Cheesy Baked Turkey Enchiladas

A white baking dish full of cheesy baked enchiladas topped with cilantro and red peppers.

Turkey Enchiladas are a cheesy baked Mexican inspired rolled tortilla dish made with leftover turkey, salsa roja and a three cheese blend. They are the perfect way to use up leftover turkey!

There are so many great things about having leftovers. For one, just plain reheating them makes for an easy meal on busy days. However, creating an absolutely new dish out of leftovers is truly the mark of a talented and thrifty home cook.

Sometimes I even double recipes just so there are leftovers to play with. Check out this Smoked Chicken Salad made with leftover Smoked Chicken Thighs.

A white baking dish full of cheesy baked enchiladas topped with cilantro and red peppers.

What to Make with Turkey Dinner Leftovers

The dishes are done, the tablecloth has been laundered, and the guests have all gone home. Once holiday dinner is over, there’s usually a fridge packed full of turkey dinner leftovers.

The day after the big meal often leaves many wondering what to do with all of that turkey.

Have no fear, there are so many great ways to use up that turkey! How about Turkey Broccoli and Wild Rice Casserole, Hot Turkey Open Face Sandwiches, Turkey a la King, Turkey Pot Pie, Turkey Stock and Soup; the list goes on!

Ingredients used in making baked turkey enchiladas.

Cheesy Baked Turkey Enchiladas

However, I love creating a dish that doesn’t taste like another turkey dinner (after day 3 turkey dinner gets a little monotonous!). My ideal leftover turkey dinner involves a little spice and a whole lot of cheese. I want the whole enchilada!!

Fresh tortillas are filled with tender turkey mixed with three cheeses, onions, peppers and spices. The rolled enchiladas are then covered in red sauce and smothered with a three cheese blend.

The aroma coming from the kitchen is so intoxicating, the whole family will be crowding around the oven and asking when dinner is ready.

A white baking dish filled with rolled corn tortillas surrounded by sauce, cheese, cilantro, and diced red peppers.

What Are Enchiladas?

Enchiladas are a traditional Mexican dish of filled and rolled tortillas dating back to Aztec times (1300-1521). They were often served by street vendors as simple folded tortillas dipped in red chile sauce (con chile rojo).

However, there are many modern day enchiladas varieties distinguished by their fillings, toppings, and even structure. There is one kind, Enchiladas Montades which are stacked (like lasagna) instead of rolled.

Red enchilada sauce being drizzled onto a baking dish filled with rolled corn tortillas.

What Ingredients are in Turkey Enchiladas?

Click to View Full Ingredients List
  • cooked cubed turkey
  • onion
  • red pepper
  • orange pepper
  • garlic
  • cumin powder
  • chili powder
  • ancho chili powder
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cotija Cheese (or Oaxaca cheese)
  • Red Enchilada Sauce
  • tortillas (corn or flour)
  • cilantro

These Turkey Enchiladas are simple to make and so very satisfying. They are full of lively spices such as cumin and chili powder, along with aromatic garlic, onion, and sweet peppers.

Red enchilada sauce topped enchiladas in a white baking pan.

Let’s talk turkey. Feel free to use a combination of white and dark meat or whatever is left over. Enchiladas are a great way to get rid of all the dry white meat. If you don’t have leftover turkey, use browned ground turkey or cooked chicken.

Feel free to use 100% corn tortillas, as is traditional in Mexican cuisine or if you prefer, use flour tortillas or a combination of flour and corn.

This recipe features traditional red Enchilada Sauce, or chile rojo which is made with ground dried mild red chile peppers and other spices. It is simple to make but for convenience sake I have used a canned version.

Don’t forget the cheese! This recipe contains three kinds of cheese for the ultimate in ooey gooey goodness. Classic Tex Mex Monterey Jack is mixed with Cheddar and a good measure of Mexican Cotija cheese.

A white baking pan filled with baked cheesy enchiladas and red sauce.

More Filling and Topping Possibilities

Feel free to add your own favourite enchilada ingredients into the turkey mixture. Other flavour combinations may include:

  • corn or other vegetables
  • potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • jalapeno, green chilies, guajillo or poblano peppers
  • mild or hot enchilada sauce
  • black beans
  • other sauces such as moles, chile con queso, tomato sauce, refried beans, bechamel sauce, salsa verde
A white baking pan filled with baked cheesy enchiladas and red sauce.

How to Make Turkey Enchiladas

This is such an easy dish to make, especially when the turkey is already cooked for you! Begin by sauteing the diced onion and peppers together with some olive oil over medium heat (remember to keep the very finely diced portion of red pepper for the final topping).

Add the garlic and spices to the pan when the onions and peppers have begun to soften. Cook a few minutes more then set aside.

Next, clear the leftover turkey of any fat, cartilage, or bones then dice it up into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the turkey in a bowl and make the filling by adding the cooked vegetables, cheese, and enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Drizzle enough red sauce to thinly cover the bottom of a 8 x 11 baking dish the preheat the oven to 350 F.

Two cheesy baked enchiladas on a white plate topped with chopped cilantro and red peppers.

To assemble the enchiladas, grab two handfuls of filling (about one cup turkey mixture) and place it in a continuous row just below the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla over the filling in an upward motion.

Place the rolled tortilla in the prepared baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas, placing them firmly against one another.

Once the baking dish is full, pour remaining enchilada sauce to cover the rolled tortillas halfway plus sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheeses and bake in a 350 F oven until the sauce is bubbly and tortilla edges are crisp (about 30 minutes).

Close up of cheesy baked enchiladas on a white plate.

What to Serve with Turkey Enchiladas

Top them with (more) cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes or red peppers, cilantro, chopped onions, sliced avocado or guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo.

A plate full of these cheesy baked treats is quite substantial on their own. However, enchiladas are amazing with traditional sides such as refried beans, red rice, or black beans.

A white plate containing cheesy baked enchiladas topped with diced peppers and cilantro.

Storing and Reheating Enchiladas

Store baked enchiladas in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, place in an oven proof baking dish and heat in a 350 F oven about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and filling is runny.

Join Me for Saturday Brunch!

Join the Saturday morning newsletter and get cozy with a cup of coffee. Inside you’ll find free recipes, giveaways, and more. It’s such a delicious way to start the weekend!

See you on Saturday!

By clicking subscribe, you agree to share your email address with the site owner and receive emails from the site owner.

Pinterest image of a plate of cheese topped baked enchiladas.
Yield: 3-4 servings

Cheesy Baked Turkey Enchiladas

A white plate containing cheesy baked enchiladas topped with diced peppers and cilantro.

Turkey Enchiladas are a cheesy baked Mexican inspired rolled tortilla dish made with leftover turkey, salsa roja and a three cheese blend.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked turkey; chopped into cubes
  • 1 medium onion; diced
  • 1 red pepper; 1/2 diced plus 1/2 very finely diced
  • 1 orange pepper; diced
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese; shredded
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese; shredded
  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese; shredded or crumbled
  • 1 - 28 oz can mild or spicy enchilada sauce
  • 6 tortillas; 6-8 inches diameter *see notes
  • fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place diced red pepper, orange pepper, and onion in a saute pan (reserve finely diced red pepper for final garnish). Drizzle with olive oil and cook on low until softened.
  2. Add minced garlic and spices (cumin, chili powders) and cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  4. Combine the cubed turkey, 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, 1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, 3/4 cup enchilada sauce, and vegetables/spices together in a large bowl.
  5. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking pan.
  6. Divide the filling into 6 portions and place one portion in a line on a tortilla. Roll the tortilla up over the filling then place the rolled tortilla in the baking, seam side down. Repeat with remaining filling/tortillas.
  7. Pour enough enchilada sauce to almost cover the rolled tortillas and immerse them halfway in sauce.
  8. Scatter remaining cheeses over the enchiladas.
  9. Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven for 30-40 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and edges of tortillas are crispy.
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then top with very finely diced red peppers and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Notes

*I prefer to use a combination of corn/flour tortillas as they hold up well to liquids and still have a sweet corn flavour. Feel free to also just flour or corn only tortillas.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 978Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 253mgSodium: 1492mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 73g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Share your dish pic on Instagram or Facebook and tag @dishnthekitchen (or #dishnthekitchen) in your post or story! Rate this recipe and leave a review to share your experience with others!

23 comments

  1. Andrea

    I love enchiladas but have never made them with turkey! Thanks so much for the idea. I love how turkey is so affordable and low in fat, so I can make an affordable and healthy dinner for my family

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Very true! I like to grab one when it’s on sale after Thanksgiving, just to have one on hand.

      Reply

  2. Amanda

    These enchiladas turned out delicious! They had the perfect kick from the chili powder. I love making turkey thighs during the week, so this was such a great way to use some of our leftovers. Will definitely make these enchiladas again!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So great to hear Amanada. Thanks for trying out this recipe.

      Reply

  3. Vanessa

    Such a fun way to use up leftover turkey. I love this idea!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Vanessa, it’s one of our favourites too.

      Reply

  4. Elaine

    So much flavour in these enchiladas! All our favourite Mexican flavours in one easy dish!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Ah..it’s true and it uses up leftovers too!

      Reply

  5. Sharon

    Yum!! Anything with a crusty, cheesy top has my name written all over it. 🙂 And a unique way to use any leftover turkey – it’s been totally re-invented. Love this recipe, Bernice!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So much cheese! Yep, it’s a great dish alright. Glad you like it Sharon.

      Reply

  6. Marisa F. Stewart

    I’ve really been hankering for enchiladas but our recipe is so high in calories and fat that I haven’t had the courage to make it. Well, I really got excited to see this recipe because it uses turkey. The calories are half of what mine is so I decided to make it. WOW! The taste is great and I don’t even miss all those other calories of my original recipe. Thank you!! This will be my go-to enchiladas.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yep…and I think you could even decrease the cheese a bit too Marisa. Glad you enjoyed these Turkey Enchiladas!

      Reply

  7. Tammy

    Oh my goodness, I’m so hungry for dinner now! These look so delicious. I’ve not made enchiladas in way too long…saving this for a rainy day 😀

    Reply

  8. Veronika

    This is a great idea to use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving! So much flavor and easy to make!

    Reply

  9. Anna

    They were delicious! I tried this recipe a couple of days ago, a a Friday night dinner, and it was such a hit! The whole family loved them, and they disappeared literally in a few minutes! Thank you for this tasty idea!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Glad you loved them Anna. They usually disappear quickly at our house too.

      Reply

  10. Chandice Probst

    What are unique and very flavorful way to use leftover turkey! Not too hard either… Thank you!

    Reply

  11. Moop Brown

    These enchiladas look like the perfect weeknight meal. Definitely can’t wait to try!

    Reply

  12. Loreto's Nardelli

    Hey Bernice, what a great way to use up some of that leftover turkey! This dish screams flavor Nd cheesy, absolutely love the fresh topping. Always nice to have that freshness with all that spicy and cheese!
    Looks amazing!😋

    Reply

  13. Terri

    I’m with you – leftovers (especially turkey) are THE BEST! This is a family fave for use too. And I love that this uses canned enchilada sauce. The last thing I want to do after cooking a big meal is make enchilada sauce. Yum!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s true. Sometimes having a few quiet days after the big day is required.

      Reply

  14. Jo

    This is my best comfort food. What a great way to use the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. I love to try this soon.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      These enchiladas are so darn good…great with leftover chicken too!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.