I usually buy ground turkey at costco, which is labeled ground turkey. However, I asked the local butcher for ground turkey today and when I arrived home, the meat label said "ground upper turkey thighs".

Is it the same thing as regular ground turkey? (I need to know calorie wise)

  • 'regular' may vary by region or store -- one of the stores near me only recently started carrying ground turkey that wasn't ground turkey breast. (which is much too lean to be useful, in my opinion) – Joe Jul 13 '14 at 15:31

What really matters is the fat content. I suspect that being all thigh meat, it's similar to regular ground turkey, which is 85% lean. Ground turkey breast (or "extra lean" ground turkey) is 99% lean. I've also seen mixtures in the store of light and dark ground meat that clocked in at 93% lean to split the difference. Jennie-O, a large national producer of turkey, makes all three varieties (http://www.jennieo.com/products/collection/65-Ground-Turkey). You can check your nutritional information against theirs to see where your ground thighs fall on the spectrum.

Just check the fat content and use it in a recipe that works with that fat content. In fact, it's probably ideal for something like a turkey burger which definitely needs the fat in my opinion. ;)


There is no good answer to whether it's the same, because there is no standard for what parts can be included in products labeled "ground turkey". Here's the nutrition label to Whole Foods ground turkey thigh. I don't know if this product includes the skin or if yours does, but it's a start.

enter image description here

This link will give you fat and calorie information for many products labeled "ground turkey". Calorie Count

  • Can you elaborate on "what parts can be included in the product labeled" what difference does it make? I feel like your just answering no without giving me any explanation or examples. – Napster Jul 9 '14 at 11:51
  • Well, all breast meat without skin is going to be very low in fat, therefore very low in calories. Skin is fatty. Dark meat has more fat (so more calories) than white meat. Thighs also have pockets of fat. So fat (and therefore calories) of ground turkey will vary with what parts are used. Turkey labeled "ground turkey" doesn't say what parts are used. "Turkey thighs", "Turkey breast" or "all white meat" all give information about how much fat to expect in the product. Better yet, some products will tell you the percentage of lean vs fat in the form of 85/15. – Jolenealaska Jul 9 '14 at 13:03

"Ground Turkey" can be made of any part of the turkey; it's basically a mystery whether it's light or dark meat.

"Ground Turkey Breast", which I usually see at a higher price point than the above item, contains white meat. What you've purchased, "Ground Turkey Thighs", would by definition be dark meat.

I have not seen this product locally, but it's very likely the same exact product in your example, because the white meat is sold at a premium so the cheaper stuff is likely dark meat to begin with. I would therefore assume the calories are the same for the time being, and ask the butcher next time you're in. It ought to cook up about the same for most applications, in my experience.

Of course, the fat content is going to make a bigger difference. MyFitnessPal suggests it's a 93/7 grind, just like Butterball; if your package suggests a different ratio, you're probably going to see a difference.

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