These turkey tacos are made with a homemade spice mix, ground turkey, warm tortillas, and plenty of toppings for the ultimate taco night experience. A quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for a busy weeknight!
I’m always looking for fast dinner recipes for those crazy days when there’s very little time to get dinner on the table. My family loves speedy favorite such as Cuban style picadillo, hearty teriyaki chicken bowls, and these delicious ground turkey tacos.
Tacos are always a hit in my house, but sometimes I like to lighten things up a bit by swapping out ground beef for ground turkey. These turkey tacos are simple to make, and are always a big hit with both kids and adults. Serve your tacos with cilantro lime rice, charro beans and Mexican salad for a fabulous meal.
Table of Contents
Turkey Tacos Ingredients
To make this recipe, you will need ground turkey, vegetable oil, onion, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, brown sugar, salt, pepper, tomato sauce and water.
How Do You Make Turkey Tacos?
Start by mixing together a blend of different spices to flavor your meat. Next, cook the turkey meat in a skillet with a little bit of oil and diced onions. Add the spice mixture to the pan, along with a can of tomato sauce and some water. Let everything simmer together until the sauce has thickened. Spoon the turkey mixture into tortillas, then add toppings. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Tips For The Perfect Dish
- If you’re in a huge hurry, you can skip making the spice blend and use a taco seasoning packet instead. That being said, I think it tastes much better with the homemade spices!
- You can toast your tortillas on the stove to get them a little charred which adds extra flavor.
- The cooked turkey taco mixture will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and can be frozen for 2 months.
- I like to serve shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, red onions and guacamole as taco toppings. Some other great options include olives, salsa verde, pico de gallo, cilantro and sour cream.
I think this dish works best with 93% lean ground turkey. The 99% lean tends to dry out and isn’t as flavorful.
The 93% lean ground turkey called for in this recipe has less fat and calories than most types of ground beef, which makes these tacos on the healthy side. To make your tacos even healthier, you could serve the meat in lettuce cups which would cut down on both the calories and the carbs.
The best way to add flavor to ground turkey is to season it with plenty of spices. This infuses the meat with a savory flavor and makes it taste more satisfying.
While authentic Mexican tacos are often made with corn tortillas, in this situation you can really choose whichever tortilla your family likes best. I’ve made these turkey tacos with both corn and flour tortillas, and they’re delicious either way.
Turkey Taco Flavor Variations
This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can use different ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Protein: This recipe will also work with ground chicken and of course, ground beef. I often add a can of black or pinto beans for added flavor and it’s also a great way expand the number of servings.
- Tortillas: Corn tortillas also work well with this turkey filling. I sometimes serve the turkey in hard taco shells for variety too.
- Flavorings: Spice up your meat by adding a can of roasted green chilies, some minced canned chipotle peppers or even diced tomatoes.
Turkey tacos are a weeknight staple in my house, and I always keep a package of ground turkey in the freezer for when the Mexican food mood strikes!
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- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground turkey I use 93% lean
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 8 small flour tortillas
- assorted toppings such as lettuce, avocado, tomato, red onion and shredded cheese
- Place the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
- Add the turkey and break it into smaller pieces with a spatula, for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the onion to the pan.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is cooked through and onion is soft, 5-6 minutes.
- Add the spice mixture, tomato sauce and water to the pan. Stir to combine.
- Simmer for 5-6 minutes or until sauce has started to thicken.
- Spoon the turkey into the tortillas and add toppings of your choice. Serve immediately and enjoy.
- You can double or triple the spice mixture so that you have some ready to go for another night.
- The taco meat mixture will last in the refrigerator for 3 days and can be frozen for 2 months.