Recipe: Turkey Enchiladas

Recipe: Turkey Enchiladas

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Kelli Foster
Nov 27, 2015
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

A couple years ago I realized that I like the idea of Thanksgiving leftovers more than the actual leftovers themselves. After I've finished off my second day of Thanksgiving dinner and requisite turkey sandwiches, there still seems to be a never-ending plate of turkey. And by that point, I'm over turkey and gravy.

Since I can't bring myself to just toss the remaining turkey, the obvious solution is to reinvent my turkey leftovers into a totally different meal — like spiced enchiladas topped with gooey, melted cheese.

These enchiladas have become my favorite way to make the most of the turkey leftovers. The turkey gets transformed into a new meal, with warm spices and a little kick — it tastes nothing like Thanksgiving dinner.

As for the type of meat, both white and dark will work; use whatever you happen to have — just make sure it's shredded or chopped into bite-sized pieces first.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Enchiladas are easy to put together; they require no more than tortillas, meat, cheese, and sauce. As for the enchilada sauce, there are plenty of store-bought options, but I prefer making my own so I can adjust the spice level to my liking. The sauce uses a variety of spices I almost always have on hand, as well as a few common pantry ingredients.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Turkey Enchiladas

Serves 4 (2 enchiladas per person)

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups turkey or chicken stock

For the enchiladas:
8 flour tortillas, regular or whole-wheat
2 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey meat
3 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving (optional)

For the sauce:
Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, stir to coat with the oil, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan, stir to coat the onions, and cook for 2 minutes to lightly toast the flour.

Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the spices are fragrant. Gradually whisk in the stock. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove the pan from the heat.

For the enchiladas:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a work surface, spread 2 tablespoons of sauce over the top, add 1/4 cup of turkey in a line down the tortilla, and top with 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Roll up the tortilla, then place in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • The sauce can be made up to a couple days in advance, then stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
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