Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

Quick and EasyTexMexGluten-FreeTaco

Turkey tacos recipe with cranberry salsa! Another great way to use up Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of my favorite things to make with leftover turkey is turkey tacos!

Usually I have some leftover cranberry relish (I always make too much) to go with the tacos in lieu of salsa, but this time I thought I would make some fresh cranberry salsa from scratch, which turned out surprisingly good.

Cranberries just pair so well with turkey, even regular cranberry sauce is going to taste as satisfying with a turkey taco as tomato salsa. Just add a little chopped fresh jalapeño.

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Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

If you want a super quick way of making the tacos, you can do them in the microwave. Just soften the tortillas first by cooking two tortillas at a time in a single layer on a paper towel, on high heat for 20 seconds per tortilla. Add the shredded cheese and turkey, fold over the tortillas, and heat them again on high for another 15 seconds each, or until the cheese melts.


Turkey Tacos

  • 8-12 corn tortillas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, or mild cheddar
  • Cooked turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Lettuce, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Cranberry Salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 an apple, peeled and cored
  • Chopped serrano or jalapeno chili to taste (about a half a chili, but taste for desired heat)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice
  • Dash of salt


1 Prepare cranberry salsa: Put the cranberries, apple, chile, sugar, ginger, cilantro, and lime or lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until coarsely shredded, about 10 short pulses.

Let sit 15 minutes for the cranberries to macerate. You can also use cranberry relish, just add chopped chiles and cilantro.

2 Heat the tortillas: Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat. Unless you are using freshly made homemade tortillas, you will need to soften them first.

Place a small amount (1/2 a teaspoon) of oil in the pan and spread to coat the bottom of the pan.

Place a tortilla in the pan and let it heat up until bubbles start to form. Then flip it over.

3 Add cheese and turkey to tortillas: Sprinkle grated cheese on half of the tortilla, and top with chopped cooked turkey. Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the side with cheese and turkey (like an omelette).

Cook until the cheese begins to melt, then flip the taco over so that the tortilla browns on the other side as well. Continue to cook the tacos in this manner.

To serve, open up the tacos and put some chopped lettuce and plenty of cranberry salsa over the cheese and turkey. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

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Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

4 Comments / Reviews

No ImageTurkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lisa

    I lay in wait for cranberries to be in season and in the stores and buy extra bags just to be able to freeze some so that I can have this recipe any time of the year I want to! It is (in my humble opinion), the best way to use up the rest of your white meat from your Thanksgiving turkey. The cranberry salsa has so many complex flavors, with sweet, sour and hot notes. It pairs really well with the crunchy, salty shells, creamy cheese and turkey in the taco! All I have to say is YUM!…Oh and MAKE THIS!


  2. Lisa

    Yummmmm! I made this recipe with some of my leftover turkey and it did not disappoint! It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! I loved the cranberry salsa; it had such a great combination of flavors that really complimented the turkey. My husband wants me to make another turkey just so he can have these again. Elise – I was wondering…are there other recipes (that doesn’t involve roasting another turkey) that you use the cranberry salsa with?

    Hi Lisa, you can also serve the cranberry salsa with steak. All kinds of salsa taste great with steak. I would try it with roast chicken too for that matter. ~Elise


  3. Kara Lewis

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog and am hooked! I’m looking forward to reading all the archives. I have mucho cranberries in my freezer, so this salsa sounds perfect — do you think it could be canned, and therefore giftable?

    Note from Elise: Since it is raw, not cooked, you can’t can it as is. You would have to cook it to can it, which you might want to try anyway, just to see how it tastes.

  4. Becki

    This looks great. I can’t wait to try that cranberry salsa.

    I use your recipes constantly and rarely comment, but wanted to share with you my favorite recipe I’ve made from leftover turkey this year. There are no real measurements:

    Turkey Curry Salad
    Combine about 1 cup plain yogurt, a couple of tablespoons of curry powder (to taste), chopped chives, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. To this mixture, add chopped turkey, golden raisins, chopped pecans, chopped celery, and chopped granny smith apple. This is better if you leave it in the fridge overnight before eating.

    Thanks for all your great recipes, Elise!

Turkey Tacos with Cranberry SalsaTurkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa