Some version of this recipe has been in my rotation since college. I'm not a big fan of tacos in general, or any Mexican food really, but there's something very approachable and versatile about this recipe. First of all, it doubles, triples, quadruples very well and it freezes even better. Back when I was a single girl I'd make about 2 pounds of the turkey mixture, freeze it in batches, and have it once a week for....weeks. Now that I'm married, I make a double batch of it when I've got the time and then when I don't got the time, I love knowing it's in the freezer.
This recipe has a bit of a kick from the Pimentón de la Vera, a hot smoked paprika from Spain. I like a spice, but as I've noted down below you can substitute any smoked paprika and forego the spice element. Also, I chose to serve this in a taco for health purposes but if you prefer a proper taco shell, go for it!
1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil
1 large yellow onion
1 yellow or red bell pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika, like Pimentón de la Vera*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground turkey
1 14-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 cup room temperature water
3 heads romaine lettuce
1/2 cup tofutti sour cream (optional)
*note: if you can't find a smoked hot paprika, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. If you prefer more heat, add more of the spice, or leave it out entirely if you prefer no heat at all.
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add in the oil. Dice the onion and pepper and add it to the pan. Cover the pan and allow the onion and pepper to cook until they've softened, about 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl mix together all of the spices.
3. Make a small well in the pan for the spices. Add the spices and allow them to toast for just 30 seconds. Then add in the ground turkey and use a spoon or potato masher to break up the turkey into small pieces.
4. Stir the turkey and vegetable mixture to ensure everything is evenly coated in the spice mixture. Cook the turkey until it is fully browned, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomato sauce and water to the pan and stir to combine. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture reduces by half, about 15 minutes.
6. While the mixture is simmering prepare your romaine lettuce by separating the individual leaves and washing and drying the lettuce.
7. Plate the turkey meat in the hollow of each piece of lettuce. Top with tofutti sour cream, if desired.