These tacos with homemade turkey chorizo are a lighter take on a taco classic! The chorizo is loaded with garlic and chilies, providing a sweet heat. For extra crunch and brightness, they’re topped with a fresh corn salsa!
If you’re anything like me, you love a good taco! Back when we lived in in DC, Tim and I had Taco Friday nearly every week. And I know you’re probably thinking, isn’t is Taco Tuesday? Well, the work week ends on Friday, so after 40 hours in a cubicle we were ready for takeout TACOS on Friday. We used to go to an amazing place called Taco Bamba (definitely check it out if you’re ever in the DC Metro region!). One of my favorite classic tacos is chorizo y papa (sausage and potato). These homemade turkey chorizo tacos are a healthy swap twist on a taco classic. Because I swapped pork for ground turkey, you end up with leaner (though still juicy) sausage as a result.
I always thought making chorizo sausage from scratch was intimidating but this homemade turkey chorizo is far less time consuming than traditional sausage. There’s no need for sausage casing or fancy twisting techniques to form the sausage links. For this turkey chorizo, you just throw all of the seasonings together in a glass bowl and let that delicious flavor soak in.
Bring on the flavor:
Speaking of flavor, this turkey chorizo is packed with my favorite RED taste bud pleasers:
- New Mexico Chilies
- Smoked Paprika
New Mexico Chilies:
This was actually my first time cooking with New Mexico chilies, but they were SO GOOD! You can use any smoky, dry chilies that you like though for this chorizo. Guajillo or chile de arbol would be equally delicious, I’m sure. Tip: You can usually find dried chilies near fresh herbs or in the international aisle. I like that the New Mexico chilies because they are spicy yet still fairly mild. They aren’t as hot as habanero or anything. Actually, they are probably more smoky than spicy. No matter which chilies you choose, you’ll have to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes to re-hydrate them.
If you’ve never used it, it’s basically a flavor base for sauces, soups or rice. Roasted tomato and onion are the most prominent flavors here. You can make sofrito from scratch, but for the sake of time I like using the red one from Goya (see pic below). You can find this in the international aisle as well.
I literally use smoked paprika in everything. I like that you get the rich smokiness of grilled food, without having to actually heat up a grill. It also adds great color to anything you put it on. It makes plain things like rice or baked chicken breast much better! And of course it makes this turkey chorizo extra yummy!
↓↓Doesn’t the finished turkey chorizo look so good?!↓↓
Since this recipe isn’t just about homemade turkey chorizo, let’s get to the good stuff…Tacos. Finally, right? So the thing that ties these tacos all together is a fresh corn salsa.
The corn salsa is pretty simple and makes a great side dish for everyday dinner or a summer BBQ. Most of all, it’s a sweet and tangy mixture of corn, bell peppers, lime juice and cilantro. Tip: If you don’t like cilantro, you can always substitute parsley instead. Finally, as an optional extra source of creaminess for these tacos, you can finish them off with some mashed avocado or sour cream.
Best Tacos with Homemade Turkey Chorizo Sausage
These tacos with homemade turkey chorizo are a lighter take on a taco classic! The chorizo is loaded with garlic and chiles, providing a sweet heat. For extra crunch and brightness, these tacos are topped with a fresh corn salsa!
- 6 small corn tortillas
Turkey Chorizo Sausage
- 16 oz ground turkey
- 5 dried New Mexico or Guajillo chilies
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1/3 cup sofrito I use the red, Goya brand sofrito
- 3 tbsp dried oregano I suggest Mexican oregano, if you can find it
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Corn Salsa
- 4 corn on the cob, kernals removed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 lime, juice only
- 1/2 jalepeno chopped
- 1 tbsp cilantro chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Boil water. Place New Mexico chilies in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the chilies soak for 30 mins- 1 hour. Drain the chilies and use kitchen shears to cut off the stems and shake out the seeds inside. Add the re-hydrated chilies to a blender along with garlic cloves, 1/3 cup water, 2 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. Strain the puree and add it to the ground turkey along with sofrito, oregano, smoked paprika and more salt and pepper to taste. Stir the meat together so that everything is combined. Let marinate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Place a large skillet on the stove with the heat off. Hold 1 corn cob upright in the pan with the wider end on the bottom of the skillet. Run a large knife from the top of the corn, to the bottom removing the kernals and allowing them to fall into the skillet. Repeat this with all the corn. Discard the cobs and turn the heat on to medium high. Add water and olive oil and let the corn steam for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Add the cooled corn to a bowl with red bell pepper, lime juice, jalepeno, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
In another large skillet, turn the heat on high. Add 1 tbs of olive oil to the hot pan. Add the chorizo to the pan in 5-6 large clumps (i.e. unformed burger patties). Let the chorizo cook without stirring for 5 minutes. Tip: Spacing out the meat and leaving it untouched will allow the sausage to form a crispy crust. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the meat into crumbles. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 2-3 minutes until meat it thoroughly cooked.
To Assemble: Warm tortillas in the oven or toaster. Fill them with a little meat and top with corn salsa. Add some smashed avocado and a squeeze of lime for extra creaminess (optional). Enjoy!
- Consider making the homemade turkey chorizo the night before so the flavor has time to soak into the sausage.
- You can make the homemade turkey chorizo, form it into patties and freeze it for other recipes.