Turkey Taco Skillet

$6.71 recipe / $1.68 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.69 from 32 votes
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I’ve probably made a hundred iterations of the bean-salsa-corn combo over the years, and yet I still keep making more. Why? Because it never stops being delicious, it’s super versatile, and I love making new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls), it doesn’t include rice  (unlike the Southwest Chicken Skillet), and is every bit as delicious. This version literally takes about 15-20 minutes, you can serve it several different ways, and is a great make-ahead, stock-your-freezer type recipe!

Turkey Taco Skillet next to tortilla chips, toasted corn tortillas, and a bowl of sour cream

How to Serve Turkey Taco Skillet

My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can do so many different things with it. The most obvious use for this delicious skillet mix is to use it as a taco filling. Simply toast some tortillas, add a scoop of this turkey taco filling, and top with whatever you fancy (cheese, sour cream, pickled red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, etc.)

Another option is to use it for taco salads. Just fill a bowl with your favorite greens, top with the ground turkey taco mixture, and add any extra toppings you might like.

But my favorite? I love to just scoop it up with some tortilla chips and call that a meal. 😅

You can also make a bowl meal with a bed of rice, stuff this into a burrito, or put it inside a folded over tortilla with cheese and toast it up in a skillet for some quesadillas. And I’m sure there are other great ways to use this mix, as well.

Can I Substitute the Turkey?

Yep! This recipe works just as well with ground beef or ground chicken. 

Can I Substitute the Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles?

Yes, you can substitute that, too! (See? This recipe is so versatile.) If you don’t have access to Rotel or canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, you can either use 1.5 cups red salsa, or a can of plain diced tomatoes plus a 4oz. can of diced green chiles.

How to Freeze Turkey Taco Skillet

Chill your turkey taco skillet mixture in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to quart-sized freezer bags (I would do this in 1-2 serving sized portions), label and date the bag, then freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or cut away the bag, place the frozen mixture in a skillet, add a couple tablespoons of water, and heat over low with a lid, stirring occasionally as soon as it loosens up enough to stir. Or just pop it in the microwave and use the defrost then heat functions. :)

Close up of some turkey taco skillet being scooped up by a tortilla chip
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Turkey Taco Skillet

4.69 from 32 votes
This easy and versatile Turkey Taco Skillet takes about 20 minutes to make, is freezer friendly, and can be served several different ways.
Overhead view of turkey taco skillet next to tortilla chips, a bowl of sour cream, and toasted tortillas
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 12 minutes
Total 17 minutes

Ingredients

Taco Seasoning*

Taco Skillet

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey ($3.99)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles ($0.45)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.48)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.35)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions ($0.45)

Instructions 

  • Combine the spices for the homemade taco seasoning, then set the seasoning aside.
  • Add the cooking oil and ground turkey to a large skillet. Begin to cook the turkey over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks.
  • While the turkey is cooking, dice the onion. Add the onion to the skillet with the turkey and continue to stir and cook until the onions are soft. Add the prepared taco seasoning, then continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Drain the black beans then add them to the skillet with the diced tomatoes (with juices) and frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir the ingredients in the skillet to combine, then heat through over medium.
  • While the mixture is heating, slice the green onions. Stir the green onions into the skillet just before serving.

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Notes

*You can use store bought taco seasoning if you do not have a well stocked spice cabinet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 426.45kcalCarbohydrates: 34.08gProtein: 26.8gFat: 21.3gSodium: 1036.55mgFiber: 9.7g
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Serving Suggestions:

Turkey Taco Skillet served with toasted tortillas and sour cream

Use to fill tacos, then top with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, pickled red onions, jalapeños, etc.)

Turkey taco skillet used to make a taco salad

Serve it up taco salad style, over a bed of greens and with your favorite toppings.

Turkey taco skillet in a small bowl with tortilla chips for dipping

Or just scoop it up with some tortilla chips! 

How to Make Turkey Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Homemade taco seasoning ingredients in a bowl

First, make your homemade taco seasoning (you can use store bought, if that works better for you). In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne (optional), ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. I skipped the cayenne this day because I wanted a less spicy turkey taco skillet.

Cooked ground turkey and onions in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and 1 lb. ground turkey to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the ground turkey as you stir. While the turkey is cooking, dice one yellow onion, then add it to the skillet and continue to cook with the turkey until the onion is soft.

Taco seasoning being added to the skillet with turkey and onion

Add the taco seasoning to the skillet with the ground turkey and onion. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 minutes more.

Black beans, tomatoes with green chiles, and corn added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans, then add them to the skillet with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, and 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir to combine, then heat through over medium, stirring occasionally.

Sliced green onions added to the skillet

While the skillet is heating through, slice half a bunch of green onions (about 4 green onions). Add the green onions just before serving and stir to combine.

Finished turkey taco skillet

Look how colorful and delicious that is!! 

Overhead view of turkey taco skillet next to tortilla chips, a bowl of sour cream, and toasted tortillas

Dinner is served!

Close up side view of the turkey taco skillet
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  1. Glad I found this recipe. No fuss, easy to make. It was just a little dry for my taste, so I added a second can tomatoes. That’s why I just gave it 4 stars. Will make again.

  2. This was sooo good! We used some salsa I canned instead of diced tomatoes in mine but kept the rest of the recipe the same. Great for burrito bowls and taco nights. Kid approved!

  3. I love the turkey recipes!

    If you haven’t tried the spicy turkey breakfast sausage you really should. I cook the full pound as crumbles and use it for breakfast tacos with eggs and cheese. I do have to add a bit of oil because it’s so lean but it is a great replacement for pork sausage.

  4. I made this and my 18mo LOVES it. He’s not a picky eater by any means but he loves this a lot. I just used the store brand taco seasoning. I didn’t have frozen corn but I had the Mexican corn in the can and used it.

    Soooooo good. Definitely gonna make again.

  5. Delicious! Have made this several times. I’m so thankful for these recipes. My child had three surgeries, and it has been a struggle to put meals on the table. This is a favorite. Flavors are amazing. Thank you Budget Bytes!

  6. Super easy and fast recipe. I used lean ground beef instead of the turkey. I did not make my own taco seasoning, but used 2 tbsp of store bought taco seasoning. I rinsed the beans (the recipe just said drained). If you are using prepared taco seasoning, you might want to add a little cayenne if you like things spicy (I did not add). I thought it needed 1/4 tsp salt, but that could be because I did not make my own seasoning blend. This was served over rice.

  7. This is super easy, and delicious! In the cooler months, you could use the leftovers to make Turkey Chili just by adding a few more ingredients.

  8. This recipe has become a go to for me. I like to mix it up using whatever I have. Ground beef instead of turkey, adding extra vegetables such as pepper and zucchini. My husband likes it over rice & I like it just by itself. Thanks so much for a great, economical meal!

  9. I love the simplicity and versatility of this recipe!!

    I had pulled ground turkey from the freezer for a different recipe but just felt exhausted and didn’t want to make something complicated. Searched your page for ground turkey and this popped up as a perfect option!!!

    First night I served over leftover rice. Second night in tortillas for soft tacos. Third night mixed it with a box of Annie’s Mac n Cheese for an easy taco-mac!

    1. There really is no one oil that is “best” because everyone prefers something different. Some people want the lowest price option, some people want a specific type of oil for health reasons, some people want something that will provide a certain flavor. Any cooking oil will work. :)

  10. I used the Jenni-O taco flavored turkey so skipped the taco seasoning and it came together in less than 15 minutes! Some of us made soft tacos, I crushed tortilla chips in mine. Fantastic!

  11. Super easy and great for a meal prep option! Easy to add things to. I added bell pepper to mine. And avocado when served. Will be making this again!