Friday, February 3, 2012

Healthy But Satisfying: Turkey Tacos

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Turkey tacos are a favorite go to meal in this house, and they always satisfy, no matter how many times we have it.  Seriously, I make these every week, and they are always so yummy!  These tacos are delicious, and as an added bonus, they are healthier for you too. My secret is that I use ground turkey in place of ground beef.  I have been making slight adjustments to my seasoning technique since my college days, and I have finally reached perfection.

Also to make it healthier, (and better for the pocketbook) I have kicked the canned re-fried beans to the curb.  My signature beans are not fried, and they are packed with flavor!


  • 1 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 heaping tblsp. minced garlic (I use the kind that is in a jar that can be kept in the refrigerator) or 2-4 cloves
  • 3-4 tablespoons Mccormick taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 can drained patite diced Hunts tomatoes


Spray large skillet with non-stick spray and pre-heat skillet on medium heat.

Add the minced garlic to the pan, and allow the garlic to saute for 2-3 minutes.

After the garlic has been in the heated pan for a minute or two, add the taco seasoning, tamarind paste, and drained tomatoes.

Add the turkey.  Mix the seasonings in the turkey well.

Cook the turkey until browned.

Assemble tacos as you like them.  Chef Matt likes both corn and flour tortillas together, my signature un-fried 're-fried' beans , and lots of grated cheddar cheese.


You didn't think that I'd leave without sharing my un-fried 're-fried' beans with you, did you?

These beans take at least 5 hours to make, so plan accordingly.


  • 1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans
  • 1 can undrained diced Hunts tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mexican hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 quarts water

Combine the undrained tomatoes, garlic, cumin, onion powder, oregano leaves, salt, pepper, hot sauce and lime juice together in a large stock pot.

Add the dry pinto beans, and the water.


Place over low heat.

Cover, and stir occasionally.

Keep an eye on the water level, and if it gets too low, add more.

Cook the beans over low for at least 5 hours.

When the beans are cooked, drain most of the liquid from the beans.  I like to keep about 1 cup of liquid with the beans.  However, you can keep more or less in the pot depending on what you like.

Use a potato masher to mash the beans to the consistency of your  choice.

Ta-da!  'Re-fried' beans that are super tasty, better for you, and better for your wallet.

*****Tip: these beans freeze quite well.  Fill a muffin tin with the 're-fried' beans, and place the tin in the freezer on a level surface.  When the beans have frozen, pop the beans out of the tin (I did this by turning the tin upside down on a cutting board and covering the tin for a few seconds with a warm, damp towel) and store the bean cups in a gallon-sized zip-lock freezer bag.  When you're ready to use, just place beans in a pot over medium-low heat.  Add a little bit of water (or chicken broth for added flavor) to the beans, and stir occasionally.*****

      ~ Chef Megs


Eliotseats said...

MM-mm. Tacos sound good right now. I haven't ever tried them with ground turkey, but thanks for the inspiration.

Chef Megs said...

You're so welcome. They're so yummy, you wouldn't even know that its not beef!

Foodie Love said...

Wanted to let you know that I have passed the Liebster Award on to you! If you have not heard of it or seen it on other blogs, it's an award given to fantastic blogs with under 200 followers. And your one of them! Now you get to pass it along to 5 other blogs of your choice!
You can see the post on my blog here:

Alyssa said...

I never thought of adding tamarind paste to the taco meat. I've got to try that. We love tacos around here too

Girl Cook Art said...

The Tacos look delicious..they are calling me:) Check out my post on a sunday lunch - Murhg Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Foodies For Life said...

Foodie Love--
Thanks so much, we are honored!
The tamarind paste adds such a wonderful flavor. Give it a try, and tell us how it turned out. :)

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