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Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa

These Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos are a perfect Low-Carb dinner and this tasty recipe is also low-glycemic, Whole 30, Paleo gluten-free, and South Beach Diet Phase One and can easily be Keto if you use higher-fat ground beef! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

The story about these Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos started on Twitter when Marisa from Food in Jars was talking about this turkey taco recipe years ago, and when I checked the recipe, I just couldn’t wait to try it right away. I first used romaine lettuce, and of course I never manage 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. What makes this turkey tacos recipe so good is the chiles, cumin, and chopped cilantro that seasons the turkey, and believe me, these turkey tacos are a complete keeper, something you’ll make over and over.

Then what made this turkey tacos story especially fun is that later I met Marisa at SXSW, and had a great time chatting with her in person after getting to know her online. We’re still friends on Twitter, and fast forward a few years later and I’ve made these turkey tacos she introduced me to over and over. Through the years I’ve switched to eating the turkey mixture with iceberg lettuce, although you can certainly use any type of lettuce you prefer.

The other thing that’s changed about this recipe is that my Costco used to have ground turkey in 1 1/2 pound packages, but now Costco has packages that are nearly two pounds (and my grocery store sells packages of ground turkey that are one pound.) So I’ve changed the recipe slightly to use two pounds of ground turkey, and if you want to switch out the ground turkey for higher-fat ground beef for Keto, that will also be delicious. Believe me when I say 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.

I love the tomato-avocado salsa used here, but when I had leftover turkey and the salsa mixture was gone I still enjoyed this a lot served with regular tomato salsa, so that’s definitely an option if you want a version that’s a bit easier!

Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa were first posted in April 2009; updated with better instructions and new photos in September 2016. This recipe was featured in Ten Low-Carb Mexican Food Favorites You’ll Make Over and Over. If you’re a big fan of lettuce wraps like I am, check out Delicious Low-Carb and Keto Wraps with Lettuce, Collards, and Cabbage.

Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

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.)

Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

While the turkey cooks, chop up the cilantro and slice green onions. 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 to make cups to fill with taco meat.

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.

Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

Fill the lettuce cups with the turkey mixture and top with a generous amount of tomato-avocado salsa. These tacos would be delicious with Marisa’s Cumin Cabbage Slaw or Spicy Mexican Slaw for a low-carb meal.

More Tasty Dinners with Turkey:

Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Turkey Recipes Index Page ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Cheesy Stuffed Poblanos with Ground Turkey ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Turkey Tacos from The Perfect Pantry
Low-Carb Enchilada Casserole with Ground Turkey and Chiles ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa

These Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos are a perfect Low-Carb dinner.

Ingredients:

For Tacos:

  • 1-2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar, but fresh garlic would be even better)
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (not Jalapenos, unless you want it really hot)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle or Cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (or use ground beef if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups chopped cilantro. I used 1 cup in tacos and 1/4 cup in salsa. Use more or less cilantro to taste.)
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 large heads iceberg (or use any lettuce you prefer like romaine, Boston lettuce, or butter lettuce)

For Salsa:

  • 2 medium avocados, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 T olive oil (optional)
  • sea salt to taste
  • (You can also serve the tacos with chunky salsa and/or guacamole from the store if you want an easier version.)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Add cumin and ground chipotle or cayenne and cook about 1 minute more.
  3. 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.
  4. While turkey cooks, thinly slice green onions and set aside, then wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and finely chop cilantro.
  5. Peel and dice avocado, place in glass or plastic bowl and toss with lime juice.
  6. Stir in chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, and olive oil, season to taste with salt.
  7. 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.)
  8. When turkey is lightly browned, add sliced green onions and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Turn off heat, then stir in 1 cup chopped cilantro and 2 T lime juice.

To assemble tacos:

  1. Spoon 2-3 large spoonfuls of turkey mixture into each piece of lettuce.
  2. Top meat mixture with salsa.
  3. 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.

Recipe adapted from Molly Watson’s Turkey Tacos, discovered via Twitter from Marisa.

All images and text ©

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 South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic or low-carb eating plan.

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.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

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73 comments on “Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa”

  1. Gena, glad you like it!

    Donna, so glad you guys have enjoyed these. Definitely one of my favorites.

    Roz, good to know. I think there is a lot of overlap between the two plans. Thanks for the nice words about the blog.

  2. Thanks so much Kalyn I LOVE IT!! I made the full recipe yesterday, hoping it would work for a week's worth of lunches. So far so good – it was wonderful the first day and just as great the second.

    I did change it up today to use chopped lettuce instead of trying to eat it as a wrap, mostly because I was lazy and didn't want to have to microwave the turkey in one container and then use another for the meal. Instead I microwaved it, added spring mix (which I had on hand) and salsa on top, stirred and ate it like a salad. YUM.

    Oh, and I also made half the amount of salsa, fearing it would go bad if I tried to use it over the course of a week. Looks like I'll need to make the second half on day 4.

    Thanks again you are the BEST!
    Michelle

  3. I love tacos in lettuce wraps! They are a "go to" answer for the times that I am the only one watching my carbs-I put mine in lettuce and the rest of the family can have taco shells if they wish.

  4. Michelle, so glad they are working out so well for you!

    Sandy, I think that's one of the best things about this as a dinner option! (Although I almost like them better with lettuce than with tortillas now.)

  5. Kalyn, What a hit! Mr. McD ate his with tortillas, I ate mine like the recipe called for. Four thumbs up from both McDs. Delicious.

  6. My husband and I loved these tacos! Really good flavors. We added some cheese on a few, which was great too. This was also the first time I tried ground turkey…tastes the same as ground beef! I was happily surprised, and will probably stick with ground turkey for a LONG time, such a healthier option.

  7. CJ and Sarah, so glad the tacos were a hit!

  8. Just ran across your site and I am so very impressed! Wow! Can't wait to browse all your recipes like this lettuce wrap!

    Alise

  9. Thanks Alise; glad you like the blog.

  10. Made this tonight and it was amazing. I only had ground chicken, but it turned out great. Thank you, we will be making this again.

  11. Delicious!!! So fresh and healthy. I hope you don't mind but I shared them on my blog and made sure to give you credit. http://www.hurricanhaylie.blogspot.com Thank you for sharing.

  12. I have just finished making these tacos and I lovvvveee them! Excellent!

  13. These look amazing. I can't wait to try them. I posted a link to your recipe on my blog. You can check it out here. http://www.samanthaandersenphotography.com/2012/04/menu-plan-mondayweek-1-hl8wc.html
    Thank you!

  14. Kalyn…I made this for dinner this evening and OMG my children LOVED it. My 6 yo had 4!!! We eat rather "clean" and I fell off the bandwagon late summer when my Dad passed away and now I'm getting back on track and thank you thank you for posting this. This reminded me just how delicious and yummy "clean" food can be. Your blog has been part of the "jump start" process to kinda shock me back into reality and cleaning up my menu planner and fridge. Thank you thank you.

  15. So glad to hear your family enjoyed it. And do I ever know how stress can make you fall off the wagon, good job getting back on track!

  16. One of my very favorite recipes to make ever!!!! Easy and delicious = A++++++

  17. Um, totally in love with these. That avocado salsa is calling my name, and those chiles!? Perfection. Pure perfection.

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