulk and freeze them for later use. Prices can be so volatile these days, when you see a good deal you better take it!
  • It’s versatile – Cooked ground chicken is versatile and can be used in a wide range of recipes, allowing for creative cooking on the fly! Have everything but the main protein for a recipe? No problem — ground chicken to the rescue!
  • You can reduce food waste – A versatile meat like ground chicken means reducing food waste. Using ingredients you already have and pairing them with the chicken means you won’t risk throwing it away later because it went bad. 
top down view of the how  to cook ground chicken in a skillet

You can replace any ground meat with ground chicken to make a healthier dish. Check out these Casseroles for lots of recipes you can try. 

Ingredient Notes

  • Vegetable oil  — Especially when using lean meat like chicken or turkey, you need fat to keep it from drying out or sticking to the pan. You can use olive oil or even butter depending on your calorie and flavor preference. 
  • Ground Chicken — The lean protein of choice for this tutorial is ground chicken, however, you can use turkey, pork, or beef in the same way. 
  • Salt — Salt enhances the natural flavors in foods and is essential in seasoning meats. You can use the salt of your preference including sea salt, kosher salt, or even a low sodium/no sodium substitute. 
  • Seasonings — Use the seasoning blend of your choice. 

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Cook Ground Chicken

Don’t forget to check out my how-to and ingredients guides to get better results with every recipe.

Get complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card further below.

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken to the skillet and stir for a couple of minutes to break the meat up while you cook chicken.
  3. Season generously with salt and other seasonings of your choice.
  4. Stir regularly until the meat is cooked through.  
  5. Turn off the heat and serve or add to other recipes. 
image collage of the steps for how to cook ground chicken

Internal Temp 

Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C for safe consumption. Checking ground meat for doneness with a digital thermometer can be tricky so you should look for the meat to be golden brown in color all over with no pink remaining. 

Pro Tips

  • For less fat, choose lean ground chicken made from skinless chicken breast or a combination of breast and thigh meat. 
  • Ground chicken can become sticky and challenging to work with if it warms up. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it, and work quickly when handling it. Using a bit of oil on your hands can also help. 
  • Ground chicken can be lean and tend to dry out when cooked. To keep it moist, consider adding ingredients like finely chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs, or sauces to the mixture.
  • When making dishes like meatballs or burgers, don’t overmix the ground chicken. Overmixing can make the texture tough. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • If you find there’s too much liquid while cooking the ground chicken, you can drain it carefully and continue cooking, or just cook the chicken until adequate moisture has evaporated. 
  • Cover the pan with a lid while cooking ground chicken in recipes like chili or stews to help trap moisture.
  • Stir or flip regularly to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking of lower fat content cuts. 
  • Checking ground meat for doneness with a digital thermometer can be tricky, so you should also look for the meat to be golden brown in color all over with no pink remaining. 
  • Always clean your surfaces and utensils well after working with raw chicken.
  • Tips – Did you know you can make sausage or meatballs at home? Adding chorizo spices to ground chicken gives you ground chorizo chicken sausage! Putting Italian seasoning, garlic, onion, and dill into your ground chicken gives you Mediterranean meatballs!
the finished how to cook ground chicken recipe

Delicious Variations

  • Swap the protein – Instead of ground chicken, you can use ground turkey, ground beef, ground pork, or your favorite ground meat. 
  • Swap the seasonings – Chicken is like a blank canvas and you can season it with any of your favorite herb and spice blends. Below are some staple seasonings I keep in my pantry that are perfect to reach for when cooking ground chicken. You can find even more DIY mixes online.

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – You can cook ground chicken ahead of time for meals later in the week, or you can prep something like chicken chorizo meatballs or chicken burgers as well. 
  • Store – Allow the cooked ground chicken to cool completely before storing. Cooked ground chicken will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  • Freeze – Once the chicken has cooled completely, it can be frozen for 2-3 months before use. 
  • Reheat – Thaw the cooked ground chicken for 24 hours in the refrigerator and then warm on the stovetop or add to your dish and finish cooking. If you have frozen the chicken raw in meatballs or burgers, thaw it and then cook accordingly. 
the how to cook ground chicken

FAQs 

How long to cook ground chicken?

When browning fresh ground chicken on the stovetop, it typically takes about 5-7 minutes over medium heat to cook ground chicken.

Frozen will take a bit longer, but regardless it should be cooked until no longer pink and reaches 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C. 

How to season ground chicken?

There are lots of great ways to flavor your ground chicken – chorizo, Greek, Asian, or BBQ to name a few.

One of my favorite things to do is make my own spice mixes and keep them in my spice drawer. Take a look at the ingredients notes for more suggestions! 

What to do with ground chicken?

When it comes to what to do with ground chicken, your imagination is the only limit here! Some ideas to get your creative juices flowing are: 
lettuce wraps
white chicken chili
shepherd’s pie
curry
stir fry
tacos

What is the difference between ground turkey vs. ground chicken?

Namely, the difference between ground chicken vs. ground turkey is the bird. In regards to the flavor profile, not much.

However, ground turkey typically consists of drumstick and thigh meat, making it a little more fatty. Minced chicken is usually processed from breast and thigh meat with a small amount of skin. 

Is ground chicken healthy? 

Yes, if you are looking for a low-fat alternative to ground beef or pork, then ground chicken could be your answer to a healthy alternative. When lean meats are prepared well and coupled with vitamin and mineral rich foods, they can be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Can I make ground chicken?

You can make ground chicken in the food processor using boneless skinless chicken breasts. The consistency of the raw meat will be slightly different than storebought chicken which is processed through a meat grinder.

Why is my chicken dry?

Chicken is lower in fat than ground beef and ground pork so the meat may be drier. You can combat this by adding a bit of chicken stock to the frying pan when making ground chicken. This will help to add moisture.

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Similar Recipes

Looking to really hone your cooking skills? I’ve got you covered. Check out my full collection of Learn to Cook guides, or start a few of my most popular recipes:

Serve With:

  • A large skillet makes it easy to cook a pound of ground chicken.
  • Generously season with salt for the best flavor.
  • An instant-read digital meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is fully cooked.
  • For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

Weight Watchers Points

There is just 1 Blue Plan SmartPoint in one serving if made using ground chicken made from skinless chicken breast.

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the finished how to cook ground chicken inside a skillet
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How To Cook Ground Chicken

Make delicious, golden brown minced chicken in minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: American, Western
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 1 pound (453g) lean ground chicken
  • salt and other seasonings of your choice

Instructions

  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken to the skillet and stir for a couple of minutes to break the meat up.
  • Season generously with salt and any other seasonings of your choice.
  • Stir regularly until the meat is cooked through.
  • Turn off the heat and serve as is, or add to other recipes.
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Notes

  • For less fat, choose lean ground chicken made from skinless chicken breast or a combination of breast and thigh meat. 
  • Ground chicken can become sticky and challenging to work with if it warms up. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it, and work quickly when handling it. Using a bit of oil on your hands can also help. 
  • Ground chicken can be lean and tend to dry out when cooked. To keep it moist, consider adding ingredients like finely chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs, or sauces to the mixture.
  • When making dishes like meatballs or burgers, don’t overmix the ground chicken. Overmixing can make the texture tough. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • If you find there’s too much liquid while cooking the ground chicken, you can drain it carefully and continue cooking, or just cook the chicken until adequate moisture has evaporated. 
  • Cover the pan with a lid while cooking ground chicken in recipes like chili or stews to help trap moisture.
  • Stir or flip the turkey regularly to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking of lower fat content cuts. 
  • Checking ground meat for doneness with a digital thermometer can be tricky, so you should look for the meat to be golden brown in color all over with no pink remaining. 
  • Storage – keep in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • There is just 1 WW Blue Plan SmartPoint in one serving if made using lean ground chicken made from skinless chicken breast.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.04g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 592mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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