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Turkey Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salad and Yum-o! Southwest Ranch

Serves 4

This recipe was tested by thousands of school students from coast to coast as part of a collaboration between Yum-o! and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Originally created to be served in schools, we’ve adapted the recipe here for you to try at home. Rachael also shared this recipe at the 2012 South Beach Wine & Food Festival Kidz Kitchen!

Would you like to see this recipe on your school lunch menu? Visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s website to learn how!


For the tacos:

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1 package ground all-white-meat turkey (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin (half a palmful)
  • 8 whole grain tortillas (6-inch) or hard taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, regular or low fat
  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce, cleaned and shredded

For the black bean and corn salad:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 box frozen corn kernels (10 ounces) or 2-3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

 For the Yum-o! Southwest Ranch:

  • 1 cup low fat store-bought ranch dressing
  • 3 roasted red peppers or pimentos, peeled and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 scallions, finely sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place a medium size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking up the pieces with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher, for about 6-7 minutes, until brown all over.
  2. Add another turn of the pan of EVOO if the mixture is dry, then add the onion, garlic and jalapeño to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, then add the chili powder and cumin and cook for another couple of minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add a couple tablespoons of water to loosen it up. Turn the heat off and set aside to keep warm.
  3. While the turkey is cooking, place a medium to large skillet over medium-high heat, adding the EVOO. Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. When slightly tender, add the corn and cook for 3-4 minutes more, or until heated through and slightly golden brown in color. During the last minute of cooking, add the lime juice, black beans and scallions and toss to combine. Set aside.
  4. Add the ranch dressing, pimentos, chili powder, cumin, lime and cilantro to a food processor and pulse to combine until the pimentos are pureed. Empty the flavored ranch into a bowl and stir in the scallions. Season with pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve the turkey with the whole grain tortillas or hard taco shells, shredded cheddar cheese and lettuce, then drizzle with the Yum-o! Southwest Ranch. Serve the Black Bean and Corn Salad alongside.

Photo credit: Burcu Avsar