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Turkey Shawarma Tacos
Molly Yeh's Pomegranate-Molasses Turkey Drumsticks + Leftover Turkey Shawarma + Turkey Wild Rice Hotdish with Stuffing
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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5.0 (3 rated)
Cook time:
Prep time:

I love this recipe because it makes turkeyso, so flavorful! The spices are vibrant and delicious and taste just like shawarma seasonings — curry and garam masala, heavy on the cumin and coriander — but there are also warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Technique tip: Adding the water toward the end of cooking prevents the turkey from being too dry.

Swap option: Use with leftover chicken or even roasted cauliflower. You can eat this in a pita or on a rice bowl too.


  • Tahini sauce

    • 1/4 cup tahini
    • 1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Zhoug

    • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
    • 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Kosher salt
  • Turkey

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 1 tablespoon garam masala
    • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
    • 1 small onion, sliced
    • 3 cups shredded leftover turkey, white and dark meat
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Eight to ten 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed
    • Shredded carrots, for topping


For the tahini sauce:

Whisk the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons water, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few turns of black pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.

For the zhoug:

Place the jalapeños, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor and zap until the consistency of pesto. Store in the fridge for up to two days or spoon into ice cube trays to freeze.

For the turkey:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the curry powder, garam masala and chicken bouillon and toast until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes.

2. Add in the remaining tablespoon olive oil and then the turkey and toss to coat in the spices and onions. Stir in half of the lemon juice and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook the turkey, stirring only a few times, until it begins to crisp and turn a deep golden brown, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the remaining half of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water and scrape up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan.

3. Spoon tahini onto a tortilla. Top with turkey mixture and dollop with the zhoug. Drizzle with any remaining tahini and top with shredded carrots, if desired.

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