Healthy, savory, and make ahead friendly: these Slow Cooker Turkey Lentil Tacos are just what the doctor ordered for Taco Tuesday!
I have a ton of cookbooks. It’s not an addiction really. Rather, I think of it as a commitment to my craft. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. The bottom line is collecting cookbooks just makes me happy. How can you argue with that? I have a built in nook in my kitchen specifically to house and display all my cookbooks. I collect all kinds- regional cookbooks from my travels, new-to-me ones I find at rummage or garage sales, I check them out at the library regularly and I always put a few new ones on my “Christmas wish list” to make things easy on my hubby. If I had to guess off the top of my head, I probably have somewhere in the family of 100 cookbooks.
In short: cookbooks are my jam.
Which in a round about way brings me to today’s recipe! The Slow Cooker Turkey Lentil Tacos recipe comes from the brand new cookbook, Fast to the Table Freezer Cookbook, by my dear friend, Becky Rosenthal. Becky lives locally and writes the fabulous food blog, The Vintage Mixer. Becky and I got to know one another originally through our blogs and connected immediately as our food philosophies are in sync and we both enjoying local and seasonal cooking and eating. Becky attended culinary school last summer (a bucket list for me), we’re both mamas (I’m smitten with her little guy) and from day one I could just tell I’d be friends with her even if it weren’t for our jobs connecting us.
In short: Becky is amazing.
I was super intrigued when she told me she was writing a freezer cookbook because when I think of a traditional freezer cookbook, my mind goes to casseroles and dump and go slow cooker type meals- not really my thing and not really hers either. I was thrilled when I received an advance copy of Becky’s new book because- you guys- the book is stunning. And better than any idea you have of what a freezer cookbook might be. It’s spot on if you’re a working mama like myself and still want to put an awesome (and healthy) meal on the table each night. It’s been a long while that a cookbook really inspired me. Like really inspired me. But Fast to the Table Freeze Cookbook has done just that. Scratch cooking, make ahead, simple, family friendly recipes, recognizable ingredients and a mindfulness towards seasonal eating so the book can be enjoyed year round.
In short: you need this cookbook in your collection.
The first time I went through the cookbook, I earmarked no less than a dozen recipes to make. I’ve since made the Breakfast Burritos (perfect for busy mornings or a late dinner) and I just bought cherries and squash from the farmers market to make the Zucchini Cherry Muffins this weekend. But I knew as soon as I saw Becky’s recipe for Slow Cooked Turkey Lentil Taco Filling that I would be making and sharing the recipe on Mountain Mama Cooks. I was intrigued that the recipe called for putting the uncooked ground turkey in the slow cooker with the lentils and along with a slew of other warming spices, you use a cinnamon stick too. I’m a sucker for tacos, I’m a sucker for slow cooker recipes and I’m happy to report this recipe did not disappoint.
In short: these tacos have serious game.
The recipe as written made enough for us to have dinner the night I made it and enough leftovers (frozen, of course) for another full dinner. You could use the filling for a taco salad, traditional tacos or over rice for a burrito type bowl! You simply can’t go wrong!
In short: buy the book 🙂
A slow cooker taco filling with lean ground turkey and cooked lentils.
- 1 lb dried lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Place the lentils and stock in the slow cooker. Add the turkey along with the onion, garlic, and all the spices and seasonings.
- Cook on low for 5 hours. Stir as needed at the end of cooking to break up the turkey meat. Remove cinnamon stick and serve over greens or as tacos like I've done above.
To freeze: remove the cinnamon stick, let cool, then divide and portion the filling to freeze. Two cups is usually plenty for a family of four for tacos or salads.