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Ground Turkey Tacos are a quick & easy dinner recipe that is ready to eat in just 15 minutes. Ground turkey taco meat with taco seasonings, salsa, black beans, and ground turkey. Serve in soft flour tortillas or crunchy corn taco shells, and top with all your favorite taco toppings.
Ground Turkey Taco Recipe
These ground turkey tacos make a regular appearance at my house. We love tacos but I am always looking for a way to dress them up a bit. Using ground turkey in the taco meat makes it slightly healthier, and using convenient ingredients like salsa and taco seasoning packet, adds tons of flavor with little effort.
My family is split on how they like to eat tacos so I always serve these with soft flour tortillas and crunchy corn taco shells. And don’t forget the toppings like green lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
What You’ll Need
You only need some simple ingredients to make this ground turkey taco meat recipe. I also share tips for the best stuff to use!
- Ground Turkey : I would recommend using 93/7 ground turkey. There is leaner ground turkey meat but for the best flavor use one with a little fat in it.
- Olive Oil : I use extra-virgin light tasting olive oil. It has no heavy olive taste to it.
- Black Beans : Drain and rinse the canned beans.
- Salsa : The “secret ingredient” that adds tons of flavor and makes this recipe simple to prepare. For best taste I recommend using a fresh salsa that you would find in the refrigerated area at the grocery store. You can use jarred salsa but the taste and freshness is so much better with the refrigerated fresh salsas.
- Taco Seasoning Packet : I use a mild taco seasoning packet because that’s what we prefer.
- Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin : Extra dried seasonings.
How To Make Ground Turkey Tacos
With very little prep work needed, these turkey tacos can be on the dinner table in just 15 minutes. I find that it usually takes longer to prepare the toppings than to make the meat!
Ground Turkey + Olive Oil : Cook and crumble the ground turkey with the olive oil, over medium-high heat, until turkey is no longer pink. Drain excess grease and liquid from the pan.
Taco Meat : Add in the black beans, salsa, water, and dried seasonings. Stir to combine and let it simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Tips For Success
Here are my best tips for success to help make this recipe a hit in your own kitchen.
- Salsa : For best taste use a refrigerated fresh salsa. You can find these in the refrigerated are of the produce section. It’s usually by the salad dressings and fresh herbs. You can use jarred salsa but this recipe has been tested with fresh salsa.
- Beans : Make sure the black beans have been drained and rinsed well before adding them into the ground turkey. You don’t want to add any additional liquid to the taco meat.
- Taco Seasoning : We like the mild taco seasoning so that’s what I use. You can use regular or even a hot taco seasoning packet.
- Simmer : Allow about 5-10 minutes to let the taco meat simmer and so the flavors can develop. I usually prepare all the toppings while the meat is simmering.
Variation & Substitution Ideas
There are several ways to change this recipe up to your preference. Here are a few ways that I can suggest.
- Make It Spicy! : If you want spice then use a packet of hot taco seasoning, add chili powder or cayenne pepper in with the other dried seasonings, you can also use a hot salsa.
- Ground Meat : You can substitute ground chicken or ground beef for the ground turkey.
- Beans : We love black beans in this recipe but any canned bean can be used. Other great options are pinto beans, white navy beans, or kidney beans.
Ground Turkey Taco FAQ’s
- How To Store Leftover Taco Meat
- Leftover taco meat stores well in a covered container, in the fridge, for 3-4 days.
- There are lots of ways to repurpose leftover taco meat. You can use it in another recipe that calls for ground beef or ground turkey, this works best for Mexican type dishes like enchiladas or casseroles, or in this fiesta chicken casserole instead of the chicken. You can also use the meat to make taquitos or quesadillas.
- Can I Freeze Ground Turkey Taco Meat?
- Yes you can! You can either freeze the entire recipe or freeze the leftovers. Store taco meat in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before using. You may have to add some additional liquid when reheating it on the stove or microwave.
- Serving Suggestions For Ground Turkey Taco Meat
- Serve as tacos with all your favorite taco toppings. My family loves both soft flour tortillas and crunchy corn taco shells, so I always have both.
- Serve as a taco salad. Layer the ground turkey over chopped green lettuce and then add the toppings.
- Make quesadillas with it.
- Use it as a filling for inside enchiladas or burritos.
- Make nachos!
Here are a couple supplies that you will need to make these easy ground turkey tacos. These are an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase, I will make a very small percentage from the sale. As always, I appreciate the support for the free recipes I post. I will only recommend things that I personally own and love! Promise.
Skillet Pan : This is the set I own, I love the Calphalon brand, and I’ve had it for years. I use the larger skillet pan with the high sides for most of the recipes you see here on the site.
Ground Meat Chopper : I always post about this and that’s because I love it! I give it as a gift, I own several of them, and I pretty much will tell anyone who listens that this is the kitchen tool they need!
More Ground Turkey Recipes To Try
I have lots of ground turkey recipes that are family favorites! I hope you can find some good recipes that your family loves.
BBQ Turkey Sloppy Joes : So yummy and easy to make! We love to add some crispy potato chips to our sloppy joes.
One Pot Turkey Chili Mac & Cheese : Everything cooks in one pot, even the pasta, and it’s a favorite with a turkey chili mixture and cheesy pasta.
Turkey Taco Burrito Bowls : Set out all the toppings and let everyone create their own burrito bowl!
Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs : Ground turkey gets a teriyaki flavor boost in these delicious meatballs.
Ground Turkey Tacos
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans drained & rinsed
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- In a skillet pan, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and ground turkey. Cook and crumble until ground turkey is no longer pink. Drain excess grease & liquid.
- Add the black beans, salsa, water, taco seasoning, and dried seasonings. Stir until combined well. Reduce heat to medium (or medium-low if needed) and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Serve taco meat inside flour tortillas or crunchy corn shells and top with all your favorite toppings. We like green lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded cheese, and sour cream.