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Matt’s Turkey Tacos

Still making your way through leftovers? Finish them off with these tasty tacos...

There’s no denying that from now until the end of the year is prime turkey time. I suspect you might even see a very similar Thanksgiving meal appear during Christmas, give or take a ham and prime rib served alongside. And this means lots of turkey leftovers. I have no shame in telling you that I’ve eaten a few days worth of turkey already, and plan on roasting at least one more next month. And while I’d never publicly knock the turkey-stuffing-gravy trifecta, I’ve gotta ask you: Where’s my spice? Where’s my flavor? I’m opting for turkey tacos this year, a quick and easy recipe that uses what I have but pays homage to the flavors I grew up eating. And it couldn’t be any easier.

The turkey meat is shredded, re-seasoned, and nestled into a tortilla shell. But after that, the rest is up to you. Generous dollops of guacamole, some sour cream or Mexican crema, salsa, pico de gallo. You name it and you can do it. And if you’ve got a particularly flavorful bird and are concerned about the cross-cultural flavoring wrought from adding new spices, well, don’t worry. It’ll just add an extra dimension. Remember, these are leftovers — you aren’t starting with a fresh slate.

Turkey Tacos
1 lb cooked turkey, shredded, no skin (white or dark is just fine)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
4-8 corn tortillas or pre-made taco shells, depending on the size of the tortilla
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 cup shredded cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
optional: jalapeños, Mexican
crema, pickled carrots and onions, radishes

  1. Place the chopped onion and oil in a skillet and sauté until cooked, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the same pan add the shredded turkey, cumin, pepper and water to the onions. Stir to mix spices and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the water evaporates.
  3. Remove from heat. Season with salt if needed, it will depend on the original flavor of your turkey.
  4. Place the cooked turkey into the taco shells (you can make your own by frying corn tortillas in hot oil and forming into a taco while they’re still soft).
  5. Top each taco with lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, sour cream or anything extra you’d like. I’m a sucker for pickled carrots and jalapeños on mine.

More posts from Matt:
Chipotle Sweet Potato Spoon Bread
Twice Baked Potatoes
Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Queso Fundido
Fig and Blue Cheese Flatbread
Ice Cream Terrine with Sautéed Peaches
Matt’s Ultimate Summer Salad
Matt’s Cherry Galette

Find Matt at


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