Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos

By Updated on

Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos with salsa verde and cranberries are the easiest 5 ingredient tacos and couldn't be more delicious for a quick dinner.

354 CAL 35g CARBS 7g FAT 37g PROTEIN
1 Comment

Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos that are made with turkey breast and salsa verde then topped with sweet dried cranberries, cilantro, and onion are some truly tasty tacos that will quickly become a family favorite.

It's impossible not to start thinking about turkey this time of year but sometimes the thought of cooking an entire turkey is just too much. Personally, it's something I take on once a year and although I love the outcome, it's a labor of love.

So the rest of the time, when I am craving turkey, I like to rely on simple recipes and tools like my slow cooker to make quick work of what can feel like an intimidating protein. I also focus on purchasing cuts of turkey, like breast tenderloins or even whole breasts, that are easier to work with than the whole bird.

Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos with cranberries on corn tortillas

Now let's talk about these tacos. They start with the simplest of recipes and one that most slow cooker lovers have made many times - salsa chicken. Instead of chicken, we are going to opt for turkey breast and for the salsa, we are going to use a tangy, green salsa.

You can use your favorite salsa and choose a spice level that works for you. I am partial to Trader Joe's refrigerated Roasted  Tomatillo Salsa or Herdez, but you can use any brand you would happily eat on its own. To kick things up a bit, we are going to add some simple spices to the turkey and then just let the slow cooker do its thing.

Now, where these tacos really shine is in the toppings. Since I wanted to make these seasonal, I decided to top them with some dried cranberries and couldn't believe how delicious the combination of the spicy salsa verde was with the sweet cranberries. It's seriously delicious.

I also added some fresh chopped cilantro, onions, and some queso fresco for good measure. The creamy, salty cheese is the perfect addition. You could even add some toasted pepitas to step up the seasonal flavors. It would be a nice crunchy element.

Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos with cilantro, onion, and cranberries on tortillas

Can I make these with ground turkey?

Absolutely! These slow cooker tacos come out great with ground turkey, Start by browning the turkey in a skillet and draining off any excess fat. Then simply add it to the slow cooker with the green salsa, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Then add to your tacos with cranberries, queso fresco, and cilantro.

Can I make these tacos in the Instant Pot?

This recipe is great for the Instant Pot. Close the Instant Pot and seal it. Set the pot to Manual for 10 minutes. Let the Instant Pot naturally come to pressure. Once the turkey finishes cooking, let it naturally release for 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and shred or slice.

If you are making this recipe with chicken, this Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a great place to start.

Recipe Ideas for Crockpot Turkey Tacos

  • Although the cranberries, queso fresco, and cilantro are delicious, you can go a more traditional route with these crockpot tacos and add things like lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, avocado, and more. Anything goes!
  • Turn these into taco bowls and serve with a brown rice/cauliflower rice, black beans, avocado, and all your favorite toppings.
  • To make things extra spicy, add full whole jalapenos to the slow cooker as well. They will release a tiny bit of extra heat and then anyone who wants can grab a jalapeno to enjoy with their tacos.
  • Needless to say, this will work with boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs. 
  • This works with red salsa as well. You can try a chipotle salsa for some smoky flavors, a spicy red salsa, or a mild thick and chunky salsa.

Tips for Making Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos

  • Usually, for this recipe, I use turkey tenderloins since they are easy to find all year long in the grocery store. You could also use a bone-in or boneless turkey breast, just make sure to remove the skin before cooking it. If you prefer ground turkey, that will work as well. Just brown it before adding it to the slow cooker. And if you can't find turkey, you can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
  • If you find the salsa verde you bought it kind of bland, consider blending it with a handful of fresh cilantro, a quarter of an onion, and jalapeno pepper. I find this adds tons of flavor to almost any store-bought salsa and makes it taste homemade.
  • For a lower-carb version of this dish, choose low-carb tortillas or make a taco bowl using cauliflower rice. You can leave out the cranberries or cook some fresh cranberries until they pop to include on top. Fresh cranberries don't have added sugar so they will work for most low carb dieters.

Looking for more slow cooker taco recipes?

Here are some of the products and tools I used to cook this recipe:

  • Slow Cooker: There are so many different slow cookers on the market but I personally use this one that allows me to brown, sear, or saute in the same pan. Plus I find the cooking temperature to be really even and consistent.
  • Salsa verde: The salsa verde is a big part of the flavor for this dish, so make sure to choose one that tastes great. Usually I use this one that can be found in most supermarkets. I also love the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods also makes a good one.
The Recipe
Slow cooker turkey tacos served in corn tortillas with shredded turkey, green salsa, cotija cheese, and dried cranberries.

Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos

354 CAL 35g CARBS 7g FAT 37g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 5 Min
1 Comment
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless turkey breast
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 6 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 6 tbsp. queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Add the turkey to the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with the cumin, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Pour the salsa verde on top. Cook on low for 4 hours until cooked through and tender.


Shred the turkey using 2 forks and allow to rest in the salsa for 15-20 minutes to absorb more flavor.


When ready to serve, warm the tortillas. Fill with the turkey and top with 1/2 tbsp. cranberries, 1/2 tbsp. queso fresco, cilantro, and onions.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354
Calories from Fat 65
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 96mg
Sodium 682mg
Total Carbohydrate 35g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 6g
Protein 37g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
1 Comment
On Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos
user image
user image
July 19, 2020 - 19:12
Add a Rating:
I know this is an old recipe, but we had a frozen turkey breast and had no idea what to do with it. Found these tacos and decided to give them a try. They were *wonderful*. The flavor profile really works. We used the salsa you suggested and followed the recipe exactly. A+
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.