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Turkey Enchiladas

Turkey Enchiladas

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dried chiles de árbol peppers


cup white onion, finely diced


tablespoon ground cumin


cups cooked turkey, chopped


cups Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sufficient oil, for frying the tortillas

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  • 1

    Start by pre-heating the oven to 350°F.

  • 2

    To make the salsa, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. When ready, sauté the garlic and onion for three minutes. Then add the dried chiles (without the stem), tomatoes and cumin. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chiles have softened.

  • 3

    In a food processor or blender, process the chile mixture with the chicken broth. Pour half of the blended salsa over the chopped turkey and reserve the remaining sauce in a separate bowl.

  • 4

    Pre-heat the oil for frying in another skillet and lightly fry each tortilla, without browning too much. Place the finished tortillas over a few paper towels to remove any excess oil.

  • 5

    To assemble the enchiladas, dip each tortilla into the remaining salsa. Fill each tortilla with about four tablespoons of the prepared turkey before rolling up. Grease a baking dish with anti-stick spray and place the rolled tortillas inside. Pour the remaining salsa on top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

  • 6

    Bake the enchiladas for 25 minutes and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro before serving.

Expert Tips

  • If you like, you can also use chicken in this recipe.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • These enchiladas are stuffed with a delicioso mix of onion, garlic, tomato, cumin and turkey. Enchiladas in general are an ideal dish for transforming what's left from lunch or dinner, into a fast and rico meal. I really enjoy how versatile they are-you can change-up the recipe every time you prepare them, just by using a different combination of ingredients. With a little imagination, there's no limit to the fillings you can create.This dish is great for sharing during the holiday season, where everyone is practically overwhelmed with leftovers. In case you get a craving for these enchiladas between parties, you can always prepare a simple boiled turkey breast and shred it afterwards for preparing this recipe.

I don’t know about you, but every year, after Thanksgiving dinner, our family has a lot of leftover turkey.

Is this just our family? Nobody really like the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner, but the sweet potatoes, and jello salad go quick.

So with all my leftover turkey, I decided I needed to put it to use, and make a recipe I knew that my family would love.

We are an enchilada loving bunch, so I decided to make a simple enchilada recipe, using my leftover turkey.

Every enchilada in the pan was eaten. There was absolutely no leftovers. My family gobbled these up.

If you are looking for a way to put your leftover Thanksgiving turkey to use, you have to try these simple and delicious Turkey Enchiladas.

  • 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, (about 9), papery husks removed, coarsely chopped, or one 18-ounce can, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • ⅔ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, (about 9), papery husks removed, finely chopped, or one 18-oz. can, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup prepared tomato salsa, (optional)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream, (optional)

To make tomatillo salsa: Combine tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno in a food processor. Using an on/off motion, pulse until smooth. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

To make enchiladas: Preheat oven to 450F. Coat an 8-by-11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place turkey in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring to break up meat, until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Drain in a colander. Wipe out the pan with paper towels.

Add oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cinnamon cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Mash beans coarsely and add to the pan, along with broth, tomatillos and the cooked turkey. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble enchiladas: Soften a tortilla by heating it directly on a stovetop burner for about 30 seconds, turning frequently. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the turkey-and-bean filling down the center of the softened tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side-down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat these steps with the remaining tortillas and filling. Spoon the tomatillo salsa over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve with tomato salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Assembling green chile turkey enchiladas

One note on kid friendliness: I've found from our picky eater that many kids don't like non-sauced bits of tortilla that turn brown and crispy (a.k.a., "burned") during baking.

With that in mind, I make sure to sauce ALL parts of the rolled tortillas when the kids are eating with us.

Assembling Creamy Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas (in the collage below):

1. saucing the corn tortillas.

2. adding filling to the "sauced" side of the tortilla.

3. rolling up the enchilada.

4. a baking casserole with rolled enchiladas.

5. smothering the enchiladas with sauce and cheese.

A couple of notes about the assembly photos:

First, I was making a smaller batch of enchiladas and saving the extra filling for another meal (it freezes well for an easy meal later on!).

Second, I wanted the shape of the enchiladas to be clear for photography purposes, so I didn't go nuts with saucing or cheesing.

Don't hold back with yours!

Third, I was using up some salsa verde, so that's the green color you see on the bottom of the dish. For your enchiladas, use the cream sauce.

Also be sure to check out my prep video and the recipe below.

Alternate assembly: casserole style

If you don't have time to roll out each enchilada, you can always serve casserole-style green chile turkey enchiladas.

Simply make a layer of corn tortillas on the bottom (sauce both sides you'll have 6 or so tortillas).

Next, spread the filling in an even layer on top of the tortillas.

Then, add another layer of tortillas (again, 6 tortillas sauce both sides).

Finally, top with more sauce and cheese, then bake until bubbly.

It's not as pretty, but you won't care once you have a taste!


My must-have garnishes for green chile turkey enchiladas include Mexican crema or sour cream, shredded lettuce, salsa verde, lime wedges, sliced onions or scallions, chopped cilantro, and crumbled cotija cheese.

And that's all there is to it. Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas are a bit more involved than my usual Flipped-Out Food-style recipe.

If you need more ideas for how to use up your leftovers, check out my post, Using up Leftovers!

Or, if you want more Latin American-inspired recipe ideas, check out my Mexican-Inspired Recipes for Cinco de Mayo!

Turkey Enchiladas - Recipes

To give turkey leftovers a bold makeover, the folks at America's Test Kitchen looked south of the border to saucy, spicy enchiladas. For the filling, they sauté sliced onion with garlic, cumin, and chili powder, then stir in shredded cooked turkey, corn, green chiles, Monterey Jack cheese, and enchilada sauce. Canned enchilada sauce provides great flavor and kept this dish easy enough for a weeknight. Fresh cilantro brings an herbal note to the filling. The corn tortillas are softened in the microwave, then wrapped them around the filling and arranged them in a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. To keep the tortillas from drying out and cracking while baking, lightly coat them with vegetable oil spray before pouring more enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkling on more cheese. After just 20 minutes in the oven, the enchiladas are piping hot and the cheese is gooey and bubbling. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, thinly sliced scallion, and hot sauce.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, halved and sliced thin

2 (10-ounce) cans green enchilada sauce

1 pound cooked turkey, shredded (about 4 cups)

1 cup canned chopped green chiles, drained

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 ¬minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, stir in half of enchilada sauce, shredded turkey, chiles, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack, corn, and cilantro.

Brush both sides of tortillas with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Stack tortillas, wrap in damp dish towel, and place on plate microwave until warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Working with 1 warm tortilla at a time, spread 1/3 cup filling across center of tortilla, roll tortilla tightly around filling, and place seam side down in greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

Spray tops of enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas, covering tortillas completely, then sprinkle remaining 1-1/2 cups Monterey Jack across center of enchiladas. Cover dish tightly with greased aluminum foil and bake until enchiladas are hot throughout and bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes. Serve.


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