Fiesta Turkey Tavern Recipe -
Fiesta Turkey Tavern Recipe
  • READY IN 50 mins

Fiesta Turkey Tavern

Recipe by  

"This is a southern tavern with just a bit of a mild kick. You can add more heat by doubling the chili powder and cayenne pepper and adding a few of the seeds from the jalapeno. You can use beef, too! You can serve these on burger buns, in tortillas or in pitas garnished with with some shredded cheddar, pickled jalapeno slices and chipotle mayo. (If you have a more classic taste, American cheese, pickles and ketchup still tastes good as well!)"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 sandwiches Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins

    50 mins


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat; cook and stir the ground turkey, using the back of a wooden spoon to work the meat into small crumbles as it cooks. When the meat is about half browned, stir in the onion, garlic, and black pepper; cook and stir until the turkey is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the prepared mustard, the cayenne pepper, chili powder, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring, until the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining mustard and the chopped jalapeno, and cook until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Spoon the mixture onto the hamburger buns.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 02, 2010

This is an incredibly good “tavern,” especially when you take into account it’s made with turkey and not beef. It has a nice seasoning and gets bonus points because it does not use ketchup. The tavern (a.k.a. loose meat sandwich) originated in the 1920s. It’s nothing more than browned ground beef that contains very little or even no seasoning what-so-ever. It caught on quickly with businesses because it was cheap, easy, and “one-sandwich-fits-all.” It was served on a bun and via a condiments bar, the customer could create their own sandwich by adding whatever toppings or sauces they desired. It could be turned into a traditional topped hamburger/cheeseburger, sloppy joe, etc. The only thing that’s changed with the modern day tavern is the number of ways it’s served. I’ve seen many organizations use these for fundraisers, giving the customer the choice of having it served on a bun, tortilla, hard shell taco, or even fry bread. The combinations are endless.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 18, 2010

I will add tomato sauce next time - but good flavor


14 Ratings

Jul 27, 2009

This was really good! I used only 1lb. of turkey meat and just cut back a little on all the ingredients. I added a little salt in the end, served them on hamburger buns with American cheese. This recipe is a keeper.

Jul 27, 2009

Great twist on a sloppy joe recipe! Thanks!

Jan 11, 2011

Made this recipe as written, using powdered chipotle seasoning in place of chili powder. My picky 10 yr old ate it in a tortilla, and my husband liked it on a bun with barbecue sauce. Overall a hit, and I will be adding this to our rotation. Thanks!

Sep 21, 2009

I sampled the mixture just before adding the remaining mustard and jalapenos. Didn't seem at all "hot". Next time I will use 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. However, found the amount of jalapenos too hot--too overpowering, so will cut down to 1/8 cup. Tried the mixture as a burger, in pitas and tortillas. Thought the tortillas were by far the tastiest.

Feb 28, 2011

I played around with this a bit since my kids don't care for jalapeno. I used 2 lbs turkey, same on the onion and garlic, , then filled the bottom of the pan with white cooking wine and added larger amounts of mustard, salt and pepper and then cooked it down until the liquid was mostly gone. I put it on a whole wheat hamburger bun with swiss cheese and it was great - my kids drowned it in ketchup but they still ate it! We actually fed 4 of us for 2 nights and had some left over.

Aug 18, 2010

I made this last night for the first time, it was very good. I've tried various tavern recipes trying to find one we all like, my daughter will not eat anything with "barbeque" flavor. This one was it. I did make one minor change, my husband does not like jalapenos so I substituted 1/4 cup of salsa and added it with the water. It took a little longer for the liquid to evaporate but it was delicious.


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  • Calories
  • 356 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 25.5 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 84 mg
  • 28%
  • Fat
  • 16.4 g
  • 25%
  • Fiber
  • 2.1 g
  • 8%
  • Protein
  • 26.8 g
  • 54%
  • Sodium
  • 361 mg
  • 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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