With leftover holiday turkey, I whipped up the usual turkey soup along with this hearty, spicy not to mention EASY Turkey Enchilada Casserole. Perfect comfort food and a tasty winter meal! Terrific with leftover or rotisserie chicken, too!
And when I say “spicy, ” if the picky hubby eats it, and goes back for seconds, it’s definitely not too spicy. Just the right amount for the tender palates around here.
Chicken OR Turkey Enchilada Casserole
We were given a precooked turkey for the holidays this year. So I ditched my Christmas Eve menu and we dined on turkey and the fixings. But since I had a whole beef tenderloin in the fridge for Christmas, the turkey leftovers were set aside for later. I was in the mood for Tex-Mex, and instead of making a version of my chicken enchiladas from scratch, I used our turkey leftovers for a super easy turkey enchilada casserole! Never fear if you do not have plans for a turkey dinner soon, as the turkey is easily replaced with leftover chicken.
Tips for Making This Easy Turkey Enchilada Casserole
There is minimal prep work entailed when making this post holiday dish. It’s perfect for leftovers, whether turkey or chicken!
- Make sure to set aside 2 cups of shredded turkey after your holiday dinner to make this enchilada casserole. This would also be great with ground beef, just cook it along with the onions, garlic and bell peppers, and drain the grease.
- PRO-Tip: You don’t need to wait for your next turkey dinner to make this as leftover chicken (or even shredded rotisserie chicken) works well.
- Make sure you buy the best enchilada sauce you can find. Look for a Mexican brand which will be more flavorful than the mass produced American brands.
- I added red bell pepper to my version, but you can also add a small can of chopped green chiles, black beans, defrosted frozen corn or black olives to jazz this up even more!
- I used tortillas that were part white corn part wheat. Use whatever tortillas you like with your enchiladas, but look for those with 6-inch diameter.
- If serving to company, sprinkle with some fresh oregano, parsley, cilantro or some thinly sliced green onions before serving for a pop of color.
- 2 cups shredded leftover turkey (may use cooked shredded chicken as an alternative)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large can red enchilada sauce (I used three small 10 ounce cans good quality enchilada sauce)
- 12 small corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
In a large saute pan, cook turkey, onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until the vegetables are soft. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Cut tortillas in half.
Layer 1/4 of the tortillas on the bottom of the casserole, then 1/4 of the cheese, 1/3 of the turkey mixture, 1/4 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat these layers two more times, then finish off with the rest of the tortillas, sauce and cheese.
Preheat oven to 425°. Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, about 20 minutes.
May substitute chicken for turkey.
May add black beans, black olives, a small can of drained, chopped green chiles, and/or frozen corn kernels to the meat mixture if desired.
Recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine.