Turkey Tacos

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The Mexican taco can be infinitely adapted to virtually any favorite ingredient, including beef, ground turkey, chicken, sausage, or seafood, with assorted toppings. They are fun and easy for a casual supper.

NotesTo warm tortillas, wrap in damp paper towels and warm in the microwave oven for 30 seconds or in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes.


Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturemeaty, spiced


  • 8 soft corn tortillas or purchased crisp folded taco shells
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1¼ pounds ground turkey
  • ¼ cup Fresh Tomato Salsa (see recipe below) or good-quality purchased tomato salsa, slightly drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 or 4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans, preferably vegetarian
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded, chopped, and drained
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper (optional)
  • 1½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno pepper, or 1 tablespoon diced canned chiles, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Grated Cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped avocados (optional)
  • Chopped olives (optional)


  1. To Make the Fresh Tomato Salsa:

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend, then cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Drain, if necessary, before using. Homemade salsa is best eaten the same day as prepared.

  3. To Make the Tacos:

  4. Warm the tortillas (see Notes). Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add turkey and sauté, breaking up meat with a spoon, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Add salsa and seasonings and mix well. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine beans and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.

  5. To assemble, cover a tortilla with a light coating of bean mixture. Add about 2 tablespoons meat mixture in a strip down the center. Add a spoonful of salsa and sour cream, a few chopped green onions, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and other toppings of your choice. Fold in half and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.


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