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Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos

Roast Turkey & Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos

Cubes of your Thanksgiving turkey are totally transformed into a fabulous filling for tacos.

Assertive seasonings are needed to create just the right smokey and a little spicy infused flavor. I love Mulato Dried Chiles (dried poblano) typically used in Mexican mole sauces with a delicate smoky flavor.

Yes – you can also use cubed or shredded chicken

The tacos are mildly spicy – adjust to your liking.
The recipe has as many vegetables as turkey – so I’m keeping things healthy!

Use toppings you like – I always let some sharp cheddar melt in with salsa, avocado, sour cream and fresh herbs too

Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos


10 hardshell tacos, I used organic blue corn

2 cups roast fresh turkey, ¾″ cubes
(I used white meat)

2 large Mulato dried chile* (will have 3 T. minced)

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

7 medium cremini mushrooms (4 ounces) cleaned, dried; ½″ dice

½ cup onion, peeled ½″ dice

½ cup fresh carrots, peeled ½″ dice

1 cup zucchini, ½″ dice
(I used ½ green & ½ yellow)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
(can toast cumin, then grind)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup marinara sauce (I like Rao’s brand)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ – ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese



Place the Mulato chiles in a small bowl and add very hot water to rehydrate them, let stand 10 minutes until softened. Remove from the water and discard the stems and seeds, mince the chile.


In a large skillet add 3 teaspoons of olive oil – raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cremini mushrooms and stir until golden. Add the onions, carrots and zucchini with the next 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and stir for 5 minutes on moderated heat until they are crisp-tender, 5 minutes.


Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and paprika, stir for 2 minutes to release their flavors.
Stir in the marinara sauce, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
Add the turkey cubes and the Mulato chiles. Stir all well, cover and cook at low simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Taste for salt – I added 1/2 teaspoon.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
Lay out 10 hard taco shells.
Fill each one with a potion of filling – about 3/4’s full.


Stack them so they are somewhat upright.
Add a portion of cheese to each.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the corn shells are very crispy and the cheese has melted.

Garnish Options:
Cubes of Avocado, Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt, Fresh Cut Herbs (Cilantro or Parsley), Thinly Sliced Scallions, Salsa, Thinly Sliced Jalapeño or Roasted Corn Kernels.

* Mulato Chiles (dried Poblanos) The flavor profile of Mulato chiles is a bit sweet with hints of smoky chocolate, licorice, cherries and coffee.
The are a mild-medium spice chile. This chili is most popular in Mexican mole.
I love it’s deep color and unique smokey flavor.

Substitutes for  Mulato Chiles:
Use another type of dried mildly spicy dried chile – or a good quality chili powder in your pantry. Note that some chili powders have other ingredients than just chiles.
Ancho chiles have a similar flavor to Mulatos. You can also use some chopped chiles from canned Chipotle in Adobo for a blast of smokey heat.

See Blog for more photos and information.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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