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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61 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Wendy Bert

    My daughter’s new favorite recipe. We didn’t bake a whole batch…kind of used as a taco or ate turkey mix by itself. Also used ground turkey. It is delicious. She is gluten free so we use Siete almond flour tortillas. Yum! Making it again today!


  2. Bob Chamberlin

    Over the Top! This was delicious; I’ve been making my own enchilada sauce for years, the addition of the cinnamon & sugar made a noted awesome difference.
    I did add a bit of adobo & mild green chilies to the turkey mixture; the cilantro was a nice touch. I used 3 T of ancho chili powder & 2 of regular so the heat for us was spot on and full of flavor. I added some sharp cheddar to the mix and Oaxaca on top……Whoa! I suggest to double the sauce. Great Recipe!


  3. Cari

    Turned out amazing! I baked a turkey yesterday and had more than enough leftovers, including stock, to make a couple of dishes. Used 3 Tbs of chili powder and 1 jalapeño with intent to spice it up more if needed. I typically don’t like the overpowering flavors of mole but this was a nice combination.


  4. Alma

    These were so good. Keeing this on file to use up turkey leftovers. Can you freeze the leftovers?

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Cheryl

    Brilliant. I used Penzey’s chili 9000 as the base for sauce, then added some low fat cream cheese to melt into the sauce and mellow it out. The turkey was from a Greenberg smoked turkey we got for Christmas, and it is VERY smokey and salty so no more needed. The black beans, sauce and smoke combined to give it a mole’ like flavor, which we love! I am keeping more of the turkey in the freezer just to make these again.


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