Soft tacos are now probably more popular than hamburgers, and they make an ideal family supper, as well as – with quantities multiplied – wonderful informal party fare.

Tacos fill all the requisites: easy to make, versatile (each taco can be personalized), healthful and the ingredients are not pricey. Plus they’re delicious!

Shun those stale-tasting pre-fried packaged taco shells and opt instead for fresh tortillas, either warmed over a gas flame or in a microwave.

Add refried beans – homemade or good quality from a can – if you’d like a little something more on the plate.


Makes 4 servings


3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


8 to 10 corn tortillas

2 cups shredded “Mexican cheese blend” (Monterey Jack and cheddar, with queso fresco or other fresh Mexican cheeses included), or shred your own

2 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage

1½ cups good-quality red or green salsa

1 large avocado, peeled and cut into large dice

1 cup sour cream

About 3/4 cup cilantro sprigs

Lime wedges

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, turkey, oregano, cumin and chili powder and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the turkey with the side of a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and 1 cup water, along with red pepper flakes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered over medium to medium-low heat until the sauce is reduced and the filling is of a spoonable consistency, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring the tortillas to room temperature. Put all the garnishes in bowls so people can serve themselves. If you have a gas stove, turn one burner to medium. When the grids are hot, place a tortilla directly over flame and cook until flecked with black. Turn with tongs and cook the second side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, piling them on a plate and wrapping with foil or plastic wrap to keep warm.

(Alternatively, place tortillas in a pile on a plate, cover and heat in a microwave.)

To serve, reheat the filling and transfer to a bowl. Pass the tortillas and invite guests to add fillings and toppings of their choice.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at: