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Healthy Tacos with Ground Beef, Turkey, and Veggies

February 25, 2013 (Updated: March 17, 2014)
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.

Serves 6 (4 tacos per serving)

Here’s a meal you can feel good about serving. It’s loaded with lean protein, healthy veggies, and lots of flavor. Once you taste it, you’ll know why it’s a favorite at my house.

Instead of using premade taco shells, I suggest oven baking low-fat corn or gluten-free tortillas for more healthful shells. Preheat the oven to 350°F, lightly spray olive oil on both sides of each tortilla, and drape each shell over two metal strips on the oven rack (so they fold like a taco shell). Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes or until just crispy. Keep an eye on the tortillas because they can go from crispy to burnt quickly.

Taco Filling


  • 8 ounces extra-lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


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  1. Put beef, turkey, and onions in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally while breaking up chunks of meat.
  3. When meat is thoroughly cooked, add garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and seasonings to the meat and onion mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, until most of the tomato liquid is gone.

Additional ingredients for tacos (choose your favorites):

  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (approximately 3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup salsa or relish
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 10-ounce can fat-free refried beans

Assemble tacos by filling each shell with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture and 1 tablespoon or so of your favorite toppings.

Nutritional information per serving: 156 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 17 g protein, 41 mg cholesterol, 131 mg sodium, 3 g sugar (Nutritional values are calculated for taco filling, not including additional ingredients.)

Note: Nutritional values are estimates only and may vary according to freshness of ingredients, methods of preparation, and other factors.

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