Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos
Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos are a perfect low-carb dinner; you can serve the tacos with a purchased Pico de Gallo or Guacamole to make it easier!
This recipe for Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos started on Twitter when Marisa from Food in Jars was talking about about a turkey lettuce wrap taco years ago, and when I checked the recipe, I couldn’t wait to try it. Then what makes the turkey tacos story especially fun is that a few years later I met Marisa at SXSW, and had a great time chatting with her in person. We’re still friends on social media, and fast forward quite a few years later and I’ve made these turkey tacos over and over. Through the years I’ve switched to eating the turkey mixture with crispy iceberg lettuce, although you can certainly use any type of lettuce you prefer.
And of course I never seem to make a recipe just like it’s written, so I added some green onions (and a lot more cilantro) to the turkey mixture, and I used a very generous amount of tomato-avocado salsa. It’s the seasonings with chiles, cumin, and chopped cilantro that seasons the turkey that makes these tacos so delicious, and believe me, these turkey tacos are a complete keeper, something you’ll make over and over.
The recipe makes a generous amount of the turkey mixture, but you won’t mind having a bit of this taco meat mixture left over to eat the next day. It will keep a day or two days pretty well in the fridge, or cut the recipe in half if you want a smaller amount. And you can definitely make these tacos with ground beef if you’re not a ground turkey fan.
I love the tomato-avocado salsa I used here, but when I had leftover turkey and the salsa mixture was gone I enjoyed this served with Pico de Gallo from a jar, and I think the tacos would be amazing with purchased guacamole as well, so that’s definitely an option if you want a version that’s a bit easier!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- olive oil
- minced garlic
- diced green chiles
- ground cumin
- ground Chipotle Pepper or Cayenne pepper
- ground turkey
- green onions
- cilantro (optional)
- fresh-squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
- iceberg lettuce
- avocados, diced
- cherry tomatoes
How to make this recipe:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Heat olive oil in large frying pan and cook the chiles and spices for a few minutes.
- Then add the ground turkey and cook over medium-high heat, until all the liquid evaporates and the turkey is nicely browned. (Most turkey has quite a bit of water, so be patient; this may take a few minutes.)
- While the turkey cooks, chop up the cilantro and slice the green onions.
- When the turkey is browned to your liking, stir in the chopped green onions and cook for a minute or so. Then turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the chopped cilantro and 2 T lime juice.
- While turkey cooks, peel and dice the avocado and mix with lime juice. Chop tomatoes, and then mix avocado, tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the chopped cilantro, and olive oil to make the salsa. Season with salt to taste.
- Cut the lettuce in half and cut out the core, then cut into quarters. If it needs it I would use a salad spinner (affiliate link) to crisp the lettuce (or make sure it’s clean.) Just skip that step if your lettuce doesn’t need washing.
- I like to use Kitchen Shears (affiliate link) to make cups to fill with taco meat, but trimming the lettuce is definitely optional!
- Fill the lettuce cups with the turkey mixture and top with a generous amount of tomato-avocado salsa; YUM!
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
More Tasty Lettuce Wraps:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. minced garlic (see notes)
- 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles (see notes)
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle or Cayenne pepper
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- 1 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 cup chopped cilantro (see notes)
- 2 T fresh lime juice
- 2 heads iceberg lettuce (see notes)
- 2 medium avocados, diced
- 1 cup finely chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 T fresh lime juice
- 2 T olive oil (optional)
- sea salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan over medium-high heat and then add minced garlic and diced green chiles and cook about 1 minute.
- Add cumin and ground chipotle or cayenne and cook about 1 minute more.
- Then add turkey and salt and cook until all the water has evaporated and the turkey is starting to lightly brown, breaking apart with the back of the turner as it cooks. This can take a few minutes, but don’t rush the browning step.
- While turkey cooks, thinly slice green onions and set aside, then wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and finely chop cilantro.
- Peel and dice avocado, place in glass or plastic bowl and toss with lime juice.
- Stir in chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, and olive oil, season to taste with salt.
- Cut off root end of lettuce and cut away the core. Discard tough outer leaves, then cut the lettuce into quarters to create “cups” to fill with taco meat. (Save the small inner pieces for another use.)
- When turkey is lightly browned, add sliced green onions and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Turn off heat, then stir in 1 cup chopped cilantro and 2 T lime juice.
To assemble tacos:
- Spoon 2-3 large spoonfuls of turkey mixture into each piece of lettuce.
- Top meat mixture with salsa. (You can also serve the tacos with chunky salsa and/or guacamole from the store if you want an easier version.)
- You could also eat this mixture inside whole wheat tortillas or pitas, or even corn tortillas if you’re not watching carbs. If you’re not eating all of this at once I would refrigerate the turkey, lettuce, and salsa mixture separately; then reheat the turkey in a frying pan when you’re ready to eat the leftovers.
I used minced garlic from a jar, but fresh garlic would be even better. Use diced green chiles, not Jalapenos unless you want it really spicy. I used about 1 1/4 cups chopped cilantro, 1 cup in tacos and 1/4 cup in salsa. Use more or less cilantro to taste. Use any lettuce you prefer like romaine, Boston lettuce, or butter lettuce
Recipe adapted from Molly Watson’s Turkey Tacos, discovered via Twitter from Marisa but that recipe is no longer online.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 385mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 25g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
These tacos made with lean ground turkey and served inside lettuce are a perfect dish for any phase of the original South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic or low-carb eating plan, even Keto. The tomato-avocado salsa does add some carbs but they both have fiber so the net carbs are pretty low.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Lettuce Wraps to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa were first posted in April 2009; the recipe was last updated June 2020.