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 Keto, low-glycemic, Whole 30, Paleo gluten-free, and South Beach Diet Phase One! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
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 believe me when I say you won’t mind having a bit of this turkey 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.))
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 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.
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
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
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)
Ingredients 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.)
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 could also eat this mixture inside whole wheat tortillas or pitas, or even corn tortillas if you’re not watching carbs.
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.
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