Your family is going to love this uber-flavorful ground turkey taco meat. Stuff it into corn tortillas, serve it over rice or taco salads, or use it as a burrito filling.
Making a batch of ground turkey taco meat opens up a world of dinnertime possibilities. Whether wrapped in tortillas for Ground Turkey Tacos with a medley of toppings or used as a protein-packed addition to salads, quesadillas, and casseroles, this turkey taco meat, seasoned with my Homemade Taco Seasoning, is always a family favorite.
Using lean ground turkey as the base ensures that your meal is packed with protein while being lower in fat compared to traditional beef options. Round out your meal with extra vegetables, such as shredded romaine lettuce, tomatoes and avocado to pump up the nutritional benefits.
If you like to meal prep, you’re going to love this recipe. The taco meat can be incorporated into portable meals for school or work. Or stock your fridge with make-ahead taco rice bowls for quick and easy dinners.
💙 What's to love about ground turkey taco meat
▪️ SPEEDY PREPARATION: The process of making taco meat is straightforward. If you keep Taco Seasoning on hand, this meat mixture can be made in about 15 minutes.
▪️ VERSATILITY: Once cooked, ground turkey taco meat becomes an adaptable canvas for various dishes. Serve it in tacos and burritos, in rice bowls and taco salads, or on top of baked potatoes.
▪️ MEAL PREP CHAMPION: The easy and efficient preparation lends itself well to meal prepping. You can make a larger batch during your cooking session and store it in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze it for future use. Having ready-to-go taco meat at hand significantly reduces the time and effort needed to assemble a meal during busy weekdays.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
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Ways to use it
Ground turkey taco meat isn't just a one-trick pony – it's a culinary chameleon that can transform your meals. Here are some detailed ideas on how to use it:
- Classic Tacos: Load up soft or crispy taco shells with a generous scoop of ground turkey taco meat. Top it off with your favorite fixings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, salsa, and a dollop of guacamole. Serve them for a casual family dinner or a taco night with friends.
- Hearty Burritos: Create hearty burritos by wrapping the seasoned turkey meat in large flour tortillas along with cooked rice, beans, sautéed veggies, and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll them up, tucking in the sides, for a substantial meal that's easy to customize. Try pairing it with my Instant Pot Black Beans & Rice.
- Baked Potatoes: Spoon generous helping of ground turkey taco meat over the fluffy insides of baked potatoes. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or guacamole for a creamy contrast. Try my Turkey Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
- Flavorful Rice Bowls: For a nutritious and filling option, layer cooked rice with the taco meat, black beans, corn, diced avocado, and a drizzle of lime crema. Great for taking to work!
- Quesadilla Filling: Transform cheese quesadillas by layering taco meat with grated cheese between two tortillas.
- Taco Salads: Create a taco salad by placing a bed of crisp lettuce or mixed greens in a bowl. Top it with the ground turkey taco meat, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and your favorite dressing for a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Try it with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing or Cilantro Lime Dressing.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and stuff them with a mixture of taco meat, cooked rice, beans, and chopped vegetables. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through for a colorful and nutritious meal. Follow the directions for my Greek Stuffed Peppers, substituting the taco meat and Pepper Jack or Cheddar cheese for the meat and cheese in that recipe.
- Nacho Toppings: Turn a simple plate of nachos into a hearty appetizer by scattering spoonfuls of taco meat over the tortilla chips. Add grated cheese, jalapeños, and diced tomatoes before popping them into the oven.
- Breakfast Skillet: Start your day with a savory breakfast by sautéing the turkey taco meat with diced potatoes and bell peppers. Top it with fried eggs and a sprinkle of cheese.
- Wrap Creations: Use large lettuce leaves, collard greens, or whole wheat tortillas as wraps. Fill them with ground turkey taco meat, crunchy veggies, and a drizzle of your favorite sauce.
Tips for making taco meat
▪️ Don't rush the sauté: Let those onions get nice and translucent with some browning before adding the ground turkey. This is the foundation of flavor for your taco meat.
▪️ Seasoning is key: Homemade taco seasoning brings a personalized touch. Adjust the spices to your liking – more heat, more smokiness, it's all up to you.
▪️ Simmer for the win: Letting the tomato paste and chicken broth mingle with the meat allows the flavors to meld beautifully. A short simmer enhances the overall taste.
Meal Prep and Storage
Short on time during the week? No worries! Whip up a batch of ground turkey taco meat during your meal prep session. Once cooked, it keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days, ready to be reheated for quick and delicious meals.
If you find yourself with leftovers, store the cooled taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat whenever those taco cravings strike.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Technically, yes. The recipe works using extra-lean (99%) ground turkey. However, the meat will be a bit dryer compared to taco meat with lean (93%) ground turkey.
Absolutely! Adding veggies like bell peppers, corn, or even zucchini can enhance both the flavor and nutritional content of the dish. Sauté them along with the onions for extra texture and color.
Definitely! Cold taco meat adds a protein punch to your salads. Just let it cool before refrigerating and assembling your salads.
Indeed! If you're following a low-carb or keto diet, you can enjoy this ground turkey taco meat by serving it in lettuce wraps, over a bed of cauliflower rice, or with low-carb tortillas.
Other Easy Dinner Recipes
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Ground Turkey Taco Meat
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey. As the turkey cooks, break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. I prefer some larger chunks for taco meat, but feel free to break up the meat to suit your preference.
- Once the turkey is cooked, add the garlic, taco seasoning and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine. Turn down the heat so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer until most, but not all of the liquid is absorbed, 5 to minutes. Serve.
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