Spicy Thai Basil Recipe

March 8, 2017   16 Comments

This spicy Thai basil recipe features ground turkey and it is super fast.

Spicy Thai Basil Recipe

Before we go any further, I am aware that many of you do not have access to Thai basil. I am lucky and have an Asian market about a 5 minute drive from my house. Don’t worry – you can do this with regular fresh basil and it will still be great.

This recipe is from my pal Kristen’s Slender Kitchen Meal Plans and it was a HUGE hit when I served it.

It also became one of my personal favorites because it is so easy and will work on the crazy weeknights we have around here. All I can tell you is thank god for Google calendar because between band, soccer, basketball, and trumpet – we are busy.

The recipe takes 15 minutes from start to finish and has very little chopping. You simply brown the turkey with the onion, add the garlic and ginger, and the rest of the seasonings. DONE.

This is the kind of recipe that I like because it substitutes white meat turkey for pork. If you use turkey, you get a much lower fat alternative that is still delicious.

One of the reasons that I love Slender Kitchen Meal Plans is that it introduces me to new things. Also, if you are Weight Watchers member – this recipe is only 5 SmartPoints (probably because it is so high in protein).

You can sign up here - -Slender Kitchen Meal Plans for either $8 per month or $48 for the year ($4 per month). Both subscriptions include a 14 day money back guarantee.

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Have you used Thai basil before? What do you think?

Spicy Thai Basil Ground Turkey Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

reprinted with permission from Slender Kitchen

Makes 4 Servings

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1 1/3 pounds 99% lean ground turkey
½ onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 teaspoons Asian garlic chili paste (like sambal oelek)
½ cup Thai basil
1 lime, juice only


Add the turkey and onion to a hot nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brown and break up the larger chunks as you go until no longer pink. Add in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the soy sauce, chili paste, and basil. Cook for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Taste and season as needed with additional soy or chili sauce. Squeeze lime juice over top.

Nutrition Facts

For one serving = 253 calories, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 30 g protein, 1 g fiber, 478 mg sodium, 1 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Thinking of spring....we planted 2 Thai basil plants in our garden last summer just to see and were amazed at the punch they gave our recipes. Next summer I'm going to see about preserving them in some way, because we really loved it.

This interests me a lot. Love the asian flavors. How much ginger, and is it fresh? Also can I use the thai chili paste? I just finally bought it for one of your other recipes and it was 6.50 for 4ozs! Just bought a basil plant yesterday for fresh mozz bruschettas this weekend so I would love to make this dish too. My son is visiting from B.U. and he loves learning new tasty healthy dishes that he can add to his repertoire.

Ooops, I just looked in my pantry, it's "Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste" that I have, not 'chili'. Do you think it's way off from the garlic curry paste in this recipe? It has garlic and ginger in it [plus lemon grass, coriander and kaffir lime]. Oddly there is no curry per se. What is your opinion as to using this vs. ''garlic chili paste''? Thank you so much.

@BarbL - that is a curry paste - which would probably be great! but it is not a chili paste (which is used here to make it spicy). You could add some of your curry paste and some dried red pepper and I bet it would be delicious. Or if you have some Sriracha -you could add that instead of the red pepper. Play with it!

Thanks for your question!

Lisa, this sounds really good,plus I like the fact that it is quick.

Is the subscription to Slender Kitchen a magazine or is it a food delivery service?

Thanks in advance for answering my question.

@annie - Slender Kitchen is a meal planning service. You get a list of recipes (you choose how many and how many servings) and a shopping list. The idea is that it makes it much easy to plan and eat healthy meals because she does the work for you (you still have to buy the food and cook it).

Thanks for your question!

Lisa, this is a recipe I'd love to try, but the ingredient list posted here does not include ginger. how much (grated?) should be used? Also should the basil be chiffon are? What do you serve with this? Rice & ???? carrots, pea pods???

@colleen - sorry about that - I forgot the ginger in the ingredients list - I have added it back. I would serve it with rice, carrots, and peapods. We had it with rice and a green salad. You can add the basil as roughly torn leaves.

Thanks for your help and your question!

Thanks Lisa! I DO have Sriracha Sauce so I'll add that. And like others I might add a few other touches too, eg, celery or water chestnuts for crunch, red pepper strips or chopped broccoli for color. This recipe lends itself nicely to the cook's creativity.

I could only find chili garlic sauce.??

I want to make tonight. Would this work? How much? Thank you.

@Beverly - close enough! Use one less garlic clove and 2 teaspoons of the sauce. LMK how it goes.

Lisa, it was delicious!


Thanks for sharing this recipe. I finally got to make it tonight. It is so delicious!

Serious question here :o) I have a huge stash of frozen BLSL chicken breasts I'd like to use up with my son visiting (he has an appetite to match). I'm thinking of cubing about 3 or 4 pounds of it in lieu of ground turkey, then doubling and following the remainder of your recipe. Any thoughts about this substitution?

@BarbL - chicken will work. I think you can make ground chicken in the food processor but I haven't tried it. Cubed chicken will be great! Thanks for your question!

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