Fast, easy and tasty leftover turkey enchiladas

Before the Thanksgiving meal is over, we’re already thinking of the mouthwatering ways we can gobble up the leftovers. And this loaded turkey enchiladas recipe is one of the tastiest of options!

When we say loaded, we mean generously stuffed turkey and cheese enchiladas snuggly arranged in a casserole dish, then lavishly scattered with a scrumptious combination of corn, black beans, and more cheese. When these leftover turkey enchiladas come out of the oven, your family is going to race to the table and fight for the first indulgent bite.

ALSO TRY: Simple, smoky leftover turkey corn chowder with bacon

This recipe is large enough to feed a crowd or a small group of insatiably hungry enchilada lovers. But if two dozen enchiladas is too much for you, simply cut the recipe down to accommodate a smaller meal or, even better, divide it into two or three casserole dishes and freeze a batch or two.

To fix and freeze, let the enchiladas cool completely then tightly cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. This disch can freeze up to three months. When you’re ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap, cover with foil, and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or until heated through.

You can also keep it simple and adapt this recipe to the ingredients you have on hand. If you don’t have leftover turkey, swap in cooked chicken, shredded pork, or ground beef. If you’re not a fan of corn tortillas, use flour tortillas—bonus, you don’t have to cook the flour tortillas in oil. Simply warm them up or dip them in warm enchilada sauce before filling. No ears of corn? Frozen corn works just fine. Enchiladas are a fabulous way to use up leftovers not only from Thanksgiving but any other meals!

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Cook the onions, leeks, garlic, and cumin

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and leeks. Cook them, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the onions and leeks are softened and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes to soften the garlic.

Cook the onions, leeks, garlic, and cumin


Make the leftover turkey filling

To the onion mixture, add the shredded turkey, diced tomatoes, 2 cans of enchilada sauce, chipotle chilies, and fresh cilantro. Stir the ingredients together and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the turkey filling for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

Make the leftover turkey filling


Cook the corn tortillas

Briefly cooking the corn tortillas in hot oil softens them and makes them more pliable when you’re filling them with the turkey mixture. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium heat. Submerge a tortilla into the oil and cook for 10 seconds. Flip the tortilla over and cook for another 5 seconds. Set the tortilla on a stack of paper towels to drain. Repeat this process until all the tortillas have been cooked.

Cook the corn tortillas


Coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with enchilada sauce

Pour a 1/2 can of enchilada sauce into a large casserole dish. Spread the sauce out to coat the bottom of the dish.

Coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with enchilada sauce


Fill tortillas with the saucy turkey mixture

Place a tortilla on a plate and add about 1/4-cup of the turkey mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Modestly sprinkle cheese over the turkey filling—you’ll be using the shredded cheese for both the filling and for sprinkling over the top of the enchiladas. Roll up the tortilla and set it seam-side down along one edge of the casserole dish. Continue to fill tortillas and place them alongside each other until the casserole dish is full or you run out of filling. You may need two casserole dishes if you can’t fit all the enchiladas into one. Cover enchiladas with the remaining 1-1/2 cans of enchilada sauce.

Fill tortillas with the saucy turkey mixture


Load up the enchiladas with corn, black beans, and cheese

This enchilada dish is a hearty meal that features a hefty topping of corn, black beans, and cheese. Top the enchiladas with corn kernels, black beans, and the remaining shredded cheese.

Load up the enchiladas with corn, black beans, and cheese


Bake the enchiladas

Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Let the enchiladas cool for about 5 minutes.

Bake the enchiladas


Serve hot out of the oven

Serve hot out of the oven


So much cheesy goodness!

So much cheesy goodness!


Perfect to serve a crowd

Perfect to serve a crowd


Savory and rich

Savory and rich


You’ll want to keep coming back for more!

You'll want to keep coming back for more!


Leftover turkey enchiladas

Yield 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, green part removed, white part sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 5 cups leftover cooked turkey (dark and white meat), shredded
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans red enchilada sauce, divided 2 cans, 1/2 can, 1-1/2 cans
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 24 thick corn tortillas3 ears corn, cooked, kernels cut from the ear
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 4 cups shredded Mexican cheese, for filling and topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add onions and leeks. Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the onions and leeks are transparent.
  4. Add garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring often, for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add shredded turkey, diced tomatoes, 2 cans enchilada sauce, chipotle chiles, and cilantro. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil.
  7. Working with one tortilla at a time, submerge a tortilla in the hot oil and allow it to soften for 10 seconds, turn and heat for another 5 seconds. Set the tortilla on a stack of paper towels to drain.
  8. Repeat the process until all of the tortillas are cooked.
  9. Spread 1/2 can of red enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Set aside.
  10. Place a tortilla on a plate. Add enough turkey mixture, about 1/4 cup, to line the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle the turkey filling with shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla around the turkey filling and place it seam-side down in the casserole dish.
  11. Repeat filling and rolling each tortilla with turkey until all the tortillas are filled or all the filling is gone.
  12. Pour the remaining 1-1/2 cans of enchilada sauce over the top of the casserole of turkey-filled tortillas. Add any leftover turkey mixture to the tops of the enchiladas.
  13. Sprinkle the corn kernels over the top of the enchiladas.
  14. Sprinkle the black beans over the top of the enchiladas.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the enchiladas.
  16. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  17. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and allow the enchiladas to cool for 5 minutes.
  18. Serve hot.

Courses Main dish