A perfect meal for a busy weeknight, these Baked Turkey Tacos are family-friendly and nutritious and can easily be made ahead.
Thank you to the National Turkey Federation for sponsoring this post!
You know those meals that everyone around your table is happy about? Those are very special meals. And when they happen to be meals that are easy and quick to pull together, that’s icing on the cake. Or cheese on the taco.
These Baked Turkey Tacos were something I discovered through my freezer meal co-op more than a year ago, and I’m pretty sure I’ve served them at least once a month ever since. Because there’s no reason to only eat turkey at Thanksgiving and on deli sandwiches.
Ground turkey is an inexpensive source of protein, with nutrients like iron and zinc that kids need as they’re growing. I keep ground turkey on hand for meatballs and meatloaf and other easy meals my family likes. Using beans in this recipe makes the turkey stretch further and adds even more protein. Each two-taco serving has a whopping 23 grams of protein.
These tacos are easy for even little kids to eat because the filling stays put in the shells, which bake up both crunchy and slightly soft. My husband and teenager both eat 3-4 of these while my younger son and I each eat about two. Sometimes we have one or two left over for the next day–they make a yummy reheated lunch or after-school snack.
How to make it a freezer meal: Cook the filling mixture (through step #6), cool slightly, then pack into a gallon-size freezer bag. Press the bag flat, seal, then lay flat in the freezer. When ready to cook, remove the bag and defrost in the refrigerator (if I’ve forgotten to defrost it overnight, I run the bag under running water until the mixture can break up enough to remove from the bag). Spray a skillet with cooking spray then reheat the filling mixture, spoon into taco shells, top with cheese, and bake.
Get more turkey recipes, like Thai Turkey Burgers and Sriracha Lime Slow Cooker Turkey Tenderloin, by visiting ServeTurkey here.
Baked Turkey Tacos
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 pound ground turkey I use 85% lean
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup refried beans if using canned, that's about a half-can
- 1/3 cup enchilada sauce homemade or store-bought
- 12 hard taco shells
- 3/4-1 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar or taco variety
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and cook 1-2 minutes while stirring.
Increase heat to medium-high and add turkey, stirring and cooking until browned (should reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Drain excess liquid if needed (if you use leaner turkey, you may be able to skip this step).
Reduce heat to medium-low and add seasoning and beans. Stir to combine.
Add enchilada sauce and stir well. Remove skillet from heat.
Fill taco shells evenly with mixture. Place shells in a 9x13 pan and top with shredded cheese.
Bake uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until melted and heated through.
Serve immediately with toppings such as avocado, salsa, and sour cream.