Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cooking: Enchiladas--A good use of leftover turkey

I know, I know--Thanksgiving is but a distant memory and you're on to bigger and better things by now. Unfortunately, between end-of-production-season frenzy at the Noodle Factory and Blogger being wonky on me, I've fallen a bit behind on my A-game here. Regardless, I'm sure there are some of you who still have a few morsels of dried-out turkey lurking in some forgotten container at the back of your fridge. You've had it on sandwiches. You've made soups. You've re-heated it until it can't be re-heated no more, no more. And now, not only are you sick of it, but your good Midwestern waste-not-want-not roots just won't let you throw away those last few mouthfuls that aren't even enough meat for a whole sandwich. Well, here is one last turkey left-overs resurrection for you to enjoy. If you don't have as much meat left as the recipe recommends, just throw in some veggies to fill it out. (Notes on completely vegetarian versions are at the end of the blog.)

Turkey Enchiladas

1 c. (4 oz) turkey or chicken breast--shredded or chopped into small chunks
1 jar salsa (~12 oz or so)

1 c. cheese--shredded
1 can black beans--drained and rinsed
1/2 c. non-fat plain yogurt
1 tsp chili powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin (to taste)
1 tsp salt (to taste)
8 6"-flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread a thin layer of the salsa on the bottom of a 10x6 inch baking dish.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the turkey, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the yogurt, the beans, and the spices. Taste a bit of the mixture to make sure you like the spices; add more spices if it doesn't have enough taste for you, but remember that you'll be eating this with salsa. Lay the tortillas out on a clean counter top and divide the turkey filling equally between each. You want the mound of filling to be toward the bottom third of each tortilla in a roughly rectangular shape.

Begin rolling up the tortillas. Fold the bottom (smaller) flap over the filling. Tuck in the sides. Roll the tortilla away from you until the filling is completely wrapped. ( has a great demo on the best way to roll up a tortilla for a burrito-type wrap HERE--it's toward the middle of the article.) Lay the enchilada seam-side down in your baking dish. Repeat for the rest of your enchiladas.

Pour the remaining salsa over the enchiladas, and then top with your remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake about 20 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is completely melty and a little crispy-looking. Enjoy!


  • I found that one jar of salsa wasn't quite enough. I recommend using one whole jar of a chunky salsa (use some in the filling and some on the top), and then about half of a jar of a thinner, sauce-like salsa to make sure you get the moisture to really drench the enchiladas. Alternatively, you could use one jar of salsa and a bit of crushed or pureed tomato.
  • Any kind of salsa will do here, and whatever salsa you pick can really change the entire flavor of the dish. I used a roasted garlic salsa from Trader Joe's that was really fabulous.
  • If you're a vegetarian or simply don't have any leftover turkey or chicken on hand, you can replace the meat with other veggies. Try any or all of the following: diced onions, tofu crumbles, diced quorn, corn or hominy, zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers. Even cubed and cooked squash would make a good, sweeter version!
  • This is a pretty gosh darn healthy meal. If you're looking to make this more waist friendly, you can use a lot of low-fat ingredients and the end result doesn't taste at all low-fat. It really makes a difference to get a good quality salsa that you like and a good reduced-fat cheese like Sargento. I used 96% fat-free tortillas, nonfat yogurt, and a reduced-fat Sargento Mexican cheese mix. If you follow the Weight Watcher's program, the filling is about 2 points per enchilada and the tortillas I used were 1 point each--using my same ingredients, each enchilada comes out to about 3 points each. For dinner, 1 and 1/2 enchiladas really filled me up. Yay, cheese!

1 comment:

Angelina said...

I'm so hungry I want the vegetarian version of this right now. What are the chances, do you think, that I'll jet home on my bike and find that Philip has made me some?