These chipotle turkey tacos satisfy your takeout craving without breaking your weekday calorie budget. I season lean ground turkey with chipotle peppers, spices, and a touch of honey. The chipotle turkey meat works well as a filling for tacos or as a picadillo to top roasted sweet potatoes.
Kenny and I always keep lean ground turkey in the freezer. Living in New York City means grocery trips have to be well planned to avoid unnecessary stress. You also have to carry home anything you buy. This makes for more frequent trips with fewer items.
I learned a hard lesson earlier this week when I took a solo trip to Trader Joe’s. Excited by the fact that I entered the store during a rare lull, I thought I was back in CA. I piled my cart full of apples, bananas, bottles of water and heavy jars. As I approached the check out counter, a realization came over me; I have to walk 15 blocks…carrying every single thing I just bought! I made it home with grocery bags barely in tact – praying every step of the way. My shoulders are still store from that trip! Needless to say, I will always keep meat in the freezer and staples on hand.
These chipotle turkey tacos are a new mainstay in our repertoire and we can keep all the ingredients in the freezer or pantry. The turkey mixture is delicious on its own and can be served with rice or roasted potatoes. However, fill some corn tortillas and top with cheese for a really yummy weeknight meal.
Pin this recipe as a quick go-to when you’re not sure what’s for dinner.
Other quick recipes you can make with ground turkey:
1 tablespoon olive oil (use 2 if you’re using ground turkey breast)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 pound ground turkey (if you use ground turkey breast, you may need more olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
3 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup water
1–2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ tablespoon honey
6–8 corn tortillas
6–8 slices of cheese (your choice)
Pickled red onion
Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with olive or avocado oil spray. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
Add the onion along with ¼ teaspoon salt.
Cook until the onions are translucent and softened, 2 minutes.
Add the ground turkey and break the meat down using a wooden spoon.
Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the turkey is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and paprika to the turkey. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the chopped chipotle pepper, the adobo sauce and tomato paste to the pan. Stir to coat the turkey with the chipotle sauce and cook out the tomato paste.
Add the water to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to simmer until excess liquid has evaporated.
Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar along with the honey. Cook the meat a couple minutes longer to allow some of the honey to caramelize. Taste the meat analytically, adjusting salt and apple cider vinegar as necessary. I used a total of ½ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
Lay out the desired number of tortillas onto the oil-sprayed aluminum foil.
Lay a slice of cheese over ⅔ of each tortilla.
Scoop 2 large spoonfuls of ground turkey over half of the tortilla and fold each tortilla over. If the tortilla doesn’t stay folded, place the baking sheet in the oven for a couple minutes to melt the cheese. Then remove the tacos and fold the tortilla over in half.
Roast the tacos until the cheese is completely melted and the tortilla is browned and crispy, 20-25 minutes.