This healthy leftover turkey enchilada casserole recipe is so simple and an easy way to use up turkey leftovers with bold and spicy Mexican flavors.
I love Mexican food in all varieties. It has been a little challenging to eat Mexican since my bariatric surgery, but I am still able to find good things to eat. This lasagna-style casserole is one of those very good things.
When you are left with a glut of leftovers after a big holiday meal, you quickly get tired of repeating the big meal over and over and over again. At least, I get tired of it.
What we try to do in the week after the big meal is to come up with creative ways to use the turkey (or ham, as is the case at Christmas and Easter). That's where this Mexican casserole came from.
We love our homemade enchilada sauce recipe because it is spicy and full of rich flavors. Pair that recipe with the ease of an enchilada casserole (rather than the laborious process of rolling individual enchiladas) and some diced left over turkey, and you have this gloriously gooey and cheesy "lasagna" casserole.
While my family eats this dish the way it's presented in the recipe, I eat only the filling. When Joe is preparing the meal, he sets aside about 12 ounces of the turkey/sauce/veggies mixture for me, and I eat half of that per meal topped with half an ounce of cheddar cheese and half of an avocado. I feel great about my meal which is delicious, and I avoid the carbs that would fill my small stomach.
What you'll need to make leftover turkey enchilada casserole
You'll need standard kitchen equipment, including:
- Garlic press
- Large skillet
- Large spoon or spatula
- 9x13 baking dish
See printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for measurements.
- Olive oil - This is for sautéing the vegetables. You could use butter in place of olive oil if you prefer.
- A medium onion, chopped
- Diced green chiles, drained
- Fresh garlic, pressed
- Black olives, sliced
- Taco seasoning - Homemade is best, but you could also use half of a packet of commercial seasoning.
- Cooked turkey, chopped - This is the perfect way to use up leftover roast turkey. You could also use chopped roast chicken or even a rotisserie chicken that's been pulled and shredded. Or, some pulled pork or chopped roast pork. You could really use any meat at all.
- Enchilada sauce - Homemade is best, but you could also use 2 cans of prepared from the store.
- Greek yogurt or sour cream, plus extra for serving - I like Greek yogurt because it is lower in calories and fat than sour cream, but you could use sour cream too. Both will taste great.
- Medium tortillas - corn or flour as you prefer
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Limes for serving
How to Make Turkey Enchilada Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, green chiles, garlic, black olives, and taco seasoning. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add turkey and 2 cups of enchilada sauce to the skillet and stir gently until thoroughly mixed.
- Add Greek yogurt and simmer until the sauce begins the thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Spoon some of the reserved enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Arrange 4 tortillas in the bottom of the pan. They will overlap.
- Spoon ⅓ of the turkey mixture over the tortillas.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Repeat layers twice more.
- End the layers with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
- Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and serve with a wedge of fresh lime.
The Rest of our Thanksgiving Menu
We don't get creative with our Thanksgiving menu. We like routines. We like the comfort of the same old food.
- Roast Turkey
- Creamy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Vegetable & Cornbread Stuffing
- Old-Fashioned Chestnut Stuffing Recipe
- Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole
- Traditional Green Bean Casserole
- Fluffy Cranberry Fruit Salad with Pineapple
- Homemade Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie
- The Worlds' Best Pecan Pie
- Couldn't Be Easier Cherry Pie
- No Church Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
And for the leftovers, try one of these delights:
You can read more about my easy and traditional Thanksgiving menu.