#DopeRecipe: Low Carb Ground Turkey Sweet Barbacoa Recipe (Cafe Rio Dupe)

1:26:00 PM Christina Patrice 2 Comments

Have you ever loved a restaurant for only ONE thing? Like, everything else you can do without - but that one thing they do - they do EXCEPTIONALLY well?

That's how I feel about Cafe Rio.

Literally everything else they make is forgettable - EXCEPT the Sweet Pork Barbacoa. That savory, sweet, smoky, meaty meat is the stuff that dreams are made of. So naturally, I had to take a crack at making my own version.

I think I get pretty close to capturing that essence - with a more macro-friendly approach, of course. Paired with my easy cilantro lime rice and a veggie of choice, it's the perfect meal that's filling without blowing your calorie budget - or your wallet.

Of course, you could make this recipe using pork. I just didn't have any on hand, didn't feel like going to the store, and darn sure didn't feel like waiting for it to cook in a crock pot/slow cooker. Ground turkey carries the flavor just as well.

Low Carb Ground Turkey Sweet Barbacoa (Yields 12 servings)
+ 1360g cooked 93/7 ground turkey (I buy in bulk from Costco, and this is approximately what I get from 2 packages of Foster Farms)
+ 14oz Coke Zero or Diet Coke*
+ 4 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend*
+ 4 tablespoons tomato paste
+ 1 can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
+ 1 can chopped Hatch Green Chiles
+ salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, and cumin to taste

*Note: You can substitute these for regular Coke and brown sugar; just be advised that the macros will change - especially for the Splenda. 2 tablespoons of Splenda Brown Sugar Blend replaces an entire 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

Tools & Utensils
+ large pot
+ measuring utensils
+ can opener
+ cooking spoon
+ large bowl or container

Over medium heat, add ground turkey, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and onion powder to taste. As the meat begins to cook, add in 6oz of Coke Zero/Diet Coke and 2 tablespoons of Splenda Brown Sugar Blend.

Stir until fully cooked meat crumbles form. Transfer meat from pot into a container and set aside.

Using the same pot, empty the can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, the remaining 8oz of Coke Zero/Diet Coke, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, can of Hatch Green Chiles, cumin to taste, and 4 tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir over low heat until a deep red sauce forms (about 5-10 minutes).

For a little more smoke and spice, feel free to sprinkle in some chipotle powder.

Once fully incorporated, add the cooked ground turkey back in; reduce to low heat and cover. Cook for 15-20 more minutes.

Let stand and cool slightly before serving - this will allow the meat to soak up more of the sweet, smoky juice.

Serve over cilantro lime rice with veggies and a few sprinkles of cheese (optional). Here's how I prepped mine for the week (with 100g of cilantro lime rice and 110g kale +smoked turkey):

Macros for Low Carb Ground Turkey Sweet Barbacoa
(Recipe = 12 servings; macros below are for 1 serving)
+ 272 calories
+ 31.7g protein
+ 6.9g carbs
+ 13.7g fat
+ 1.2g fiber
+ 5.4g sugar

FYI - if you got the equivalent amount of Sweet Pork Barbacoa from Cafe Rio (approx 6oz), it would set you back 384 calories, 26g of carbs, 26g of sugar, and 22g of fat - for only 16g of protein.

And as always - if you decide to give this recipe a go, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @30daysofdope! I'll be sharing my cilantro lime rice recipe next! 

Have you ever loved a restaurant for only ONE thing? Like, everything else you can do without - but that one thing they do - they do EX...


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