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Lean ground turkey cooks in a saucy spice mixture to create these flavorful ground Turkey Tacos. A truly delicious way to lighten up taco night.
Because my group here never tires of tacos, I’ve worked over the years to develop Mexican-inspired recipes with a lightened up approach. This ground Turkey Taco recipe is one of my favorites.
It’s a quick and economical choice but there are a few tips to ensure a good result when using ground turkey for tacos.
Ground Turkey Taco Meat
You want to start with 93% lean ground turkey for a low calorie, low fat result. This is a very lean ground meat that requires some additions to create a flavorful base for tacos.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Add the ground turkey and onion and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, Drain any excess grease from the skillet.
- Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and crushed red pepper (the precise amounts can be found on the recipe card below). Cook, stirring for a minute or two, or until the meat is well coated with the spices. Lots of spice = tons of flavor!
- Add tomato sauce and water and reduce the heat under the skillet to MEDIUM-LOW.
- Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has slightly reduced and then remove the skillet from the heat.
My favorite variety of tortillas for these Turkey Tacos, or for ANY tacos, are corn/wheat or corn/flour blend tortillas from brands like La Tortilla Factory or Dan Pancho (both available at major grocery store chains).
They are soft and pliable but strong enough to hold up to substantial fillings. They are full of whole grain deliciousness and fabulous either lightly fried or skip the oil completely and toast them in a dry skillet.
- shredded lettuce – I love to use shredded iceburg since it reminds me of the ground meat tacos my mom made.
- reduced fat or regular shredded cheese
- light sour cream
- diced tomatoes
- diced onion
- hot sauce and/or salsa!
This Turkey Taco meat reheats beautifully so it is a great candidate for meal prep.
- Cook the meat as directed, allow it to cool, and portion it between your meal prep containers.
- Add portions of cooked brown rice or quinoa to make it a more substantial meal.
- Store your toppings of choice separately so you can reheat the meat container briefly in the microwave.
- Add toppings to create tasty turkey taco bowls for lunch or dinner the next day.
How Long Does Turkey Taco Meat Last?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within 3 to 4 days for the best quality.
To freeze Turkey Taco meat, place it in a freezer safe container, label it with the date, and freeze it for up to 2 months. Safely thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Check out our entire collection of Quick and Easy dinner ideas.
- 1 1/2 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 light sour cream
- diced red onion, chopped tomato, shredded iceburg lettuce, cilantro, avocado, hot sauce
For the Tortillas
- 2 tablespoons canola oil divided, or as needed (optional)
- 12 5-inch corn/wheat or corn/flour blend tortillas (like La Tortilla Factory or Don Pancho)
- Heat a medium non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat, spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- When hot, add the ground turkey and onion and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, 5 minutes. Drain any excess grease and return the skillet to the heat.
- Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring for a minute or two, or until the meat is well coated with the spices. Add tomato sauce and water and reduce heat under skillet to MEDIUM-LOW. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce has slightly reduced. Remove from heat.
Prepare the Tortillas
- Add just enough of oil to a 10- to 12-inch skillet to lightly coat the bottom and place it over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add a tortilla and cook it for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until golden brown and toasted. Flip and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds to toast the other side. Transfer the tortilla to a double layer of paper towels and blot any excess oil with additional paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding additional oil as needed.
- Alternately, skip the oil and toast your tortillas in a dry skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat for about 30 to 60 seconds per side, or until nicely toasted.
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