These turkey tacos make a fun party meal for children. If you're planning any pirate themed event they are just perfect! They also make a tasty family meal even without the pirate flags!
There was a time when dinner meant dinner. Just good food to eat. Nowadays dinner can mean a whole new level of creativity. Especially when I want the Little Spices to eat a balanced meal.
These turkey pirate boat tacos turned out to be exactly what I needed after a pirate themed playdate. Just adding a little pirate flag on the top of each taco turned a simple meal of turkey tacos into a fun pirate themed dinner.
Of course, you can make them with chicken instead of turkey too. I have to admit that I eat chicken much more often than I eat turkey. But, turkey is a really versatile meat too and it's a shame that often it gets forgotten about. It's a healthy low-fat alternative to chicken and is perfect for marinating.
I was making these turkey tacos for the children so the marinade I used didn't contain a lot of heat but was still really tasty. You could easily add a little more cayenne pepper if you wanted to have a more fiery turkey taco.
What ingredients do you need for these turkey tacos?
To make these pirate themed turkey tacos you'll need:
- Spices - Cayenne pepper, paprika, ground all spice berries and cumin
- Garlic - Use fresh crushed garlic or a paste or puree
- Lime - Use the juice for the marinade. I like to use a fresh lime but you can use bottled lime juice if it's easier.
- Olive oil
- Turkey - My kids prefer breast meat but you can use leg meat instead.
- Bell pepper - For colour I like to use part of two or three different peppers. You can use red, orange, yellow or green pepper
- Onion - Red onion is more colourful but brown onion is fine too.
- Fresh coriander (cilantro) - Of course, miss this out if you're not a fan of coriander but I think it's perfect.
- Taco shells
How do you make these pirate ship turkey tacos?
Do check out the full recipe card further down this post. Basically it's best to find some time earlier in the day or even the day before to make the marinade. It's very easy to do in about 5 minutes. Just mix up all the spices along with the lime juice and olive oil.
Slice the turkey into strips and put in the marinade. Refrigerate until you're ready to cook.
When you're ready to cook, heat a little more oil in a large wok or frying pan. Stir fry the turkey for a few minutes and then add the vegetables and stir fry for a few more minutes until everything is cooked through.
If you want to make sure the taco shells are really crispy, heat the oven and pop them in for a few minutes as you are stir frying the turkey.
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes you can. Use a different meat instead or turkey. Chicken or pork work really well. You could even use prawns.
You can also vary the vegetables a little. For example courgette, cabbage and mushrooms are also lovely in this.
What toppings can you add?
As far as I'm concerned, tacos are not complete without a load of extra toppings. Here are a few ideas that are great on these ones:
- Grated cheese
- Fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Fresh onion
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce or any other sauces you like
Can you make this meal ahead?
As these turkey tacos are very quick to cook, it's a great meal to make when you don't have much time but do have time to prep a little in advance. I prepare all the vegetables earlier in the day when I mix up the marinade so when it comes to dinner time I need less than 10 minutes to get everything cooked and on the table.
However, if you do want to make it in advance then you can also cook the filling and just reheat it in the microwave before serving.
What can you do with the leftover turkey taco filling?
Any leftover turkey taco filling can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can then eat it cold or reheat it. Why not:
- Put it in a sandwich
- Use as a baked potato topping
- Put in a quesadilla
- Serve with a salad
- Serve as a nachos topping
The Red Tractor Challenge with British Turkey
When I first created this recipe it was my entry into the #TurkeyTractorChallenge competition to create a delicious and innovative recipe using quality British turkey. The competition was being run by British Turkey and Red Tractor and the theme for the competition was 'Pirates'.
The turkey meat I used contained the Red Tractor logo which assures that the product has been produced to the highest food standards. The Red Tractor logo can also be found on a range of dairy products, fruit and vegetables as well as crop based foods and drinks e.g flour and beer.
More taco recipes you might like
If you like these turkey tacos then why not try one of these recipes:
Turkey Pirate Ship Tacos
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice berries
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 400 g turkey cut into strips
- ½ red pepper sliced
- ½ yellow pepper sliced
- 1 red onion sliced
- 15 g coriander cilantro, chopped
- 12 taco shells
- Grated cheese
- Chopped coriander
- Chopped tomatoes
- Pirate flags
- Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Taste and add a little extra of some of the spices if necessary.
- Add the turkey to the marinade and stir well so all the pieces are coated in the marinade. Put in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan. When it's hot, add the turkey strips. Cook, stirring a little for a 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vegetables and cook for another 3 minutes until the turkey is cooked through and the vegetables have softened slightly but are still a bit crunchy. Stir in some of the coriander at the end and save the rest to use as a garnish.
- Warm the tacos for a couple of minutes in the oven at 180C or put them in the microwave for 20 seconds
- Serve the filling in the tacos with the garnishes alongside.
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make these pirate ship turkey tacos. I love to get feedback from readers.
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Oh what a great idea!!!
Love this recipe and concept, excellent execution!