When the weather heats up, so does our desire for lighter, fresher meals. Unfortunately, that usually means no more turkey for dinner. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Instead of letting your main course take a vacation in the summer heat, think about serving it in a different way. Disrupting your standard dinner routine with something new and refreshing can help you get excited about eating again. If you love turkey as much as we do, don’t let the summer stop you from serving it at dinnertime. There are countless ways to serve this delicious meal when it’s hot outside. From grilled alternatives to refreshing salads and side dishes, there is a lightened-up version of turkey that will fit right into your July menu.
What to Serve with Turkey In The Summer
Grilled turkey is the perfect alternative to baked or roasted turkey in the summer. It’s a lighter way to prepare your favorite protein, and grilling turkey is incredibly easy. If you’ve got the grill out for burgers or steaks anyway, grill up a turkey breast for dinner as well. Using a grill pan is an easy way to prepare your bird. Simply season the breast as you normally would, put it on the grill pan, and grill it until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. You can also grill a whole turkey if you have a large enough grill and are feeding a crowd. A whole turkey takes a bit longer to cook than breasts, so be sure to check the temperature regularly to avoid over-or under-cooking.
Salmon is a delicious, healthy protein that can be used in place of turkey in many recipes. Salmon bowls are an easy and light take on the classic salmon and rice bowl. If your family is clamoring for salmon at dinner, but you don’t want to bake a large piece of fish, try using salmon in a rice bowl. Simply cook up some brown rice and salmon, chop up your favorite vegetables, and mix them all together with a light dressing. Salmon-based dishes are a great way to replace the traditional turkey recipes in your dinner rotation without having to make any huge changes or additions to your summer menu. They are simple and easy to make, and they pack a lot of the same flavor and nutrients that you would find in your traditional turkey dishes.
Roasted Veggie Bowls
Roasted vegetables are a fantastic side dish that can easily be used in place of traditional salad for dinner. Vegetable bowls are light and fresh way to enjoy your favorite roasted veggies. Simply chop your favorite roasted veggies, toss them with some olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven at a higher temperature than normal. Roasted vegetables are great by themselves, but they can easily be turned into a bowl. Simply layer the roasted veggies with a light sauce like hummus, tzatziki, or ranch dressing, and you’ve got a delicious meal that is better for you than a traditional salad.
Lightened Up Side Dishes
The best way to lighten up a turkey meal is by changing the side dishes. To go along with your salmon bowl and roasted vegetable bowl, try making roasted asparagus, mashed cauliflower, or a fresh and crunchy cucumber salad. These dishes are lower in calories and fat than standard mashed potatoes and creamed corn, but they are just as delicious. You can also try making baked corn on the cob instead of the traditional, butter-soaked corn on the cob. Simply mix together some spices (like cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, or cumin) with salt and pepper, and lightly coat the corn with this spice mixture before baking it in the oven. This will give your corn a flavorful kick without adding any butter or extra calories.
Baked Falafel Bowls
If you’re craving a bowl full of different ingredients but don’t want to use salmon again, try baked falafel bowls. Baked falafel is a delicious and unique way to get a variety of flavors in a single dish. Baked falafel is easy to make at home, and it’s a great way to lighten up your favorite falafel meal. Simply mix together chickpeas, spices, and herbs, form the mixture into patties, and bake them in the oven until they are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Put together a bowl with baked falafel, your favorite salad dressing, chopped veggies, and fresh, crunchy grain. If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, add in a light starch like quinoa or brown rice. Finished with a light, refreshing drink, this bowl is sure to please the whole family.
Chicken and Turkey Pasta Shapes
Pasta is a staple in many families’ diets, and while not exactly healthy food, it can be made lighter without sacrificing flavor. Try swapping out pasta noodles for whole wheat pasta noodles. To take a lighter spin on baked pasta, try baking chicken and turkey pasta shapes. This is a much healthier alternative to baked pasta dishes like mac and cheese, and you can use any pasta shape you’d like. To make this dish, start by baking chicken and turkey along with some veggies of your choosing. When the meat is fully cooked, add in your pasta of choice, and bake it all together until your pasta shapes are cooked through. You can make this dish as healthy or as unhealthy as you want.
Marinating turkey is the best way to add tons of flavor and texture to your protein. Turkey is naturally pretty bland, but it soaks up marinades and seasoning like a sponge, meaning that it is easy to turn it into something delicious. If you want to enjoy juicy, marinated turkey during the summer, you have to start marinating it in the winter. Simply buy a turkey breast and marinate it in your favorite sauce for several days. You can marinate the turkey in a variety of ways, but the best method is to put the breast in a large resealable plastic bag and pour your favorite marinade over it. Close the bag, and massage the bag every few hours to ensure that the turkey is fully coated in the marinade.
Popular Food In Turkey:
- Turkish cuisine is known for its variety and simplicity.
- The main ingredients in Turkish cuisine are fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
- The most popular Turkish dishes are kebabs and manti.
- Fresh vegetables, herbs, fruits, and yogurt form the basis of the Turkish diet.
- A traditional Turkish meal begins with a glass of rakı (a shot of anise liquor) followed by a cup of tea or coffee then bread and other small dishes such as yogurt or cheese cubes with nuts (Turkish: Kuru Tereyağı).
- Turkish cuisine is also famous for its varieties of meat dishes such as lamb chops kebabs(yarak düğüne), chicken or turkey breast köfte (kofte) or liver kabob (doner kebab), etc.
- Other popular dishes include Baklava (a rich dessert made from filo pastry filled with chopped nuts), Kofta(meatballs), Börek(pies made from different types of flour pastry stuffed with minced meat, cheese, or spinach), Pastırma(pastry stuffed with minced meat, eggs, olives, and spices).
- Also famous is Manti (Turkish: Mantı), which is a dumpling-like dish made from minced meat mixed with rice, onion, parsley, and spices wrapped in an oval-shaped pastry.
- Kebabs are found in almost every Turkish restaurant and are among the most popular dishes in Turkey. They are made by marinating meat with a mixture of spices and then grilling it on a skewer.
- Manti is a kind of dumpling made from minced meat mixed with rice and onion, wrapped in an oval-shaped pastry (Turkish: Mantı).
There are lots of excellent reasons to make a turkey for dinner. It’s delicious, it’s nutritious, it’s easy to make, and it can be served in a variety of ways. When it’s hot outside, it can be tempting to eat lighter salads, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of ways to make your favorite summer meals healthier without sacrificing taste or texture. So, don’t let the summer heat get in the way of your favorite turkey meals. There are plenty of lighter, fresher ways to enjoy this protein year-round.