Smoked Turkey Enchiladas with Cranberry Salsa

Leftover turkey.  I love it for the first couple of days, then…what to do with it?  This recipe for turkey enchiladas is my new favorite way to transform that leftover turkey into something that doesn’t seem like a leftover!

Our turkey happened to be smoked, but you could use any cooked turkey or chicken for these enchiladas.  The sauce is very spicy on its own, but it is tamed in combination with the sour cream and turkey filling, gooey cheese, and the tart cranberry relish.

I adapted the enchilada sauce recipe from Delicious Obsessions and the recipe for the cranberry salsa is from Savoring Every Bite.  We made this cranberry salsa on Thanksgiving, but we thought the taste was too “shocking” to meld well with the other dishes we prepared.  However it was just right for these spicy enchiladas! 

Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion, chopped (minus 1/2 cup for filling)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat,  cook onion in olive oil until softened.  Remove 1/2 cup of the onion and reserve for enchilada filling.

Add all of the additional ingredients, except for the vinegar.  Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Use an immersible handblender to puree ingredients if you would like a smooth sauce.  Add vinegar and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

Turkey Enchilada Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded, cooked turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups Queso Quesadilla, grated (or another Mexican melting cheese)
  • 1 cup sour cream (don’t you dare use the low fat stuff!)
  • 1/2 cup cooked onions (reserved from sauce recipe, above)
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10-12 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • olive oil
Rolling up the tortillas...

In a large bowl, mix the turkey with sour cream, onions, cilantro, and about half the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. (Use remaining cheese to top the enchiladas.)

In a heavy skillet, heat a layer of olive oil (up to 1/4 inch) over medium-high heat.  Heat tortillas, one at a time, in the olive oil for approximately 20 seconds on each side.  Place on paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Oil a baking dish large enough to hold all the enchiladas in a single layer (I used my lasagna dish).  Spread a layer of enchilada sauce in the dish.

Oops, forgot to take a photo before we ate most of it!

Add a scoop of the turkey-sour cream mixture to each tortilla (as much as it will hold) and roll it up.  Place in the baking dish, seam side down.  Spread more enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas – reserving some sauce for serving, if desired.  Top the tortillas with the remaining grated cheese.  Bake at 350 for around 30 minutes or until bubbling and hot.  Serve with cranberry salsa or slices of limes.

Bonus: Cat photo bomb!!! Hector the Inspector...

Very special music this go around- Mystery Girl from the great Roy Orbison. Released only a short time before his death, this is a moving and brilliant end to a career. Produced with Jeff Lynne, T Bone Burnett, Tom Petty and Mike Campbell, this is as good an album as he ever made. That incredible voice is in rare form throughout; he was gone too early.


7 thoughts on “Smoked Turkey Enchiladas with Cranberry Salsa

  1. Looks DEELISH!!!! (except I don’t have any leftover turkey…..)
    Did Hector make the “gaggie” face?


    1. Cook up some chicken and make it with that!

      As I told James, I was SO hoping that Hector would make his gagging face, since I’m still trying to get a photo of that and the camera was ready. He didn’t gag – just jumped back down and went on his way. He is pretty fond of turkey.

      XOX -N

  2. This truly looks delicious! since my turkey is gone, I will definitely use this with chicken…even your kitty seems to agree! Thanks for trying my salsa, it is quite tangy! Glad it fit well with this dish!

  3. This was the Bomb! I searched for “smoked turkey recipes” and you popped up, and since I also had made some cranberry salsa, it was meant to be. I made the full recipe of sauce and half the number of enchiladas (2 people) – and we ate 4 of the 6 enchiladas and will fight over the other 2 for lunch. I’ll use up the sauce soon with either chicken or ground beef if the turkey is all gone, and next time I’ll make a double recipe of the sauce and freeze what I don’t use. Thanks for inventing this awesome enchilada sauce. I’ve been trying different premade and homemade versions for years and now I my search has ended!

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