Usually when our family makes enchiladas, we use corn tortillas. But there's something about turkey that I think just lends itself to a flour tortilla enchilada.
Maybe it's just years of eating leftover turkey, reheated in its own gravy and served with bread. In any case, if you are looking for something to make with your turkey leftovers, consider these enchiladas.
How to Make Enchiladas With Leftover Turkey
Make your own chili sauce and dress it up a bit with cinnamon, cloves, and cumin for more depth than a standard enchilada sauce. The filling uses plenty of leftover turkey, along with onions, jalapeños, garlic, black beans, cheese, lime juice, and cilantro.
Dip flour tortillas in the enchilada sauce, roll them up around the filling, line them up in a casserole pan, slather them with more sauce, sprinkle liberally with cheese, and bake them until the cheese is melty.
Garnishes for Turkey Enchiladas
Essential to properly enjoying enchiladas is of course the garnishes! Avocado, onions, and cilantro for starters. I also highly recommend sour cream to counteract the heat of the chiles, and thinly sliced iceberg lettuce dressed only with salt and vinegar, to provide a cooling, tangy lift.
Several turkey enchiladas recipes I found include sour cream in the sauce itself, which would make the sauce more creamy. This is certainly an option; I could go either way.
Do you have a favorite turkey enchiladas recipe using leftover turkey? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.
Storing and Freezing Turkey Enchiladas
Refrigerate leftover enchiladas, tightly covered in plastic wrap or foil, for 2 to 5 days.
To make ahead, you can freeze the enchiladas in the whole pan (best to use a ceramic or metal pan). If you're baking them first, let them cool, then wrap well in foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
No need to defrost frozen enchiladas. Just remove the plastic wrap, if any, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes in a 350°F oven. Then, uncover and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes until hot in the center and the cheese is bubbling.
You can also defrost the enchiladas overnight in the fridge. To bake turkey enchiladas straight from the fridge, just cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
What Is Chili Powder, and How Much to Use in This Recipe?
This is an easy version of a Mexican-style enchilada sauce, made with chili powder instead of whole dried chiles that are dehydrated and pureed.
How is blended chili powder different from ground whole dried chiles? The chili powder you find sold in the spice aisle in nearly every grocery store is a blend of ground dried chiles and other seasonings, such as onion powder, granulated garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and/or salt.
The potency of your chili powder will depend on the brand you're using. You can also use sweet paprika for some or all of the chili powder.
What to Serve with Enchiladas
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Refried Beans
- Perfect Guacamole
- Simple Salsa
- Avocado Beet Salsa with Simple Vinaigrette
Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
If you like your enchiladas saucy, make up to double the sauce. Feel free to substitute cooked chicken meat instead of the cooked turkey.
7 tablespoons chili powder (note that chili powders vary in strength, so you may want to start with less and add more to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt (less if using salted stock)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (1 for mild, 2 or more for spicy), seeded and minced
3 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups homemade black beans
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
8 to 16 flour tortillas, depending on size and thickness
Chopped red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream or crema fresca
Iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt and vinegar
Make the enchilada sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the chile powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cinnamon, ground cloves, sugar, salt, and flour.
Heat olive oil on medium heat in a cast iron pan (or other thick-bottomed sauté pan). Add the spices and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant.
Slowly whisk in the stock, until smooth. Let come to a simmer, and cook for a minute. Then, remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
Prepare the filling:
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and jalapeños and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Remove from heat.
Place onion mixture in a medium mixing bowl. Mix in the cooked turkey meat, the beans, 1 cup of the grated cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, and 1/2 a cup of the enchilada sauce. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt, or more to taste. Set aside.
Assemble the enchiladas:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the pan with the enchilada sauce on medium heat. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish (Pyrex works well).
Working one at a time, dip the flour tortillas in the sauce to coat them on both sides. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little water.
Place the tortilla in the casserole dish and place anywhere from 1/4 of a cup to 1/2 cup of the filling in the middle of the tortilla.
Roll up the tortilla around the filling and place it in the casserole dish. Continue to roll up the rest of your tortillas until they fill the casserole dish. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake the enchiladas:
Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has melted.
Sprinkle with lime juice, serve with garnishes:
Sprinkle with a little more lime or lemon juice before serving. Serve with chopped red onion, chopped avocados, fresh cilantro, sour cream or crema fresca, and thinly sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed with vinegar and salt (no oil).
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 28g||36%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||48%|
|Total Carbohydrate 103g||37%|
|Dietary Fiber 12g||42%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||26%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|