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With trips to the grocery store few and far between, creativity in the kitchen has become more important than ever. For instance, last night I defrosted some ground turkey for burgers. Ready to cook, I realized I was out of burger buns and determined I needed to make a quick detour. 

Related Reading: How to Make Crispy Ground Beef Tacos from Scratch

I ransacked the fridge and was pleased to discover some flour tortillas hiding out in the vegetable drawer. With this fortuitous finding, I remembered some delicious taquitos I had enjoyed at our local Mexican restaurant a few months back. Taquitos are rolled-up tortillas filled with meat and cheese, then fried in a shallow pool of oil. The finished product looks like golden cigars, if you ask me, and I can eat way more than I can count when I have a full plate of them in front of me.  So I knew they would be a big hit with my family.

Anna Gass

With a plan in action, I kept digging around and found a half jar of salsa and some shredded Mexican cheese and knew I had a delicious meal in the making. While taquitos are often stuffed with ground beef, I was sure the turkey would be a nice, light substitute.

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Related Reading: How to Choose the Right Nonstick Cookware

After a quick sauté of the turkey, buoyed by a few ingredients like salsa, onions, and garlic to punch up the filling, I placed a dollop of the mixture onto each tortilla, rolled them up tight, and secured each with a toothpick so they wouldn’t fall apart. Once they’re ready to go, you’ll just need to do a quick pan fry—no deep fry needed.

I completed my spread with a bunch of table fixings I found in my kitchen, like salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, and lettuce. Needless to say, my detour turned out to be a very successful trip!

Turkey Taquitos Recipe

Turkey Taquitos

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup prepared, jarred salsa
  • 8 oz shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • Optional for serving: salsa, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheese
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and onion and cook for three minutes, until soft.
  3. Add turkey and break it up with a spoon. Cook until brown for five minutes.
  4. Add the salt and salsa and mix to combine.
  5. Remove from stove.
  6. Lay a tortilla down and add about ¼ cup of the turkey mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and roll them up very tight. Place it seam side down and secure with a toothpick from the top. Make seven more.
  7. Heat a large skillet with remaining oil and heat to medium. Lay the taquitos, three at a time into the oil, seam side down, toothpick up.
  8. Allow to fry for two minutes, until the bottom is brown and crispy.
  9. Remove the toothpick and carefully flip them over. The fried side should now be sealed. Fry for another two minutes to brown and melt the cheese.
  10. Serve immediately with the toppings of your choice.

Header image by Anna Gass.

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