easiest ground turkey tacos




OK- so these tacos are so good that we gobbled them up before I could even get the beauty shot of the yummy fully-loaded taco. That good. My son loves these so much that we had them for lunch on his 3rd birthday. Since then, I may have placed them in the dinner rotation a few too many times because he later went through a phase of not liking them. Thank goodness, he's back to liking them because this is a dinner that the whole family can enjoy. Taco Tuesdays Forever!

This recipe is adapted from Cook's Illustrated. I swapped out the ground beef for ground turkey... kind of healthier, right? And, I'll teach you how I make this recipe work for those who like a little spice and those (ahem- my kids) who do not.

I also really like this recipe since you make the taco seasoning yourself. I love that a little of this and a little of that can taste even better than those taco seasoning packets that I grew up with. Moreover, so long as your spices are GF, you don't need to spend any extra time at the grocery store double-checking the ingredients of that taco seasoning packet. DIY for the win.

Finally, I make this recipe ahead of time and simply reheat at dinner for a quick meal on those really hectic school days. Oh, who am I kidding, every day is one of those hectic days! If you're like me, this taco recipe will make those days easier for you and I'm sure it will work itself into your mealtime rotation, too.

Easiest Ground Turkey Tacos

  • 2 tsps vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (I make my own and freeze leftovers, but Rao's is gf)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsps apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 TBSPs chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a smallish thick-bottomed dutch oven over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and cook, stirring until softened, but not yet browned. Add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground turkey. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat and combine with onion & garlic, cooking turkey until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Next, add the marinara sauce, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar to the pot. It will look quite soupy. That's ok! Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Leave the pot uncovered and stir frequently until the mixture cooks down and becomes thicker. After about 10 minutes, it should be nearly cooked down.

While the taco filling simmers down, combine all the spices (chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper) in a separate small bowl. Now, here's where you can make this meal please the spice-lovers and the non-spice-lovers alike. Once the liquid in the taco filling pot is mostly reduced, spoon out as much taco filling as your non-spice-lovers will eat. Set this aside. Now, stir all the spices into the remaining taco filling in the pot and stir gently until it is fully combined. 

At dinner time, reheat the spicy and non-spicy taco filling and serve with all your favorite toppings. Around here we like Mission soft-shell corn tortillas, chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, corn, black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, fresh-squeezed lime, and even a dollop of sour cream. Basically everything. I have a family of 4. This feeds all of us with barely any left-overs. I've learned that this recipe easily doubles, so make it how it works for your family.