The Best Turkey Taco Recipe

I make these healthy Turkey Tacos every single week! They are so delicious and flavorful, everyone loves them, and they’re ready in 15 minutes.

I don’t necessarily go out of my way to eat things like turkey meatballs or turkey meatloaf on a regular basis, even though they are delicious.

But when it comes to tacos: Turkey Tacos are my first and only choice. They are ready in record time in a delicious, flavorful sauce so good you’ll never miss the beef.

I absolutely insist that you try them. You just have to. You are going to LOVE THEM.

Turkey Tacos - a photo of three tacos full of turkey meat and other garnish on a green plate on a green background - click photo for full written recipe

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This recipe is adapted from an idea I saw in an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. The idea is to create a sauce for the meat rather than simply adding powdered seasonings and water.

Trader Joe’s also suggests a similar idea by recommending you add a can of tomato sauce when you cook with their taco seasoning.

The results are spectacular and oh-so-easy. I like to use my own Homemade Taco Seasoning, but one packet of store-bought will also work.

Turkey Tacos - a photo cooked ground turkey with a dark plastic spoon in a cast iron skillet on a bluish green background - click photo for full written recipe

Add all your favorite healthy toppings: Lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, scallions whatever you love! Or cheese and sour cream – I won’t tell anyone.

Or if you’re counting your carbs, just wrap the turkey taco meat in lettuce! Paleo/Keto/Low-Carb perfection.

4.95 from 17 votes

The Best Turkey Taco Recipe

I make these healthy Turkey Tacos every single week! They are so delicious and flavorful, everyone loves them, and they're ready in 15 minutes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword turkey
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 263kcal

For the taco seasoning (see notes):

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

For the tacos:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Corn tortillas or flour tortillas

To make the taco seasoning:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together chlii powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon), Whisk in cornstarch if desired. (Or, substitute one packet store-bought taco seasoning).

To make the tacos:

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning, garlic, and oregano until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked through but still slightly pink, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide filling evenly among tortillas and serve with healthy garnishes such as shredded lettuce, diced tomato and avocado, scallions, and cilantro leaves.

Recipe Notes


Calories: 263kcal


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  1. Amy Leigh Kennedy

    Turned out great, will definitely make them again!! Thanks5 stars

  2. Joy

    One of the best recipes I ever made. Fabulous. Can I use this recipe with shrimp? Will it go?

    1. meggan

      Hi Joy, I’m SO GLAD you loved the turkey tacos! I made them today too. I just love them. I have never tried them with shrimp. I’m happy to test it out and report back; it’s just going to take me a few days. But I’ll find out! I feel like it would be good. How could it be bad? I know it’s going to be amazing. I’m really excited to try! Thanks for the idea! -Meggan

  3. Alane

    MUST MAKE! I am not a beginner, however, this recipe is great for everyone from the novice cook to the advanced. I followed this exactly as written, used the tomato sauce and did not need corn starch. The flavor so DELICIOUS and moist! I couldn’t stop eating!5 stars

  4. Ashti Roodal

    This recipe was sooo good! Definitely will keep and try again!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Thank you so much Ashti! I really do make these every week. Or almost every week. I just love them! Thanks again! I hope you have a great day. -Meggan

  5. Karen

    Delicious! Meat was so moist and flavorful. I reduced the tomato sauce by half Because don’t like it too wet, but otherwise followed recipe exactly. Served with healthy refried black beans and it was a huge hit with the family. Won’t make turkey tacos any other way. Thanks so much for a great recipe.5 stars

  6. Jim

    II am not a good cook. It took me a great deal of time to make this, as with everything else that comes out of my kitchen. Most of the time was searching for spices. However, the end result was worth the effort. Terrific. Thank you.5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Wow, thank you so much Jim! This just makes my day. I’m glad you liked them. -Meggan

  7. Elizabeth Sazdanoff

    Oh…my…wow. Love it! I had to double the recipe so we could include my boyfriend’s roommate, and I’m glad I did, because with the inevitable leftovers…I’m thinking nachos tomorrow! I can’t get enough, I loved this dish! I did use the corn starch and the tomato paste+water options, and boy is it rich and juicy! And, very easy to meal prep with. I got the spices mixed up and veggies chopped ahead of time, so all I had to do was toss it on the stove when people were ready to eat!5 stars

  8. Tina Bourgeois

    I made this recipe because I needed something quick to do with ground turkey I thought tacos would be easy enough. My son is fairly picky, and I was scared he wouldn’t like the ground turkey so I turned to Google just see how I could treat it differently than ground beef. My son loved them! He actually liked them better than what I usually make.. Thanks!5 stars

  9. Shelly

    These are the best turkey tacos I’ve ever made! Definitely a keeper. Thank you also for the “jump to recipe” feature. I was pressed for time and using my phone in the kitchen, so this was the most convenient feature.5 stars

  10. Tami Harrah

    so good. Thanks you. Moist and flavorful5 stars

  11. Karen

    Love this recipe! I made a few adjustments because my husband is a crazy picky eater. I used your tomato paste suggestion but reduced it to about 3 tablespoons. I was out of Apple Cider Vinegar so used white wine vinegar. My husband though it was a pan of sloppy joes & I thought oh oh. But…. the taste was amazing. The meat was crazy tender. It was a hit and I’ll definitely make this again.5 stars

    1. Meggan

      That’s amazing! Thanks for letting me know Karen!

  12. Elizabeth

    Very easy and tasty. The family loved it!5 stars

  13. Cara

    This has become our favorite taco recipe ever! I have already made them three times! :) The homemade taco seasoning seems to be the key!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Wow! Thank you so much Cara! This makes my day! :D -Meggan

  14. jessica johnston

    I tried this recipe but swapped out the tomato sauce for about half a can of diced tomatoes, and added cumin, cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, and chipotle seasoning. It was delicious and I will definitely make it again!4 stars

  15. Crystal

    I made these tonight since ground turkey was on a great sale last week and they’re very good. Sauce is a new interesting take on taco filling though. I made Spanish rice and had black beans on the side. 5 stars

  16. Christina

    These were delicious. I forgot the onion but they still turned out great. My husband was super sceptical when he heard “turkey tacos” but after eating them he’s won over. These are great paired with corn and green chilies as a side cooked in the cast iron skillet, instead of the regular Mexican rice side.5 stars

  17. These do sound absolutely delicious! Perfect for mid-week meals.

  18. thomas

    great recipe! only thing i would’ve left out is the tomato sauce cause it taste like sloppy joes with it. Next time I’ll just do the taco seasoning and maybe add a little cumin and chili powder to taste. Also if you’re on paleo diet try hearts of romaine or butter lettuce instead of tortillas, very delicious!!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Hey Thomas, sorry you didn’t love the tomato sauce. For whatever reason it works for me, but yeah, SO easy to leave it out! I’ve eaten this turkey meat on butter lettuce a zillion times, it’s so good! So good. Good call. Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Take care.

  19. I do like turkey tacos and yours look and sound amazing.  I also don’t choose turkey as my first choice for meatloaf!  Too dry in my opinion.  I like your husbands junk food tip, something my husband would totally do :)5 stars

  20. Hhhmmmm…. Turkey tacos? I never thought I’d utter those two words in the same sentence! But I must admit, I think you convinced me to give them a try. The do look delicious! 

    1. meggan

      I hope you do, because I too shun ground turkey foods! LOL! Except for these. This is my one exception, and they are really good. You may have to get over the mental block of “I’m eating ground turkey” but if you can just take one bite, I think you’ll be convinced. :D

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