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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Turkey Tacos


I found this recipe for ground beef tacos in my America's Test Kitchen Cookbook and decided to try substituting ground turkey for the beef. The only kind of ground turkey tacos I've made in the past have been with a store bought taco seasoning packet; in fact, I don't know that it ever occurred to me to make the filling from scratch! I am so glad we tried these because they are soooo good! The spices are perfect, and the mixture is so flavorful. Bob and I have made these probably 6 times in the last few months. They are one of the few dinners that I actually made while I was pregnant to keep in the freezer and have after the baby arrived - we were sure glad to have this dinner twice in those first weeks home with Ava, when simply taking a shower is an accomplishment for the day!

I typically use lean ground turkey exclusively (not the extra-lean) because I find it has more flavor and isn't as dry. I had Bob grocery shop for the ingredients for this recipe once, and he got the extra-lean by accident. We used it anyway, and these were still phenomenal! It ended up being serendipitous because now we know that we can use the healthier turkey and not compromise on the flavor!

Turkey Tacos

For the filling:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 small onion, chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound ground turkey (lean or extra-lean)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)
Ground black pepper

Optional extras:
Hard or soft taco shells
Shredded cheese
Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
Small tomatoes , chopped small
Sour cream
Minced fresh cilantro leaves
Hot sauce or bottled taco sauce

1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.

2. Add garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking meat up with a spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes.

4. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, passing toppings separately.

Source: America's Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook


  1. yum! Tacos are something we never get tired of in our house :)

  2. Shawn and I have made our own taco seasoning in the past when we had left over fixins but no packets. He even put curry in it by accident....the apartment smelled funky but the tacos tasted great! Its a great way to use up old spices...I will definitely have to try this recipe!


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