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Top view of three chicken carnitas tacos on a plate next to lime wedges.

Turkey or Chicken Carnitas

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: tacos
  • Method: fried
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This easy recipe for turkey or chicken carnitas tacos is the best way to use up leftover turkey or chicken! These tacos will blow you away with flavor! 


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb cooked chicken or turkey (white or dark meat), shredded into bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • sliced avocado (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • salsa (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet (I love cast iron for this) over high heat. Drop in the chicken or turkey, season with salt, and stir. Continue cooking and stirring every few minutes until the meat is golden brown and crisp – about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan, allowing any excess oil to drain off.
  2. To make tacos, warm the tortillas in the oven or on the stove, then arrange 3 on each plate. Top with the meat, chopped onion and cilantro, then give each a generous squeeze of lime. Serve immediately with extra limes at the table, sliced avocado, hot sauce and/or salsa is desired.


  • Serving Size: 2

Keywords: tacos, carnitas, chicken, turkey, easy, leftovers, refried, corn tortillas, gluten free