I often get asked what my family’s favorite meal is, and as you would expect that’s a hard question to answer. But if forced to pick JUST ONE DISH, this would probably be it. My older son loves them the most, but there is not a person in the family who isn’t excited to see this for dinner. Yeah, taco Tuesdays are a thing in many people’s home — at our house, tacos might show up any day of the week.
There is something festive and fun about a hands-on, interactive meal. If you’re looking for a dinner to counterbalance a cranky day, this is the one.
Healthy Tacos with Ground Turkey
We often go with ground turkey for our tacos. Get the 85/15% ratio — it’s much juicier than the extra lean. If you can’t find that, or you are looking to cut back even further on fat, get the 93/7%, but avoid the 99% fat free, extra lean versions, which don’t have a lot of flavor, and can be a bit dry.
Ground Turkey Taco Seasoning
I have certainly been known to reach for a package of premade taco seasoning at times, but with an extra few minutes you can make a homemade seasoning blend that tastes amazing, and the sodium level isn’t through the roof. The spices called for are spices many cooks have on hand: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, paprika….feel free to make substitutions as needed.
This makes enough taco seasoning mix for 2 pounds of meat, but because doubling or tripling the recipes takes NO EXTRA TIME, wouldn’t you want to make a big batch and throw the extra in a small plastic container or zip lock bag, and be happy in the knowledge that your next taco night is halfway complete? Or, if you have a smaller crowd, make the spice mixture, put half in a container, and use 1 pound of meat.
How to Brown Ground Turkey
Browning ground turkey is very simple and it just takes 5 to 7 minutes for a couple of pounds of ground turkey. If your pan is nonstick, you’re all set; if not you may want to give a spray of nonstick cooking spray.
Heat a large skillet or pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the turkey. Stir the turkey periodically, breaking up the meat into crumbles. Don’t stir it constantly; you want to give the meat a bit of time to sit in contact with the hot pan so that it browns.
Keep stirring until it is all browned and crumbly. Drain the meat in a colander.
What to Serve with Ground Turkey Tacos:
Just throw together a big salad, or some steamed broccoli or cauliflower, or just a bowl of baby carrots, and you’ve got dinner. Or check out one of the following recipes!
- Salsa Ranchera
- Pico de Gallo
- Southwest Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Romaine Salad with Queso Fresco
Other Ground Turkey Recipes:
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Ground Turkey Tacos
For the Taco Seasoning:
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
For the Ground Turkey Tacos:
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 12 Taco shells approximately
To Serve (Choose Your Family's Favorites):
- Shredded lettuce
- Salsa or taco sauce
- Shredded cheese , such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend
- Sour cream (low fat or regular)
- Diced tomatoes
- Diced avocados
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a small bowl or plastic container mix together the onion powder, salt, chili powder, cornstarch, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne or red pepper flakes, if using. Blend well.
- Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray, and place over medium high heat. Add the turkey, and cook, stirring and making sure to really break it up into small crumbles, until it is browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquid. Add the spice mixture and stir for 1 more minute so that you can smell all of the spices. Add 3/4 cup of water, and stir until the water is mostly evaporated and the meat is evenly coated with the spices, and there is a still a little bit of liquid in the pan.
- Meanwhile, heat the taco shells on a baking sheet (or right on the rack, whichever you prefer) in the oven for 5 minutes until warm and toasty. Place any desired toppings into small individual bowls. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl, place the shells on a plate covered with a napkin or clean dishtowel to keep them warm, and set out with the bowls of toppings. Let everyone serve themselves.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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