There’s only so many turkey sandwiches one can eat. And if your mom is anything like mine, she made a turkey that was big enough to feed twice the amount of people than were actually at your Thanksgiving day celebration. So with a ziplock bag full of roasted turkey, and an empty breadbox, I decided to throw together a recipe to help you do something else with all that leftover bird.

This recipe is quick and easy, and makes for tasty taco or burrito meat.  I threw mine into a burrito with pinto beans and smothered with green chile (how predictable). It would be great in a soft corn tortilla shell as well, with some lettuce and cheese. If you have a chance to buy some cotija cheese, do so for these tacos. The saltiness of the cotija will play well with the sweet and smokey turkey.

The turkey itself is literally twice cooked. The spice and herb blend I put together has flavors that are very similar to a barbacoa. But considering this isn’t cooked in a barbacoa style, I couldn’t actually call it that. But after multiple meals of American comfort food, it will be nice to get some southwest flair into the mix. Crack open a dos equis or negro modelo (my two favorite mexican beers) and get down on a little mexi-giving.

Spice and Herb Blend Ingredients

1. 3/4 tsp salt

2. 3/4 tsp black pepper

3. 1/2 tsp paprika

4. 1/2 tsp garlic powder

5. 1/4 tsp espazote

6. 1/2 tsp chipotle powder

7. 1/2 tsp cumin

8. 1 tsp chili powder


Remaining  Ingredients

1. 2 tightly packed cups of shredded leftover turkey.

2. 1/2 white onion, diced

3. 1 can of diced tomatoes and habaneros (rotel will do. If you want the turkey to be milder, substitute a can of only diced tomatoes.



1. Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a pan on medium heat

2. Add in onions and cook for 3 minutes

3. Add in 2 cups of turkey, and stir together.

4. Spread the turkey evenly across the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes – until the bottom of the turkey is browned

5. Add in the can of tomatoes and habaneros, and your spice mixture

6.Stir thoroughly. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until most of the excess liquid cooks of

7. Take the turkey out, load it into your taco and go to town.