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Easy Turkey Tacos (with a slow cooker option!)

After I had Sidney back in 2020 Tony and I seriously lived off of Mexican food. Abra brought over some delicious enchiladas and Tony’s sister came with takeout from Big Star tacos here in Chicago. YUM.

The second we felt up for cooking something, we made these fabulous, healthy turkey tacos, which inspired me to share the recipe again with you today… because hello, they’re perfect for game day or any weeknight meals! We’re skipping the taco seasoning packets and making my wonderful, homemade taco seasoning (bc homemade is better, of course.)

It’s become clear that you all LOVE some of my easy weeknight meals: turkey chili, salmon tacos, maple glazed salmon, chickpea curry, etc. Thus, I’ve decided to put more of these go-to easy meals on the blog starting with these tacos. They’re such an easy 20-minute dinner!

easy healthy turkey tacos on a board with lime wedges and jalapeño slices

Turkey vs. beef tacos

I know many people love ground beef, but I’m just not into it and haven’t been for years. Occasionally I crave a burger, but it would be very, very rare for you to find beef in our fridge. However, I find myself constantly buying ground turkey, only because it’s much leaner, but because of how lovely it absorbs flavors.

While you could use beef in this recipe, I suggest trying out ground turkey for a change. We usually use 94% lean ground turkey for the best flavor.

How about you: are you a beef or turkey lover?! Or maybe you’re a tofu lover? Holla.

Everything you’ll need to make the best turkey tacos

This healthy turkey taco recipe couldn’t be easier to make! As I mentioned, there’s a DIY taco seasoning involved that you’re going to LOVE, plus all of the fresh toppings your heart desires. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Turkey: feel free to use 94% or 99% lean ground turkey (or even chicken!) We prefer 94% because it absorbs the seasoning best.
  • Onion & garlic: some fresh diced onion and minced garlic add lots of great flavor to the taco meat.
  • Tomato sauce: you’ll need some tomato sauce for cooking the ground turkey, and a little water if you’re cooking it on the stovetop.
  • Spices: say hello to your new favorite taco seasoning!
  • For serving: here’s where you can get creative. We like these tacos with salsa, sour cream/yogurt, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, etc. Plus a side of tortilla chips + my famous guacamole.

easy, healthy turkey tacos topped with jalapeño and tomato slices

Customize your healthy turkey tacos

Because this turkey taco recipe is so easy, it’s also easy to customize to your taste preferences and what you have on hand! Here’s what I can recommend:

  • Keep them gluten free: simply use gluten free corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. You can also try using grain free tortillas, if you prefer. We love the Siete brand.
  • Make them paleo: leave out the tortillas and pile the taco meat on your favorite salad. Or try the Siete Food almond flour or cashew flour tortillas.
  • Make them vegan & vegetarian: you can swap the chicken for tofu! Cube your tofu or break it up so that it’s like ground meat, and cook it just like you would with the ground turkey.
  • Add a sauce: I love adding my Spicy Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Avocado Lime Sauce, or my Jalapeño Cashew Cream Sauce.

easy, healthy ground turkey tacos in a tin with parchment paper

Turkey tacos in the slow cooker or on the stovetop

There’s one of two ways to make these turkey tacos: in the slow cooker OR on the stovetop. The slow cooker option is perfect for entertaining or game day and the stovetop version is one of our go-to weeknight meals.

  • In the slow cooker: all you have to do is brown the turkey then throw it in the slow cooker and let it cook for a few hours. The flavors are insanely good.
  • On the stovetop: brown the turkey on the stovetop then add the spices and tomato sauce and a little water. Simmer for 10 minutes then enjoy!

Reasons to love these easy turkey tacos

  • They’re easy. That’s right, all you have to do is brown the turkey then throw it in the slow cooker or cook on the stovetop. EASY.
  • They can be made for a crowd. You can double, triple or even quadruple this recipe. So if you’re having a party (or celebrating Taco Tuesday), this is a freaking awesome inexpensive meal.
  • Hello DIY taco bar. Use this to make your own taco bar. Just get all the fixin’s chopped up and let your turkey cook in the slow cooker. Then have your guests make their own tacos with soft or hard shell tortillas, or even lettuce wraps! A taco salad bar would be amazing, too. Such a party pleaser.
  • Homemade taco seasoning is involved. A few simple spices + tomato sauce and you’ve got awesome REAL deal taco seasoning with no JUNK.

easy slow cooker turkey tacos topped with jalapeño slices

How to store & freeze turkey taco meat

Store any leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • To freeze: let the taco meat cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat: thaw the frozen taco meat in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Anyway, this recipe is a keeper. We make it 1x per week and always go back for seconds!

More weeknight dinner recipes you’ll love

Enjoy! If you make this recipe, I’d love to see you tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram — otherwise leave a comment and rate the recipe below letting me know how you liked the turkey tacos! xo.

Amazing Easy Turkey Tacos (with a slow cooker option!)

slow cooker turkey tacos in a container with parchment paper

Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Easy healthy ground turkey tacos made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker. These delicious turkey tacos are made with a perfectly spiced, flavorful DIY homemade taco seasoning that you’ll want to use for tons of recipes. This is our go-to weeknight healthy taco recipe!


  • For the taco meat:
  • 1
    olive oil
  • 1
    white onion, diced
  • 1
    94% lean ground turkey (can also use 99% lean if you desire)
  • 3
    garlic cloves, minced
  • 1
    (8 oz) can tomato sauce (1 cup)
  • 1/4
    water (only if making stovetop version)
  • 2 1/2
  • 2 1/2
    chili powder
  • 1
    dried oregano
  • ½

  • teaspoon
    cayenne pepper, optional
  • ¾
  • Optional toppings:
  • 8
    soft corn tortillas (or flour if you prefer)
  • 3/4
    grape tomatoes, quartered (can also use 1 large tomato, diced)
  • ½
    shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1
    avocado, diced (or sub guacamole)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced fresh or pickled jalapenos


  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium high heat. Add diced onions and turkey. Brown the turkey, and break up the meat with a wooden spoon until nice and browned, about 5 minutes.

  2. TO MAKE ON THE STOVETOP: add in garlic, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir to combine. Simmer over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken up.

  3. TO MAKE IN THE SLOW COOKER: Transfer to the slow cooker and add in garlic, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir to combine. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

  4. Once ready to serve, divide meat between 8 corn tortillas. Add optional toppings: tomatoes, cheese, diced avocado/guacamole, lettuce and jalapeno. Serves 4. Optional to serve with greek yogurt, if desired.

Recipe Notes

To make dairy free: sub dairy free cheese or simply leave off the cheese.

To make gluten free: use corn tortillas or your favorite gluten/grain free tortillas.

See the full post for storing tips and ways to customize your tacos!


Servings: 4 servings

Serving size: 2 tacos (without toppings)

Calories: 304kcal

Fat: 6.8g

Saturated fat: 1.5g

Carbohydrates: 32.1g

Fiber: 5.4g

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 30.6g

Recipe by Ambitious Kitchen // Photography by: Sarah Fennel

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