Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

Do you have leftover cooked turkey in your refrigerator? These turkey enchiladas are a great way to put leftovers to use. Make a quick sauce, then add black beans and loads of toppings!

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
Elise Bauer

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.

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
Elise Bauer

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

To store turkey enchiladas in the refrigerator, tightly cover them inn plastic wrap and/or aluminum. They can keep in the fridge fro 2 to 5 days.

To make ahead, can freeze the enchiladas as well, even in the whole pan (best to use an aluminum or metal pan). Just be sure to make an airtight seal with plastic wrap and/or foil. When properly stored, you can freeze them for 1 month to up to 3 months.

No need to defrost frozen enchiladas. Just remove the plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes in a 350°F oven. Then, uncover and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes until their heated through and the cheese is bubbling. You can also defrost the enchiladas overnight in the fridge and follow the instructions below.

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 Chile Powder, and How Much to Use in This Recipe?

This is an easy version of a Mexican-style enchilada sauce, made with chile powder instead of whole dried chiles that are dehydrated and pureed.

How is chile/chili powder different from blended chili powder? We use chile/chili powder made from dried ground chiles. While chili powder to make the dish of the same name is a blend of spices used to make the dish chili or chili con carne. The problem is that the spelling for chile and chili are used interchangeably.

Chili powder blend contains other ingredients, like onion powder, granulated garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and/or salt.

The potency of your chile/chili powder will depend on which dried chiles were ground to make the powder. You'll want to adjust the amount you use in this recipe, depending on the spice level of your chile powder.

You can also use sweet paprika instead of chile powder.

What to Serve with Enchiladas

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 65 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

If you like your enchiladas saucy, make up to double the sauce. Feel free to substitute cooked chicken meat instead of the cooked turkey.

Ingredients

Enchilada sauce:

  • 7 tablespoons chili powder (note that chili powders vary in strength, 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 flour

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups turkey or chicken stock

Enchilada filling:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (1 for mild, 2 or more for spicy), seeded, 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

Garnishes:

  • Chopped red onion

  • Chopped avocado

  • Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Sour cream or crema fresca

  • Iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt and vinegar

Method

  1. 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.

    make enchilada sauce
    Elise Bauer
  2. 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.

  3. 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 9x13 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.

    dip flour tortilla in enchilada sauce
    Elise Bauer

    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.

    roll up turkey black bean enchiladas
    Elise Bauer
    turkey black bean enchiladas in casserole dish
    Elise Bauer
  4. 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.

    baked turkey black bean enchiladas
    Elise Bauer
  5. 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)
830 Calories
28g Fat
103g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 830
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 2477mg 108%
Total Carbohydrate 103g 38%
Dietary Fiber 12g 43%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 341mg 26%
Iron 9mg 49%
Potassium 768mg 16%
*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.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.