Making great-tasting soft tacos at home is healthy, quick, and easy. The secret is perfectly seasoned meat and fresh ingredients. The finishing touch to this delicious blend of contrasting textures and temperatures is a drizzle of lime crema that pulls all the flavors together.
Here’s a rundown of the ingredients we use to make our ground turkey tacos, along with a few suggestions for substitutions. The complete ingredient list along with quantities can be found in the printable version of the recipe below.
- Ground turkey: We recommend using regular ground turkey, not ground turkey breast because it is too lean and would have a tendency to be dry. You can also use ground chicken or lean ground beef.
- Flour tortillas: Choose a brand of soft flour tortillas about six to eight inches in diameter. We like the “soft taco size” made by La Tortilla Factory. They make low-carb varieties too, but they’re a little bigger in diameter.
- Lettuce: Crisp lettuce varieties like romaine and iceberg are the best choice for tacos because they add texture to every bite.
- Tomatoes: Because they’re not quite as juicy as other types of tomatoes and won’t be as likely to make the tortillas soggy, plum/Roma tomatoes are a top choice for making soft tacos.
- Shredded cheese: For convenience, we usually use a finely shredded Mexican cheese blend, but Monterey Jack and cheddar are both acceptable substitutes.
- Mexican-inspired spices: Chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper are all common spices used in Mexican cuisine. Add them separately instead of using a packaged taco seasoning mix so you can control the degree of heat to your taste and cut back on excess sodium.
- Scallions: Sliced scallions add a hint of sweet onion flavor that works as a nice contrast to the earthiness of the meat mixture.
- Fresh cilantro: A sprinkling of cilantro leaves on top of each taco delivers garden-fresh, herby flavor in every bite.
- Crema with lime: Similar to sour cream, Mexican crema can be drizzled on everything from fresh fruit to enchiladas. It’s available ready-made in stores, but for this recipe, it’s just as easy to whisk some fresh-squeezed lime juice and grated lime zest into regular sour cream.
Step by Step: How to Make Ground Turkey Tacos
This is an overview of how this dish is made. You’ll find detailed measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version of the recipe below.
- Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, sauté the onion until softened, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until lightly browned, breaking the meat up as it cooks.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, ground coriander, and cumin. Combine well, continue cooking and adjust the seasoning adding a cayenne to taste. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.
- Make the crema by combining the sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, and ground cumin in a small bowl.
- To assemble the tacos, layer some lettuce in the center of each tortilla and top with tomatoes and some of the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese, chopped scallions, and cilantro. Using a spoon, drizzle each taco with some of the crema and serve immediately.
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Ground Turkey Tacos
- 1 lb ground turkey, see notes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- Cayenne pepper to taste
For the lime crema:
- 1 cup sour cream
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
For the tacos:
- 8 flour tortillas (8-inch)
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, loosely packed
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup finely shredded Mexican cheese blend, or more to taste
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add the ground turkey along with 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Sauté until lightly browned, breaking the meat up as much as possible while it cooks.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, coriander and 1 teaspoon of the ground cumin. Combine well and continue cooking, for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Season to taste with cayenne and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.
- Make the crema by combining the sour cream, lime juice, lime zest and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin in a small bowl.
- To assemble the tacos, place a portion of lettuce in the center of each tortilla. Top with tomatoes and a portion of the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese, chopped scallions and cilantro. Using a spoon, drizzle each taco with some of the crema and serve immediately.