Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling -Plus 5 Ways to Use It!

Kale Taco Featured Image

I love… love, love, LOVE, taco night. Always have, even as a kid. I have fond memories of mom browning ground chuck on the stove while we piled up the toppings in the middle of the table.

Back then we used taco sauce, cheese, lettuce and tomato, and Mom would drain the fat that cooked out the beef. I remember wanting her to buy those taco dinner night boxes that came with the seasoning and shells so badly, but she never would. Let’s say I get my home cooking desire from her. She was a stickler on not cooking out of a box and she’d season the beef herself.

Now I’m responsible for my family’s meals, I’m influenced by mom’s approach but have completely made taco night my own. It’s one meal I can easily get my boys to eat super healthy without them really even noticing.

And when you get all this great stuff from the farm…

farm share - taco night

You have to come up with ways to get you family to eat it.

Last week all 3 boys happily devoured my Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling without one complaint. NOT ONE. Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling

Let me share what I did and how we used it. Hopefully it will give you some ideas of your own.

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 of a Sweet Onion chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper Diced
  • About 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped Kale (100g)
  • 1 Medium Sweet Pepper chopped small
  • 1 15oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp dried Cumin
  • Healthy Pinch of Kosher Salt

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, spray with non-stick spray and brown the turkey with onion.

Dice the Jalapeno and add it to the browning meat. Leave in the seeds and ribs if you’d like a bit more heat.

Chop the kale small. I used the technique I showed in this video.

Add the chopped kale to the skillet with a pinch of salt and stir all together.

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - step 1

Add in the diced pepper, black beans and spices. Cook for a few more minutes allowing all the flavors to merge and the pepper to soften just a little bit.

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - step 2

Lower to a simmer to keep warm until ready to use. Note: if you notice the meat starting to dry out, just add a tablespoon or 2 of salsa. Moistens things right up!

We used our taco filling 4 ways for dinner and I made a fun leftover dish

1. The Husband Classic Tacos on Soft Shells.

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - soft shell

He likes them with just a little salsa, cheese and lettuce. Although I make him use spinach instead. ;)

2. The Little Guy’s Quesadilla

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - Quesadilla

I started making quesadillas on taco night when he was little because they stayed together easier. Now they are one of his favorites. I always add some mashed avocado and chopped spinach in there too!

3. My Taco Lettuce wraps.

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - Lettuce Wraps

When I have a nice head of lettuce I’ll use the leaves instead of shells. It saves me a few calories so I don’t feel guilty piling on the cheese and avocado. :)

4. Little Beans deconstructed.

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - Deconstructed1

I give Little Bean a little of everything on his plate (taco shell, avocado, filling, cheese) and he happily has a smorgasbord of finger food.

5. Leftovers tossed with sautéed cabbage

Kale, Turkey and Black Bean Taco Filling - Tossed with Cabbage

The next day for a warm lunch I tossed some shredded cabbage in a skillet with taco meet and cooked until the leaves wilted. Topped with a bit of salsa it made a fabulous lunch!

As for the nutritional information, this recipe makes about 5 cups which is enough to serve about 20 tacos. I’ll post using a 1 cup as a serving size just to keep it easy.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
5 1 cup of taco filling
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
200 2g 6g old: 3.5 new: 5
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
3g 0g 19g 28g
Posted in: 3 WWP, 4 WWP, 5 WWPP, Dinner Ideas, Just Tips, Lunch Ideas, Toddler Approved
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21 Comments and 1 Replies

  1. nancy

    I saw a t-shirt today in Cincinnati that said Eat Kale.
    I love Kale but they didn’t have the t-shirt in my size maybe this time next year. I have been eating a ton of kale in the past few months and I need some new recipes–I am adding this one for this weekend I think I will use your lettuce wrap.

    1. connie owen

      I love Kale! My Grandma used to make my mom and I when we would go visit her. Mostly me she would cook it for and put barley in it! I ate my weight in it! The recipes look great!

  2. Kathleen

    Roni thanks so mcuh for this. Where do you get your whole wheat soft taco shells from? I have looked for some but they all seem to be way high in calories and fat.

    Thanks again- Kathleen

  3. roni

    I love the low carb from Trader Joes. Those are the ones pictured. My other fav brands are La Tortilla Factory and mission, both have some lower cal options. Oh! and here’s an old post where I highlighted some… link to ronisweigh.com

    Hope that helps!


  4. Rebecca

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!!! Even my husband, who hates turkey meat, kale, whole wheat, and quite frankly anything healthy, loved it! I also made your berry oatmeal cups the other day and he said, for being healthy, they’re very good. :) I am a huge fan of your easy, delicious, healthy recepies!! :)

  5. Erika

    Hi Roni!

    I happened upon your website last week, and I am so glad I found it! Just wanted to let you know that these Kale/Turkey Tacos are delicious! Like others have mentioned I will definitely keep this in my files. Keep up the good work with posting healthy recipes!

  6. Carol


    Love your recipes & blog. Been following for about 2 years & always come away with a positive out look & attitude plus great healthy recipes. Just wanted to thank you again Roni. It feels like I know you & the kids (including hubby kid). LOL

  7. James

    Just make this with some modifications. It was fantastic, given I have always been a very picky eater and am just recently moving into the healthier foods Found Kale about 6 months ago and it goes in every salad, but this was the first time I cooked with it.
    I did not have all ingredients, so substituted black for low sodium whole pinto beans, a 5 pepper seasoning blend instead of real peppers and no onions, I also added corn and some lime juice.

    Thanks for the recipe idea!

  8. Jodi

    Just ran across your site while looking for a recipe using ground turkey & kale. Made it with a fresh red pepper instead of roasted red peppers. I’m with Lori- I’ll never make regular taco filling again! This was delicious! My husband is a vegetarian, so I also made a veggie version for him with bulgar wheat in place of the turkey and also added a 1/2 cup of corn. I think these were the best homemade tacos I’ve ever made! Thank You for such a great recipe!

  9. CA

    This recipe was forwarded to me by a follower of my Facebook page regarding kale. I love the many ways leftovers can be used during the week. I plan to post your page as a kale recipe recommendation as well. Love the photos.

    Thank you,

    link to Facebook.com

  10. Carol Goldhagen

    You are awesome Roni! You never disappoint. Will be making this very very soon. Thank you so very much for all you do & share. xoxo

  11. Melissa

    Lovely! Almost perfect fit for my ingredients on hand. Did have to sub cannellini beans for the black beans, and whole wheat rotini for the tortilla. (This made the profile much less Mexican, so I also toned-down the chili heat.) Thanks!

  12. Asia Thompson

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe ! I started using it over a year ago and its been one of my staple meals ever since. I make a big batch and it last me two weeks almost. I use it in all different kinds of ways ! Thanks a billion trillion !!

  13. KScarthy

    Great recipe! Even my 6 and 9 year olds asked for second helpings. Going into my rotation for sure! Thanks for sharing.

  14. April

    Thanks for this great recipe! I am on the road to getting my family back to healthy eating. I do not have any kale but lots of spinach right now so I will use that tonight. Thanks again!

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