Turkey Tacos Recipe

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Taco Tuesdays just got a healthy upgrade! But shhhh!!! Nobody will know the difference between these turkey tacos and the beef variety.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t like Tacos. They are such a fun and easy food to make and eat, and even easier to prepare clean.

Clean Eating Tacos

I buy my tortillas at Trader Joe’s. There are very few and very simple ingredients in them. Lime, water, and corn. So I know they are as clean as I’m going to get with pre-packaged food.

The great thing about healthier Tacos is you can make them as healthy as you like. Heck, you can even make them vegetarian. The basics of a taco always remain relatively the same. You just have to “upgrade” the toppings and spices to a healthier version.

How To Cook Ground Turkey For Tacos

You have two options for cooking the ground turkey for tacos.

  1. You can sauté it in a skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. You can sauté it in a skillet with approximately half a cup of broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef). This reduces the fat content if that’s a consideration for you.

How To Season Ground Turkey For Tacos

Most folks buy a seasoning packet for making tacos. But if you’ve read the ingredient list on most of those packages, you know that there is often much more in there than just spices. Stuff you probably don’t want to consume. So if that’s the case, you can easily make your own taco seasoning in minutes with spices you probably already have in your pantry. You’ll only need four of them. You can find that homemade taco seasoning recipe here.

I generally use 2 to 3 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of ground turkey. But you can start with less, cook it fully, and then taste it and adjust with more seasoning if you like. I don’t add salt, so I usually go heavy on the spices.

What To Serve With Turkey Tacos

These tacos would go well with a side of brown rice or Spanish rice and a side of refried beans.

What Tortillas To Use

While many folks prefer corn tortillas for tacos, some prefer flour tortillas. Either way, check the ingredient list on the package or make your own at home. It’s not always easy to find tortillas without unwanted ingredients. 

In a pinch, you could serve all of this as a layered casserole dish and serve it with tortilla chips or corn chips.

Ground Turkey Tacos Recipe Ingredients

Ground turkey – You can use any ground turkey you prefer. The fat content doesn’t matter for the purposes of this recipe. That part is up to you and your eating plan. And yes, you can use ground beef in place of turkey here. But that kind of defeats the purpose of a turkey taco. Just sayin’…

Oil – Use can use any type of oil you normally cook with.

Garlic powder – Or garlic granules. Whatever you have handy.

Chili powder – If you don’t have any, paprika will work as a substitute. The regular stuff, not smoked paprika.

Red onion – Chopped fine. Any color onion will work, though.

Onion powder – Or onion granules. Whichever you have handy.

Tomato sauce – Low sodium – no sugar added.

Topping Ideas for Ground Turkey Tacos

  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • cheese
  • guacamole
  • olives
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • jalapeno peppers
  • cayenne pepper
  • cumin
  • black beans
  • avocado
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro
  • fresh lime juice

How To Make Turkey Tacos

Cook your meat in a non-stick pan using olive oil, or, if you really want to do away with the fat, use a bit of chicken broth. You can even use this method in a cast iron pan if you don’t like it or have a non-stick version.

Stir in the spices and tomato sauce.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients for toppings.

Stuff your shells and serve!

Storing Leftover Turkey Tacos

If you have leftovers, store all the toppings and the meat in separate containers. Vegetable-based toppings will usually last 3-5 days in the fridge, depending on the toppings, and animal-based toppings will last about three days in the fridge if packed well.

Reheating

To reheat the taco meat, simply return the cold meat to a skillet with a bit of oil or broth and stir until heated through.

Freezing

You can freeze the turkey meat. Particularly if you want to make a double batch to freeze for later, just make sure you wrap it well before storing it in the freezer. An airtight container works best.

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Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
A closeup of a turkey taco.

Turkey Tacos

These turkey tacos are the perfect healthier alternative to regular tacos. Keep Taco Tuesdays healthy with this easy upgrade! Shhhh…. nobody will know!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 265kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Ingredients

  • lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder ( or granules)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder (or granules)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (low sodium – no sugar added)

Topping Options

  • lettuce (chopped)
  • tomatoes (chopped)
  • onions (chopped)
  • cheese (shredded)
  • guacamole (see recipe link above)

Instructions

  • Cook your meat in a non-stick pan using olive oil, or, if you really want to do away with the fat, use a bit of chicken broth. You can even use this method in a cast iron pan if you don’t like or have a non-stick version.
  • Stir in the spices and tomato sauce.
  • Prepare the rest of the ingredients for toppings.
  • Stuff your shells and serve!

Notes

Nutritional Information here is based on a little over 1/4 of the recipe per person. It will give you approximately 2 tacos per serving if using a corn taco shell. Data here does not reflect the shell or the toppings. It is for the meat filling only.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25the meat mixture | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 1181mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3685IU | Vitamin C: 11.9mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 4.4mg

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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28 Comments

  1. YUM! This sounds so good… thanks for the TVP veg option. I also like making tacos with a spicy black bean mix with sauteed mushrooms and onions…. tasty, clean, and cheap!

    1. Rachel – Yum! I can’t say I’ve ever put mushrooms on a taco, but I’m willing to give it a try!

  2. angie martin says:

    Dear Tiffany,
    I just wanted to tell you thank you so much for your website. I just started my family out eating clean, and was looking for information, advice and good recipes to try. I stumbled onto your site. Wow, I feel so much more motivation to keep going, you have inspired me. I am looking forward to dumping all of our old unhealthy habits and myself to lose some weight on top of it. Thank You!!!

    Angie Martin

    1. Angie – That’s great!! Getting healthy is definitely an uphill struggle, but man what a view when you get to the top!! Thanks for trying my recipes!

  3. I’m new to eating clean and I have already used 2 of your recipes!! They were delish and my child even ate it!! Thank you so much for your recipes and tips. Since starting to eat clean I have lost 8 lbs and my energy has skyrocketed!! I can’t wait to try your chips and guacamole and these tacos!! YUM!!!

    1. Becky – That’s fabulous! Clean eating is wonderful. It does amazing things for you. Keep up the good work!!

  4. Kerry Frazier says:

    I’m down here in the south (texas) and I notice you buy alot from trader joe’s, which I don’t think I have available. So when looking for tortillas and hot sauce and such..what do I need to look for?

    1. Kerry – hot sauce should have no added sugar (look at ingredients, not percentages) and every ingredient should be something you would buy, by itself, as an ingredient to cook with in your own kitchen. You should recognize each ingredient as an actual food. Same for tortilla. The ingredients should be something like, “corn, water, lime”.

      Hope that helps!

  5. I am SO glad I just stumbled upon this site! I have been doing a lot of reading and planning to revamp my pantry, and feed my family clean eating foods! I was having a hard time finding recipes that looked like normal foods we would enjoy, but that were still clean. I will definitely keep this site bookmarked! I cant wait to get started!!

    1. Kelly – Welcome!! Happy to have you here! If you have any questions, please let me know!

  6. Trudefaith says:

    I tried this and we all loved it (I used tvp) thanks Tiffany

    1. Anonymous says:

      Trude – Fantastic!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Marie – Sorry! I updated the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out!

  8. WOW! We made this tonight and my husband couldn’t believe how great it was. He even went back for seconds and exclaimed “This one’s a keeper!” I added some salt, extra chili powder, and a squeeze of lemon. So flavorful and so delish!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Rose – that’s fabulous!!! I’m glad you both enjoyed them!

  9. sounds nummy with out sugar in it! YEA!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Sue – Hope you enjoy them!

  10. So how about that corn tortilla recipe? 😉

    1. graciouspantry says:

      I’m working on it. But sadly, it’s become impossible to find organic corn flour. I don’t want the GMO stuff.

  11. Couldn’t you use the Quinoa tortillas in these recipes?

  12. I just made this recipe for dinner tonight after searching around for something to do with my ground turkey and it was DELICIOUS! I served the taco filling over a baked sweet potato and it was out of this world! Thanks for the great recipe, I will definitely be making it again!!

  13. What size can of tomato sauce? I tried 15 oz and it seems like a lot of sauce. Thanks.

  14. These tacos were amazing!

  15. I had started making these when I realized I was out of chili powder, so I just substituted cumin instead and they turned out great, also I should mention I only used about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce because my boyfriend doesn’t care for it to be saucy…. love the guacamole on these, thanks!

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