These Cranberry-Turkey Enchiladas are the absolute best use of Thanksgiving leftovers with a crazy delicious Mexican twist!
You can also easily swap out the turkey with chicken and use canned cranberry sauce to make these year round for an easy and tasty weeknight future dinner.
Leftover Thanksgiving Cranberry Turkey Enchilada Recipe
I simply cannot say enough about these cranberry turkey enchiladas. They’re truly one of my favorite recipes I look forward to every Thanksgiving – or the day after, rather, using up holiday leftovers in the best possible way.
These enchiladas are stuffed with cooked turkey, a mixture of cranberry and enchilada sauce, beans, cheese, and Mexican spices. Every time I mention the list of ingredients to someone, they look at me with much skepticism (much like the reaction I get when I talk about my fantastic Cranberry Chicken)…then they make it, and understand. It’s ridiculously good!
Why We Love These Enchiladas:
- Awesome use of Thanksgiving leftovers. You can use up some of that extra turkey meat and cranberry sauce in this casserole for dinner the next night.
- Turn that dry turkey into something moist. If your Thanksgiving turkey turns out dry (gasp), shred some up and put it in these enchiladas. It won’t taste dry at all!
- Pick your tortilla. They can be made with flour tortillas, whole wheat tortillas, or corn tortillas.
- The flavor is level 10. They taste like an absolute circus – sweet, spicy, tangy, and cheesy!
- Use chicken instead. Swap out the turkey for chicken and make it all year round.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this enchilada recipe.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Cranberry sauce – Our homemade cranberry sauce gets mixed with enchilada sauce for the best sweet, tangy, spicy flavor! Jellied or canned is fine, too – whatever you have leftover from your holiday dinner.
- Enchilada sauce – We use our homemade enchilada sauce for best flavor, but store bought is perfectly fine.
- Leftover cooked turkey – Shredded or chopped, whichever you prefer.
- Canned black beans – You’ll need a 1/2 cup, so not the entire can. Rinsed and drained. If you don’t like black beans, pinto or chickpeas are also good.
- Pepper Jack Cheese – We like some heat, but Monterey Jack can be used instead, if preferred.
- Scallions – For a subtle peppery onion flavor.
- Chopped fresh cilantro – If you hate cilantro, parsley is a ok substitute.
- Seasonings – Cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper season the enchiladas.
- Tortillas – We typically make these with flour tortillas, but corn is good, too. See note below.
- For serving – Tangy cool sour cream balances out all the flavors perfectly. We also like them garnished with diced scallions and/or chopped cilantro.
Flour or Corn Tortillas
How to Make Cranberry Turkey Enchiladas
Here’s a brief summary how to make these easy turkey enchiladas:
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Make the sauce. Whisk together the cranberry sauce and enchilada sauce. Pour some of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish.
- Make the filling. Combine the turkey, beans, scallions, cilantro, all the seasonings, half of the cheese, and 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce mixture.
- Warm the tortillas. Warm the tortillas briefly in the microwave so they’re pliable.
- Assemble the enchiladas. Spoon some of the filling on each tortilla; roll up and place seam-side down in the casserole dish. Cover with the remaining cranberry sauce and the remaining cheese.
- Bake. Cover with foil; bake at 375F for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer until the cheese is golden, melted and bubbly.
- Serve. Enjoy with a sprinkle more of scallions and/or chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
Tips for Success
- Use fresh tortillas. Whether you choose corn or flour, use the freshest, highest-quality ones. I highly recommend our homemade corn tortillas – they are a million times better than commercial brands you’ll get at the store. Another option is to find a corn/flour blend. Those are so good.
- If using store-bought corn tortillas. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave briefly before rolling so they’re pliable and don’t crack.
- If using flour tortillas. Microwave the tortillas slightly until they’re warm and pliable. Be mindful of the size if using flour tortillas, since they are often larger than corn tortillas.
- Use homemade enchilada sauce. We highly recommend making our homemade red enchilada sauce instead of canned. It comes together in minutes and has so much flavor.
Video: Cranberry Turkey Enchiladas
- Storing leftovers. Allow any leftovers to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze. Bake the enchiladas, leaving off any garnishes. Cool completely; tightly wrap the casserole dish in plastic wrap and also foil (or transfer enchiladas to an airtight freezer-safe container), then freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
- To reheat. Bake, covered with just foil, in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake until warmed through and bubbly, about 20 minutes more. You can also gently reheat portions in the microwave.
More Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes:
- Turkey Brie Grilled Cheese
- Thanksgiving Nachos
- Turkey Cranberry and Brie Pizza
- Leftover Turkey Salad
- Turkey Tetrazzini
- 1 & 1/2 cups homemade cranberry sauce (or 14 ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce)
- 1 & 1/4 cups enchilada sauce (or 10 ounce can)
- 2 & 1/2 cups shredded or chopped roasted turkey
- 1/2 cup canned black beans , rinsed and drained
- 3 scallions , diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese , divided
- 8 (8-inch) good quality flour tortillas
- sour cream , for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cranberry sauce and enchilada sauce. Pour 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish.
- In a large bowl, combine the turkey, beans, scallions, cilantro, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the cheese, and 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce mixture.
- Spoon some of the filling onto each tortilla; roll up and place seam-side down in the casserole dish. Cover with the remaining cranberry sauce and the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Cover with foil; bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer until the cheese is golden, melted and bubbly.
- Serve with a sprinkle more of scallions and/or chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.