Turkey Tacos

Turkey Tacos. Photo © Molly Watson
    25 min
Ratings

Cooking ho-hum ground turkey with chiles, garlic, and cumin and then hitting the whole thing with fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro makes a fabulous filling for easy, at-home tacos.

Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients—they're largely suggestions and you can use any toppings you like. For a quick weeknight dinner, use store-bought condiments. If you have a bit of time, make your own Chile & Cilantro Guacamole (or another guac recipe) and Homemade Salsa (just chop up a tomato, add some onion and a bit of chile to taste).

Note: You can use shredded cooked turkey meat instead of ground turkey (a perfect use for leftover holiday turkey!); just follow the slight change in cooking method below.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chiles (serranos or jalapeños)
  • 2 teaspoons olive, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey or about 2 cups shredded cooked turkey meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 8 corn tortillas or taco shells
  • Salsa Fresca or your favorite salsa
  • Guacamole (homemade or store-bought)
  • Spring mix lettuce or other tender greens
  • Cheese and/or sour cream (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Peel and mince the garlic; finely chop the chiles, removing the stems (obviously), and also the seeds, if you want to tame their spicy power.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chiles. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne and stir to combine until spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add the turkey and salt. Stir to combine and break up meat with the back of the spoon or spatula.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is cooked through. Note: if using shredded cooked turkey, also add 1/4 cup of water, stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover to heat everything up and let the flavors blend a bit, about 10 minutes.
  4. While the turkey cooks, finely chop the cilantro leaves.
  5. When the meat is fully cooked, take it off the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Juice the lime over the meat and stir to combine.
  6. Heat the tortillas*, if using, and top each one with some ground turkey, salsa, guacamole, and lettuce (or fill each taco shell). Add sour cream or shredded cheese, if you like. Or let everyone assemble their own tacos to taste.

* Heating tortillas can be done a few ways: directly over a gas flame, for 15-30 seconds per side; wrapped in tin foil in a warm oven; wrapped in a lightly dampened kitchen towel and microwaved until heated through, about 30 seconds.