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Mexican Style Turkey fully cooked on a baking sheet.
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5 from 1 vote

Pavo a la Mexicana (Mexican Style Turkey)

Pavo a la Mexicana (Mexican Style Turkey) is seasoned and smothered in smoky chipotle flavor, cumin oregano and loaded with fresh garlic! Excellent dish for the holidays or even to make homemade turkey sandwiches!
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chipotle Turkey
Servings: 5 to 7 guests
Calories: 296kcal
Author: Mexican Appetizers and More


  • 14 lb turkey thawed
  • 1-2 cups water, chicken broth or beer
  • 1 lime

Chipotle Garlic Marinade

  • 1½-2 heads garlic peeled
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce found in Mexican section of supermarket
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Gravy (Optional)

  • giblets
  • 1-2 cups broth and drippings from turkey
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1+ tbsp cornstarch


Chipotle Garlic Marinade

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and a paste forms. Set aside.


  • If turkey is frozen, thaw out in refrigerator 2-3 days in advance. (depending how large it is)
  • Remove giblets from turkey cavity (can also be found in the neck pouch).Reserve giblets for gravy.
  • Rinse both the inside and outside of turkey.
    Place turkey in a large aluminum tray or roaster pan.
  • Using your hands, massage about a tablespoon of the chipotle paste inside the cavity.
  • Using your hands again, add the chipotle paste marinade all over the turkey, including in between skin and breast reserving a little bit of the paste for the giblets.
  • Season giblets.
  • Sprinkle additional salt and pepper all over turkey for extra seasoning.
  • Add giblets to the pan and cover turkey with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 24-48 hours.

Cooking Turkey

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • When you're ready to cook the turkey, take out of refrigerator and let it sit on counter for 20 minutes while preheating oven.
  • Add a cup of water, chicken broth or beer to roaster.
  • Cover turkey with lid or aluminum foil.
  • Add turkey to oven and roast with giblets covered for 2 hours.
  • Remove lid or aluminum foil and continue roasting turkey until a meat thermometer reads 165F internal temperature. Note: If you notice the breast starts to color to fast or burn, use a piece of foil to cover the breasts but leave everything else exposed. Remove foil the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the turkey to get fully golden brown.
  • Once turkey is done, remove from oven and let sit on kitchen counter for 20 minutes before carving.

Carving Turkey

  • If making gravy, first reserve one to two cups of broth and drippings that has collected in pan. Set aside until ready to make gravy.
    Remove one or two cups of turkey drippings and broth that has collected in pan and set aside.
  • Carefully lift turkey unto a carving board.
  • Keep the rest of the turkey juices and drippings in pan.
  • Cut and remove all the dark meat by cutting at the joints of wings, thighs and drumsticks.
  • Cut dark meat into thin slices or keep drumsticks and thighs whole.
    Add pieces back to pan.
  • With a good sharp knife, slice turkey breast into thin pieces.
    Add turkey breast slices back to pan.
  • With a large spoon, pour juices from pan over all turkey pieces and breast for extra flavor.

Serving Turkey

  • At this point, you can serve turkey right away or continue and make a side gravy.
  • Whether you're making gravy or not, serve turkey right out of pan in its own juices or place in a serving dish and top with pan juices.
  • Squeeze lime and sprinkle over turkey.
    Ready! Enjoy!

Gravy (Optional)

  • Add the reserved broth and giblets to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes.
    *If you do not have enough broth, add a cup of water to pot.
  • After broth has heated through, remove giblets and strain broth if you like.
    Return broth back to pan and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to pot and whisk into broth until all lumps are gone.
    Add more cornstarch until desired consistency is reached.
    Gravy is ready.


If your turkey is frozen, make sure to allot time for thawing. It may take a few days to thaw out completely so keep this in mind when making this recipe because you will also need at least one extra day for marinating.


Serving: 5g | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 196g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 674mg | Sodium: 2589mg | Potassium: 2099mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 906IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 9mg