Chipotle Lime Turkey Tacos

May 15, 2019 | Chicken and Poultry, Recipes

*This turkey tacos post is sponsored by

Not that long ago I was contacted by Canadian Turkey Farmers and asked if I would be interested in working with them on a new promotion they were putting together called Think Turkey. I jumped at the opportunity to help spread the word about how delicious and versatile turkey can be.

As most of you know, I was raised on a small farm. Turkey was one of the animals that we raised for food and so we always had lots of it around. My mom was always finding new and interesting ways to prepare it.

One thing I’m sure we all know is that turkey can be used in the recipes we all use everyday. If you have never had a turkey pasta sauce or chili you don’t know what you’re missing. But I really wanted to highlight the fact that turkey can take on a lot of different flavours and be used in a lot of different cuisines.

When we think of turkey certain things come to mind. What probably doesn’t come to mind is tacos or Mexican food in general. But here’s the thing, turkey is a very traditional Mexican protein. Actually, the most traditional Mexican protein. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in Mexico in the 1500’s turkey was the main protein in the diet of the region. Even mole, the national dish of Mexico is traditionally made with turkey.

Rather than come up with a brand new way to use turkey, I looked to the past. Using traditional Mexican flavours with a modern twist, I created these Chipotle Lime Turkey Tacos. It’s my hope that with one bite you will begin to see what is possible when you Think Turkey.

The Marinade

The marinade I used actually plays double duty. I used it to marinate the turkey breast, but I also saved about 1/3 of it to use as a sauce for the tacos later. Let’s take a look.

To make the marinade I used 3 tbsp of puréed chipotle in adobo (this is the brand I use. You can probably find it in your grocery store for cheaper than it is on amazon. *I puréed it myself as the chipotles are whole in the can*). To this I added the juice and zest of 1 lime, the juice of 1 navel orange, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of chopped white onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tbsp honey.

I puréed all the ingredients with an immersion blender (you can use a regular blender). As I said, I saved about 1/3 of the marinade and the rest I poured over the turkey breast. Finally, I sealed the turkey breast in a ziplock bag making sure it was completely covered in the marinade and then put it in the fridge for two hours (you can leave it over night).

Orange Pineapple Salsa

This salsa adds a really nice pop of fresh flavour to the tacos and contrasts beautifully with the chipotle in the marinade. The orange I used is a blood orange. It gets it’s name from the deep red colour it has. Feel free to change this out for any other type of orange.

To make the salsa I combined 1 cup of diced fresh pineapple with 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion, 1/4 cup minced jalapeno (take out the seeds for less heat), the juice and zest of 1 lime, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 blood orange cut into segments, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

After I had this all mixed together, I covered it and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to let all the flavours combine.

Segmenting an orange

To segment an orange first cut off the top and bottom. Then, cut off the skin and any of the white pith following the curvature of the fruit.

The next step is to use your knife and cut between the membrane holding the segments together. The idea is to free the segments leaving the membrane behind. Do this until all the segments have been freed.

Squeeze the juice out the reaming orange membrane into the salsa.

Cumin Lime Sour Cream

The final piece of the puzzle is the cumin and lime sour cream. This is really straight forward but as simple as it may seem it really ties the tacos together.

To make this I combined 1 cup full fat sour cream with the juice and zest of 1 lime, 1 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp smoked paprika. Mix this really well and let sit, covered in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This time will open up the spices and give you a more flavourful sauce than if you just ate it right away.

Roasting the turkey breast

Once the Turkey Breast has had time to marinate remove it from the plastic bag, shaking off any excess marinade, and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Put the turkey in the oven preheated to 375°F and roast for 45 minutes.

Remove the turkey breast from the oven and check the doneness using an instant read thermometer. The temperature should be 165°F when the turkey is done. If it’s not done put it back in the oven until it reaches that temperature.

Once the turkey breast is cooked, remove it from the oven and wrap tightly in foil. Let the turkey rest for ten minutes. This resting will prevent the turkey from losing it’s juices when it is sliced keeping it nice and moist.

Putting the turkey tacos together

When I make tacos I prefer homemade corn tortillas, however that is a lot of work. If you don’t want to put in that effort that’s okay. I do suggest soft corn tortillas for this. They are more traditional, they hold up better, and the flavour really adds to the quality of the taco. Having said that, if you prefer flour tortillas use those. You are the one eating this after all.

Whether you are using corn or flour tortillas you are going to want to warm them up first. Follow the warming instructions on the package.

To put the tacos together I prefer to start with the sour cream, followed by the salsa, then the turkey, the marinade that we reserved for the sauce (this did not come into contact with raw turkey), finally some fresh cilantro.


The turkey recipe I used here would be just as good with some mashed or roasted sweet potato, corn on the cob, and green beans. The marinade could also just as easily be used on turkey legs or wings as well. And the turkey would be just as good barbecued as it is cooked in the oven.

The marinade not only imparts a delicious flavour to the turkey but it also helps to keep it moist during cooking. So, what you end up with is this really flavourful, really juice turkey.

I hope that you take the time to make this recipe because honestly I think that you will absolutely love it. Hopefully it will change your perspective a bit so that the next time you are craving Mexican you will Think Turkey.

Visit for even more delicious turkey recipes

Turkey Tacos

Though we may not think of turkey really having anything to do with Mexican food, it does. Turkey was and is a traditional Mexican and South American protein. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans it was one of very few proteins available to the people of this region. With this in mind I wanted to highlight that connection and so that is what I hope to do with this delicious Turkey Taco Recipe. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Tacos, Traditional, Turkey
Servings: 4
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


Citrus Chipotle Turkey Marinade

  • 3 tbsp Chopped Chipotle in Adobo
  • 1 ea Lime, Zest and Juice
  • 1 ea Navel Orange, Juice
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Diced White Onion
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 ea Turkey Breasts

Orange Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup Fresh Pineapple, Diced
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion, Diced
  • 1/4 cup Jalapeno, Minced Remove Seeds For Less Heat
  • 1 ea Lime, Juice and Zest
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic
  • 1 ea Orange, Segmented Blood Orange, or Navel Orange
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • To Taste Salt and Pepper

Cumin & Lime Sour Cream

  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 ea Lime, Juice and Zest
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika

Turkey Tacos

  • 1 batch Citrus Chipotle roasted Turkey, thinly sliced
  • 1 batch Citrus Chipotle Taco Sauce
  • 1 batch Orange Pineapple Salsa
  • 1 batch Cumin & Lime Sour Cream
  • 12 ea Corn Tortillas
  • 2 ea Limes, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves


Turkey Marinade

  • Put all the ingredients, except the Turkey Breasts in a blender and purée until smooth. 
  • Place the Turkey Breasts in a zip seal bag or plastic container. 
  • Pour half the marinade over the Turkey Breasts, reserving the rest to use as a sauce for the tacos later. 
  • Toss the Turkey Breasts to evenly coat with the marinade. 
  • Seal the container with the Turkey Breasts and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 12 hours.  
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Take the turkey out of the marinade and shake off excess. 
  • Place the turkey on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the Turkey Breast reaches 165°F.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, wrap in foil and let zest for 10 minutes.
  • Thinly slice the Turkey Breast and serve on Tacos. 

Orange Pineapple Salsa

  • Combine all the ingredients and mix well. 
  • Taste and season as needed.
  • Cover with plastic and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove from the fridge, stir, and serve. 

Cumin & Lime Sour Cream

  • Combine all ingredients and serve. 

Turkey Tacos

  • Warm the tortillas.
  • Top the tortillas with sliced Citrus Chipotle Turkey, Citrus Chipotle Taco Sauce, Orange Pineapple Salsa, Cumin Lime Sour Cream, Fresh Cilantro, and a squeeze of Fresh Lime.  
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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