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Good cooks use turkey

By Staff | Nov 3, 2017

-Farm News photo by Laura Carlson Slow cooker orange turkey for working moms a crock pot helps to speed up evening meals, especially when a recipe is so easy and delicious. This recipe is found in Iowa Turkey Federation’s cookbook and available from the organization.



AMES – Janelle Hill and Sheila Larson enjoy their jobs. Both women work for the Iowa Turkey Federation in Ames and both live on turkey farms in Hamilton County. It is no surprise that turkey is frequently featured for their families’ meals.

“Both of our husbands are third-generation turkey farmers, and both are grain farmers, so between harvest season, work and our kids’ schedules, fall is really busy,” Hill said, “We need meals that are quick, easy and kid approved. Crock-Pot meals are a favorite because we can prep when we have time and then let the Crock-Pot do the work during the day. The kids are always hungry when they get home from school and it’s nice to be able to feed them right away, especially when we aren’t sure what time our husbands will get in from the field.”

Hill was the marketing manager for West Liberty Foods in West Liberty until she moved to Hamilton County following her marriage to her husband, Todd.

“We have four children, Aiden and Addy living at home, plus two adult children with two grandchildren,” she said. “When I prepare a family dinner, I don’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen. I rely on Crock-Pot cooking often, so I can really enjoy my family time.”

Hill is currently the communications specialist for Iowa Turkey Federation in Ames and has worked with Larson for 12 years in the turkey industry.

“Sheila and I are really raising our kids together since we work and live near each other. We see each other often to share a meal or carpool,” added Hill.

Larson has been the director of membership services at the Iowa Turkey Federation since 2005. Larson and her husband, Chad, are raising two children.

“My daughter Grace and I have celiac disease, so all of my recipes have to be gluten free,” Larson said, “Turkey is so versatile, high in protein and easy to prepare that I reach for the ITF cookbook often.” “My son, Grant, ate three bowls of the turkey enchilada soup the other night. He loves it as much as I do.”

ITF staff are currently working on the 2018 ITF Cookbook, titled “Everyday Cooking.”

“We have a few dozen copies of the current cookbook available to send out now, and Janelle is keeping a list of those requesting the new cookbook. It will be released sometime next year,” Larson said. “For this second cookbook we are focusing on everyday cooking. Recipes that don’t take too long and don’t have a huge list of ingredients. This cookbook is special for a different reason, all the recipes were made and tested by one of six chefs. A chef is a normal everyday cook at home. If we felt the recipe was too difficult, it didn’t make the book. If you would like to pre-order a cookbook, please email Janelle Hill at janelle@iowaturkey.org.”

Easy orange turkey

in the slow cooker

Larson explained, “Crock-Pot orange turkey is sweet with a kick and an awesome way to work in some veggies to the meal. When you get home all you have to do is make some rice and dinner is served.”

Saute 1 1/2 pounds cubed turkey breast in 1 tablespoon sesame oil until cooked.

Place cubed turkey in a slow pot.

Add 3 cups chopped veggies of preference (fresh broccoli, onion, peppers) to slow cooker.

Mix together 3/4 cup orange marmalade, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, and 3/4 cup sweet barbecue sauce in a bowl.

Pour over turkey & veggies in slow cooker, and stir.

Cook on high for 30 minutes and serve with 3 cups prepared brown rice.

Serves 6

Turkey enchilada soup

“Soup is a basic fall staple and this turkey enchilada soup is full of flavor. It’s so easy and quick to whip up and is just as amazing warmed up the next day. Each person can top their own bowl of this delicious soup with sour cream and shredded cheese if they wish, and my favorite part are the dipping tortilla chips. Feel free to experiment and see what cut of turkey you like best in this soup. This time we used cut-up turkey breast, but you could also use shredded turkey or ground turkey,” explained Hill.


6 cups turkey or chicken broth

4 cans enchilada sauce

3 cups cooked turkey breast (cubed) or cooked ground turkey

1 large onion chopped

2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies

1 garlic clove minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 cans black beans

2 to 3 cups frozen whole kernel corn

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Tortilla strips

In a large pan combine all the ingredients except the frozen corn.

Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Stir in frozen corn and return to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the corn is tender.

Top soup with sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla strips

Cajun turkey spaghetti

“The Cajun turkey spaghetti received a 9 out of 10 from the kids. I tend to take it easy on the Creole seasoning in the recipe and let everyone add more to their plate to ensure it doesn’t get too spicy for anyone. If you prefer it spicy, stick to the recipe or add a little bit more. We cooked it with gluten free spaghetti, but you could easily use whatever pasta you prefer. Once your pasta is cooked you can toss it in the crockpot and mix with your meat and sauce or let each person top their pasta with as much or as little sauce as they like. You could also top it off with some shredded parmesan cheese. I love this recipe, The sauce is creamy with a little spicy and the two turkey meats compliment it perfectly. Plus, you can customize it to fit your family’s preference. My family loves mushrooms, so I can toss in a jar while I cook the pasta,” said Larson.


1 box of spaghetti noodles

1 1/2 jar (30 ounce) Alfredo sauce

2-3 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 pounds turkey breast, cut into chunks

1 package of turkey andouille sausage, sliced

1 green bell pepper, diced or cut into strips

1 can diced tomatoes fire roasted

1 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 can of mushrooms, optional

1 bag of broccoli, optional


Cut turkey breast into bite-sized chunks and slice the turkey andouille sausage.

Chop the green pepper. Mince the garlic.

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

Pour the Alfredo sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker, stir in garlic.

Put turkey breast pieces sprinkle half the creole seasoning over turkey.

Put green peppers and sausage pieces of top and pour the can of tomatoes over it. Top with remaining Creole seasoning and Alfredo sauce.

Stir everything together.

Close the lid and cook on low for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, stir and add 1/4 cup of heavy cream. (If you want an extra kick, add more Creole seasoning)

If adding mushrooms and/or broccoli do so now.

Cook your pasta, drain and rinse. Add to the slow cooker or keep separate to allow for each person to add their own meat/sauce.

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