Thanksgiving is such a special time of year. It’s a time to pause during the craziness of life and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for and all the blessings God has given us. Many of us celebrate Thanksgiving with holiday traditions, whether going to a special family member’s house or hosting the big holiday ourselves.
No matter where we are we always have one thing in common, THE FOOD, and lots of it. I mean let’s face it, have you ever gone to a Thanksgiving dinner and thought “wow, there just isn’t going to be enough food for everyone”? It’s doubtful, right? We delight in casseroles, breads, side dishes, and desserts galore. You might even be brave enough to try that mysterious dish that everyone questions. Admit it. There is always one dish no one recognizes at every Thanksgiving feast. But the showcase for the big day is the turkey.
Once we have filled ourselves to the brim with the delicious bird, we wonder what to do with that leftover turkey. In my family, a few days after the big meal everyone has had enough of the delicious Thanksgiving feast and wants something different. But we don’t want to be wasteful. Jesus said in John 6:12 “And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftovers fragments so that nothing may be lost.’”
Jesus, himself, said not to be wasteful, but that doesn’t mean we must eat plain, dry turkey for weeks on end. Spice it up a bit! Who said those leftover fragments can’t be a hot, cheesy, bubbly, delicious pan of Turkey Enchiladas?! This is a tradition in my family. The Saturday after Thanksgiving we gather, again, and eat these yummy enchiladas together. This recipe can be made into a small or large batch depending on how much turkey you have left. Also, you can increase the heat by adding sautéed jalapenos. Try something new with those turkey leftovers this year!
If you are like me and like visuals, there are pictures at the bottom of the recipe!
Thanksgiving Turkey Enchiladas
Ingredients: Print Recipe Here
3 cups of shredded leftover Thanksgiving turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning, or ¼ c. homemade mixture
1 onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
16 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese (or your favorite)
1 package cream cheese, softened
16-32 corn or 8-16 flour tortillas (or both!)
7 oz. can of diced green chiles
2 large cans of green chile enchilada sauce
salt and pepper
1. In a large bowl place shredded leftover turkey, add salt, pepper, and one packet or ¼ cup of homemade taco seasoning. Mix well so the turkey is thoroughly coated.
2. Sauté onions and minced garlic over medium heat. When they are almost cooked, add green chiles and sauté a few minutes longer. Add them to the shredded turkey mixture.
3. In the bowl with the turkey, add cream cheese, half of the shredded cheese, about a half cup of enchilada sauce, a decent amount of salt and pepper to taste ( we don’t want bland enchiladas!). Mix well.
4. Spray two 9×13 pans with cooking spray. The number of enchiladas that fit in each pan depends on whether your family prefers corn or flour tortillas. Corn tortillas will make approximately 16 per pan and flour tortillas will make approximately 8 per pan. I usually make one pan of each because everyone has their favorite!
5. Now it’s time to roll those enchiladas. Place a full spoonful in each tortilla and roll them, placing them seam-side down in the pan.
6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the two pans of enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. (Sometimes I don’t need all of the sauce, so play it by ear. You don’t want enchilada soup!)
7. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until hot and bubbly and the cheese is starting to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, this will help them set. Serve with Easy Peasy Crockpot Refried Beans and rice or another favorite side dish.
*** Remember, depending on how much leftover turkey you have or if you don’t need as big of a batch this recipe can be halved. ***
Quick Mom Tip:
Get the most out of your turkey this year by making a healthy, delicious broth. Simply place your turkey bones, clean of the meat, in a large stockpot. Fill with enough water to cover the turkey carcass, add some roughly chopped onions, celery, and carrots, add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for several hours on low. During the last hour or so, remove the lid to help reduce the broth and get a rich concentrated flavor. Cool and strain. Freeze in freezer bags for future use!