by Olena

Ground Turkey Tacos

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Olena Osipov
5 from 2 votes

These Ground Turkey Tacos are saucy, flavorful and oh so easy in 30 minutes. Even if you are more of a ground beef tacos family, everyone will ask you to make this ground turkey taco recipe again and again!

We absolutely love healthy versions of tacos around here. Instant Pot chicken tacos, traditional chicken tacos and even healthier crispy fish tacos, we love them all!

ground turkey tacos recipe in red dish and fixins

If you are looking for a 30 minute dinner idea, ground turkey tacos are IT. By no means these tacos are authentic but it doesn’t mean we can’t eat them! I am sure no one in Mexico grew up with my buffalo chicken taco recipe or one skillet with radishes (!) ground chicken tacos but regardless tacos are most requested dinner in our house!

My ground turkey taco recipe consists of lean ground turkey meat and just a few pantry staples.

Why This Ground Turkey Taco Recipe Works?

  • Low sodium vegetable or chicken broth helps keep the turkey meat juicy rather than dry. 
  • A little bit of tomato paste adds another layer of flavor to otherwise bland poultry taste.
  • Homemade ground turkey taco seasoning mix comes together quickly and results in low sodium healthy turkey tacos.
  • 30 minute total time and flexible toppings means you can make these for dinner any night of the week, especially comes in handy on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients and Substitutions

You literally just need a tray of ground turkey and simple pantry staples. If you want leftovers I highly recommend to double the recipe.

  • Ground turkey: Look for 93% lean ground turkey. 99% fat free meat will result in dry tacos.
  • Onion and garlic: These aromatics add a lot of flavor and extra juice. So I do not recommend to use dry onion and garlic powders. Stick to fresh here.
  • Turkey taco seasoning: I used 2 tbsp of my no sodium homemade taco seasoning mix. If you use store-bought and not low sodium taco seasoning, reduce salt by 1/4 tsp.
  • Other seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. For spicy turkey tacos, double or triple amount of cayenne pepper.
  • Tomato paste: You will need half a regular size 6 oz low sodium can of tomato paste. Ketchup would work too. Also tomato paste and broth can be replaced with 1 cup low sodium tomato sauce.
ground turkey taco ingredients

How to Make Turkey Tacos

Tip: Forgot to thaw the turkey and have Instant Pot? Follow this Instant pot frozen ground turkey recipe to thaw the meat first and then follow this ground turkey taco recipe.

  • Saute onion and garlic with spices first to make them fragrant. If you add meat at same time, it will “boil” the veggies instead of frying them until aromatic. Need 3 minutes of your precious time here.
  • Cook ground turkey for approximately 10 minutes. You will have to break it into pieces, stir constantly and you will see meat juices that you don’t have to drain.
  • Make taco meat juicy with tomato paste, broth and a touch of sugar – watch dry meat crumbles transform into glossy taco meat you can’t wait to eat. A touch of sugar helps to offset acidity in tomatoes.

This turkey taco meat is great to make taco salad – add corn, beans, tortilla chips and veggies. Make turkey taco lettuce wraps with Romaine lettuce, swiss chard leaves or boston lettuce. Stir in with cooked pasta, veggies and salsa for easy taco skillet.

Leftover brown rice or quinoa? Stir it in and make bowls with produce from your drawers. Sprinkle with cheese and I can assure you it will be glorious!

FAQs

Are ground turkey tacos healthy?

Each contains important vitamins and minerals. Surprisingly, if we compare side by side 93% lean ground beef and 93% lean ground turkey, they both have equal amount of fat with turkey winning only in saturated fat department. However, if you compare 93% lean ground turkey to 85% ground beef, turkey is considerably healthier choices with less calories and fat.

We buy 93% ground turkey and 93% ground beef to add variety to our dinners.

Can I make ground turkey taco in Instant Pot?

Yes. Saute onion with spices, add remaining ingredients and do not stir tomato paste. Then pressure cook on high pressure for 7 minutes followed by Quick Release.

How to reheat tacos?

Turkey taco meat keeps and reheats beautifully! To reheat, all you have to do is add it to a skillet with a splash of water and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir.

Making Turkey Tacos in Advance

You can double or triple turkey taco meat recipe or even freeze for easy weeknight dinner because it reheats beautifully.

  • Fridge: Refrigerate leftover or cooked taco meat in a glass airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Leftovers also freeze beautifully without freezer burns if stored properly. I love glass or reusable silicone bags even more.
  • Instant Pot freezer meal: And last but not least but we turned turkey taco meat into a freezer meal in one of our Youtube videos. All you have to do is this and detailed instructions are located in a recipe card notes:
    • Add all ingredients, except water, swoosh them around and freeze.
    • Then cook from frozen on high pressure for 12 mins.
    • And then thicken with slurry.

Check out my full list of 20 healthy premade meals. I’m obsessed!

More Favorite Mexican Recipes

ground turkey tacos with lime, feta, cilantro and pico de gallo
Ground Turkey Tacos

Juicy Ground Turkey Tacos {Such Easy Recipe}

These Ground Turkey Tacos are saucy, flavorful and oh so easy in 30 minutes. Even if you are more of a ground beef tacos family, everyone will ask you to make this ground turkey taco recipe again and again!
5 from 2 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 tacos
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey 93% lean
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning low sodium
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 oz tomato paste low sodium
  • 3/4 cup chicken or veggie broth low sodium
  • 1 tsp any sugar I used maple syrup
  • 10 corn or whole wheat flour tortillas for serving
  • Avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cotija cheese, red onion and lime for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic, taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Ground Turkey Tacos
  • Add ground turkey and saute for 10 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula often.
    Ground Turkey Tacos
  • Add tomato sauce, water and a touch of sugar. Stir bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.
    Ground Turkey Tacos
  • Warm up tortillas on another hot skillet or in a microwave.
    Ground Turkey Tacos
  • Serve hot in a tortilla with your favorite taco toppings like avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, red onion, lime and guacamole.
    Ground Turkey Tacos

Store: Refrigerate leftover taco meat in a glass airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. I love these reusable silicone bags for this purpose.

    Reheat: With a splash of water in a skillet by simmering on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Don't forget to stir. You will have to thaw meat prior reheating: on a counter for 6-8 hours or in the fridge for 24 hours.

      Notes

      • Ground turkey: Look for 93% lean ground turkey. 99% fat free meat will result in dry turkey tacos.
      • Onion and garlic: These aromatics add a lot of flavor and extra juice. So I do not recommend to use dry onion and garlic powders. Stick to fresh here.
      • Taco seasoning: I used 2 tbsp of my no sodium homemade taco seasoning mix. If you use store-bought and not low sodium taco seasoning, reduce salt by 1/4 tsp.
      • Other seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. For spicy turkey tacos, double or triple amount of cayenne pepper.
      • Tomato paste: You will need half a regular size 6 oz low sodium can of tomato paste. Ketchup would work too. Also tomato paste and broth can be replaced with 1 cup low sodium tomato sauce.
      • To make Instant Pot Freezer Meal: Add all ingredients, except broth, to a freezer bag – I like to use these reusable 1 gallon silicone bags. Swoosh things around to mix tomato paste with turkey to prevent burning. Freeze for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen with 1/2 cup broth on high pressure for 12 mins. Release pressure using Quick Release.Whisk 2 tbsp cold water with 2 tbsp cornstarch and add to Instant Pot. Press Saute, stir and cook until taco meat has thickened.
      Recipe updated April 2021. See Recipe Post for more FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1taco | Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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