Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Enchiladas

Servings: 12

Some might even say these turkey enchiladas are better than Thanksgiving dinner!

When we asked staff to share their favorite way to enjoy leftover Thanksgiving turkey, several mentioned enchiladas. This particular recipe was shared by one of our staff members, whose mom makes them every single year, and as the tradition goes, the whole family clamors to be the first one to grab their serving.


1 dozen corn tortillas

2 pounds leftover turkey, torn into pieces

3 pounds shredded cheese (monterey jack, cheddar and/or pepper jack)

2 white onions, diced

2 (6 oz) cans sliced black olives

1 (28 oz) can green enchilada sauce, or homemade

Cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or other oil with mellow flavor)

Cotija, crema, cilantro, and avocado for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare mis en place (open tortillas, grate cheese, chop onion, open olives) and line up each of the ingredients in an assembly line, with a large dinner plate ready. 

Pour a little enchilada sauce into a 9X13 baking pan—just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  

You will need two frying pans large enough for your tortilla to lay flat. In one pan, heat oil (1/2 inch deep in the pan) on low heat. Pour 1/2 inch of enchilada sauce into the other pan and cook on low heat until warm.

Using tongs, submerge one tortilla in the pan of oil for just a few seconds, turning once and cooking for an equal amount on the other side.  Remove the tortilla, holding it over the pan to let excess oil drip off.

Dip the tortilla in the warm enchilada sauce, flip once, and hold over the pan to allow excess sauce to drip off.

Put the coated tortilla on the large dinner plate. Add a layer of turkey, sprinkle a light layer of chopped onions, sprinkle a few olives, then top with a layer of cheese (meat and cheese are the main ingredients here). Roll the tortilla around the filling and place in the baking dish so that the overlapping tortilla is on bottom. 

Repeat, lining up enchiladas in rows. If there is room at the end or edges of the pan, fill with enchiladas turned perpendicular to the others.

Pour additional enchilada sauce over the rolled up enchiladas, using enough to put a covering all over them, but not so much that they are sitting in soup.

Sprinkle a substantial layer of cheese over the top of everything.

Bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes, or until enchiladas are bubbling in the middle, and the cheese is completely melted.

Let cool slightly before serving, top with your favorite garnishes and serve alongside refried black beans and rice for a full meal.

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