Ground Turkey Tacos are saucy, flavorful and oh so easy in 30 minutes. Your family will not miss the beef and ask to make this ground turkey taco recipe again and again. No dry turkey tacos here!
Table of contents
If you are looking for a 20 minute dinner idea, ground turkey tacos are IT. I know I am always looking. 🙂
Saucy turkey taco meat is quickly simmered with taco seasoning and tomato paste. No dry turkey tacos here. This is one of the easiest healthy dinners ever because all you literally need is a tray of ground turkey and simple pantry staples.
Saucy taco meat also calls for simple toppings and no extra sauce to make. Diced avocado, tomatoes, red onion and lettuce turned me into a taco making hero and you can be one too.
Ingredients You Will Need
If you want leftovers I highly recommend to double the recipe.
- Ground turkey: Most trays weigh around 1 – 1.3 lbs and that’s fine. Extra lean or lean meat works.
- Onion and garlic: They add a lot of flavor, are quick to chop and a staple in my Ukrainian kitchen.
- Taco seasoning: Amount you use will define level of spiciness. I used 2 tbsp of my homemade taco seasoning and meat was spicy. But don’t forget other ingredients are quite neutral.
- Other seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Tomato paste: You will need half a regular size 6 oz low sodium can of tomato paste. Ketchup would work too, just use less salt and sugar.
How to Make Turkey Tacos
Tip: Forgot to thaw the turkey and have Instant Pot? Defrost your meat first and then cook for tacos.
- 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 fragrant. 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. Add taco seasoning in this step to season meat.
- Make taco meat saucy with tomato paste and broth and watch dry meat crumbles transform into glossy taco meat you can’t wait to eat.
Serving Ideas and Variations
Here are ways to serve ground turkey tacos (and taco meat!):
- In small corn or whole wheat tortillas. Warm them up on a separate pan or in a microwave.
- Make turkey taco lettuce wraps with Romaine lettuce, swiss chard leaves or boston lettuce.
- Toppings we used: diced avocado, sliced in half grape tomatoes, diced red onion and shredded lettuce.
- With super easy guacamole and Instant Pot refried beans.
- Use saucy turkey taco meat and make taco salad – add corn, beans, tortilla chips and veggies.
- Stir in with cooked pasta, veggies and salsa for easy turkey 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!
How to Store, Reheat and Make a Freezer Meal
Fridge: Refrigerate leftover taco meat in a glass airtight container for up to 5 days. It 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.
Freezer leftovers: Leftovers also freeze beautifully without freezer burns if stored properly. I love glass or these 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:
- 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.
That’s it! Detailed instructions how to do that are located in a recipe card below.
More Taco Recipes
Ground Turkey Tacos
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 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
- 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.
- Add ground turkey and saute for 10 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula often.
- Add tomato sauce, water and a touch of sugar. Stir bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.
- Warm up tortillas on another hot skillet or in a microwave.
- Serve hot in a tortilla with your favorite taco toppings like avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, red onion, lime and guacamole.
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.
- 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.
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