Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps (15 Minute Meal!)

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps make a a healthy, delicious Mexican meal and are ready in about 20 minutes. All the taste without all the calories.

216 CAL 10g CARBS 3g FAT 37g PROTEIN

These 15-minute Taco Lettuce Wraps made with ground turkey are full of flavor from a quick homemade taco seasoning seasoned with just enough spice. Piled high in crunchy lettuce with all your favorite toppings, these are a light, low-carb, and healthy dinner everyone loves. Low carb lovers will also love these Cauliflower Rice Taco Bowls.

Whenever I am looking for a lower-carb meal, I am sticking any protein I can into lettuce wraps. From classic Asian chicken lettuce wraps to burgers, deli meat, leftover chicken, and of course – tacos! Lettuce wraps are the perfect low-carb tortilla replacement for all your favorite taco fillings, including this delicious turkey taco meat.

Like any good tacos, these taco lettuce wraps are no different and it’s all about the toppings. Plan on creating a spread of options and letting everyone build their own – salsa, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, and if you trust me – dill pickles. Seriously, they make this taco amazing.

These lettuce wraps are also delicious using the beef from these Ground Beef Tacos, this delicious shrimp for tacos, or this easy Mexican Shredded Chicken.

Three Reasons to Make Taco Lettuce Wraps

This is one of our favorite quick and easy meals, here’s why!

  • 15 Minute Meal: Make this delicious dinner in just 15 minutes with only 6 ingredients! This meal is truly quick and easy!
  • Versatile: You can make these taco lettuce wraps with ground turkey, ground beef, or ground chicken. Add different salsa and toppings to create different flavor combinations. Serve some crispy baked tostada shells, taco shells, or corn tortillas on the side for those who want something more traditional or turn these lettuce wraps into a taco bowl or taco salad.
  • Healthy: This meal is packed with lean protein, veggies, and naturally low-carb, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, and dairy free. Made with protein packed lean ground turkey, diced tomatoes, onions, and garlic – this is a meal you can feel good about.

Ingredients for turkey taco lettuce wraps including ground turkey, onion, garlic, taco seasoning, lettuce leaves, and diced tomatoes.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here is everything you need for these tasty lettuce wraps. 

  • Ground turkey: Normally I make these tacos with 99% lean ground turkey, but any type of ground meat will work including beef, chicken, turkey, and vegetarian ground meat.
  • Diced tomatoes: Since this recipe uses very lean turkey, adding moisture with diced tomatoes is a great option so the tacos don’t taste dry. In my opinion, Rotel tomatoes with green chilies make everything taste better so that’s normally what I use. Ay type of diced tomatoes or thick and chunky salsa will work.
  • Taco seasoning: I always have a jar of homemade taco seasoning in my pantry, but store-bought also works great.  If you use salsa instead of tomatoes, you could also simply season the meat with some chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste. 
  • Onions and garlic: Diced onion and garlic add more flavor and moisture to the lean ground turkey. Swap in garlic and onion powder for a faster option or frozen garlic cubes. 
  • Lettuce: My favorite option for lettuce wraps is always butter lettuce, but these are also delicious with Romaine lettuce, Iceberg lettuce cups, cabbage, or any other sturdy lettuce.
  • Toppings: Add shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce, salsa, avocado, guacamole, green onions, black olives, and more! Anything that tastes good on a regular taco tastes great on a lettuce taco. 

Ground turkey taco meat with tomatoes, onions, and taco seasoning in a skillet.

How to Make Ground Turkey Taco Meat

The key to making delicious taco meat all comes down to the seasoning. These can be made with store-bought or homemade taco seasoning, but I always recommend homemade since you get to control the ingredients.

To ensure the lean turkey stays tender, I also like to add some diced tomatoe or salsa to the mix. This isn’t as neccessary with higher fat ground meat, but makes a huge difference with really lean meat. 

  1. Start by browning the turkey until it’s cooked through. Drain any fat or liquid from cooking.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and drained diced tomatoes. Give everything a good stir and let it cook for 3-4 minutes for the meat to get well seasoned and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. For a thicker sauce, add a cornstarch slurry (or a taco seasoning with cornstarch) to the meat mixture. Once it begins bubbling, turn down the heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes for the sauce to thicken. 

Best Lettuce for Lettuce Wraps

There are three main options when it comes to making lettuce wraps – Romaine, Bibb or butter lettuce, and Iceberg Lettuce. Here are the pros and cons of each:

  • Romaine lettuce is a great vehicle for lettuce wraps since it is crunchy and the lettuce leaves won’t fall apart. However, the shape can be a little difficult to eat since the lettuce tends to break if you try to bend it. 
  • Bibb or butter lettuce is softer lettuce with leaves almost shaped like a little bowl. It’s a favorite for wraps but it can wilt or break easily if not super fresh. It can also be expensive.
  • Iceberg lettuce provides some crunch and more of a wrap-style shape, but it has the least nutritional value. You also may have to discard a lot of outer leaves to get to leaves that will work for wraps.

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wrap Topping Ideas

Any time you are having a taco, the toppings are one of the most important parts. Not only do they add flavor and texture, but they also allow everyone at dinner to build their perfect bite. Here are some favorites:

  • Pickles are my absolute favorite topping on Tex-Mex style ground meat tacos. Dice up some crunchy dill pickles and place them on top. May sound strange but there is nothing better.
  • Shredded cheese is a traditional taco topping. Consider using cheddar, Mexican cheese, mozzarella, or queso fresco for something different.
  • Veggies add flavor and texture. Consider adding fajita veggies, corn, bell peppers, onions, or cilantro. 
  • Salsa or taco sauce is a great way to add spice to the tacos. We also really love serving these tacos with this jalapeno ranch or creamy chipotle sauce.
  • For some healthy fats, consider serving guacamole or sliced avocado on the side.
  • To cool off the heat, serve them with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Taco lettuce wraps with ground turkey, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions served in butter lettuce leaves.

Recipe Tips and Ideas

There are so many ways to customize these tacos and make them your own.

  • Add beans: For a heartier lettuce wrap, add a can of drained black beans or pinto beans to the taco meat. Canned or frozen corn is delicious as well and adds some texture and sweetness.
  • Spicier: For a spicier mixture, add a chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano pepper. Other options include diced green chilies, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or some chopped chipotles in adobo.
  • Rice or quinoa: Another option for bulking up the mixture is to add some cooked rice, quinoa, or couscous to the taco meat
  • Change the protein: This recipe will work with ground turkey, ground chicken, ground beef, or vegetarian ground meat substitutes. It also works with sliced chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Try a more traditional taco protein and make these taco lettuce wraps with the pork used in these easy pork tacos.
  • Make it a skillet: Looking for something heartier? Try this Turkey Taco Skillet.
  • Add volume: Turn this into a giant turkey taco salad instead of individual lettuce wraps.

Leftovers and Meal Prep

These turkey tacos make the best meal prep for quick and healthy lunches or a make-ahead dinner.  Make sure to pack the lettuce separately so that it stays crunchy and doesn’t wilt. Then pack the other toppings on the side. Reheat the turkey in the microwave or a skillet and then assemble the wraps.

The taco meat on its on can be frozen and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about these taco lettuce wraps.

The easiest side dishes for taco lettuce wraps are Mexican rice, refried beans, black beans, corn, or bean salad. For low-carb options, consider serving lettuce wraps with avocado and tomato salad, Mexican coleslaw,  cheese quesadillas made with low-carb tortillas, or a Mexican-inspired soup. 

Most lettuce wrapped tacos are significantly lower in calories than traditional tacos since the lettuce replaces the higher-calorie tortillas. Lettuce wraps have about 5 calories whereas the average corn tortilla has between 80-120 calories. However, be careful of the toppings on taco lettuce wraps if you are counting calories. Toppings like cheese, avocado, and sour cream add calories and fat.

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