Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

Black BeanEnchiladasTurkey Leftovers

Turkey enchiladas made with leftover cooked turkey, homemade chili sauce, onions, black beans, and Monterey jack cheese. Topped with red onions, avocado, and cilantro.

Photography Credit: 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 what to make with your turkey leftovers, consider these enchiladas.

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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, align them in a casserole pan, slather them with more sauce, sprinkle liberally with melty cheese, and bake them until the cheese is melted.

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

Turkey enchiladas garnishes

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.

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

Feel free to substitute cooked chicken meat for the cooked turkey.


Enchilada sauce:

  • 7 Tbsp 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 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 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of turkey or chicken stock

Enchilada filling:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño chili 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 homemade
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (makes 2 cups grated cheese)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (can sub lemon juice)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt or more to taste
  • 8-16 flour tortillas, depending on size and thickness


  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream or crema fresca
  • Ice berg lettuce, sliced thin and sprinkled with salt and vinegar


1 Make enchilada sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the chili 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.

make enchilada sauce

Slowly whisk in the stock, until smooth. Let come to a simmer, cook for a minute, then remove from heat, cover and set aside.

2 Prepare the filling: Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and jalapeños and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 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 Tbsp 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

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 turkey black bean enchiladas in casserole dish

4 Bake: 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

5 Sprinkle with lime juice, serve with garnishes: Sprinkle with a little more lime juice before serving. Serve with chopped red onion, chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream or crema fresca, and thinly sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed with vinegar and salt (no oil).

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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71 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. dmcg

    Good covenant spices but several errors. Not enough liquid in the recipe. You don’t need to remove everything from the saute pan just to fill the shells. A lot of this could have done completed in one pan

  2. Katie

    So flavorful and an excellent way to repurpose leftover Thanksgiving turkey. We did need to add water to the sauce because it initially thickened. We didn’t do so until after I took the 1/2 cup for the bottom of the baking pan (should have probably done so beforehand).

    Once water was added, I had enough sauce left to coat 8 tortillas (barely), but nothing left to drizzle over the tops. Nevertheless, they were DELICIOUS! Amazing flavor and our entire household enjoyed them. We ended up with just a half of one left over and my Dad raved about it the next day as leftovers.

    We ended up using the extra enchilada mix for stuffed peppers (we had nearly half leftover) by adding rice, which also ended up quite tasty.

    There is already a request in the family to remake the recipe ASAP. :)

    Highly recommended.


    Show Replies (2)
  3. Dan

    Overall OK. NO cinnamon. Bad mistake. Black beans were a great add.


  4. Lucy Sullivan Pratt

    I have actually never made an enchilada in my life. With Thanksgiving over and plenty of turkey leftovers, we cruised Simply Recipes and voila, the perfect solution. It was great as was my entire Thanksgiving meal. We made the pecan pie from scratch, the cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and the persimmon pudding. I also live in Sacramento and love Simply Recipes. I am the worlds worst cook/baker but am getting better with your help.


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  5. Emily

    Made with ground turkey, whole wheat tortillas and added a diced zucchini and baby spinach to the filling for some extra nutrition. Everything was excellent! Great, easy enchilada sauce.


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