Ground Turkey Enchiladas: a Mexican turkey casserole that's 100% comfort food without fuss or heft! Surprisingly easy to make and is perfect for a crowd, family dinners, or leftovers!
Table of contents
- These ground turkey enchiladas are:
- How to make this ground turkey enchiladas recipe:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Recipe variations:
- How to make this ground turkey enchiladas casserole recipe ahead of time:
- How to make gluten-free enchiladas:
- Serving suggestions:
- Storage and freezing directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More Mexican-inspired recipes:
Our little guy is here and I'm officially back from maternity leave! What a journey the last few months have been. It's amazing to see how much one little guy can turn your world upside down.
Even though my world has been inverted, we've mainly ridden the waves pretty well. A big part of that is due to having amazing support from Chris, my mom (who's been staying with us for the last few months), and my amazing friends and community.
One of the biggest adjustment areas has been finding the time to cook. And cooking and eating are so important when it comes to satiating my breastfeeding appetite!
Insert satisfying and comforting but still nutritious meals like this ground turkey enchiladas casserole recipe. Whether my mom puts this together while we're putting the little guy down for bed or I whip it up while he's in the baby wrap, it's a family-favorite recipe every time.
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
Though it may appear like this recipe has a lot of steps, none of them are too long and they are all pretty straightforward and easy to follow. Save yourself even more time by making double or triple batches of the enchilada sauce and freezing them before defrosting to assemble.
Otherwise, whisk together the sauce before cooking the turkey with minced onions and wrapping it all together with cheese in the enchiladas. Smother the enchiladas with the sauce before sprinkling with cheese and it's just a quick bake before dinner is served!
Whether you are nursing or not, it's the type of heartwarming and delicious dinner we can always get behind. Enjoy, folks!
These ground turkey enchiladas are:
- Easy to make ahead (see notes below)
If you are like me, you're always looking for new ways to use up ground turkey. It's healthy, high in protein, and quick to cook. All you'll need it that and a few other pantry staples:
Turkey enchiladas ingredients:
- Ground turkey - choose ground turkey that has at least 7% fat. This will contribute the best flavor to the enchiladas!
- Onion - minced finely to add a subtle sweet flavor to the enchilada filling. Choose white or yellow onion.
- Flour tortillas - 10-inch flour tortillas are my preferred, but soft and fresh corn tortillas that won't crack when folded can also work in this recipe.
- Mexican cheese blend - reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend can also work!
Red enchilada sauce ingredients:
- Chili powder - a big player in the enchilada sauce recipe. This spice blend has savory more than spicy notes but still contributes a bit of kick to the sauce. Feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder in the recipe to your tastes.
- Tomato paste - contributes dimension and depth to the enchilada sauce.
- Flour - all-purpose, whole wheat, or a gluten-free flour blend.
- Low-sodium chicken broth or stock - vegetable or turkey broth or stock can substitute as well!
- Cumin, onion powder, & garlic powder - bring earthy, sweet, and savory notes to the sauce.
- Dried oregano - use Mexican oregano if you can find it. If not, traditional (Mediterranean) oregano can work in its place.
- Salt - adds flavor and ties the sauce together.
How to make this ground turkey enchiladas recipe:
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Make the enchilada sauce:
Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano together until combined.
Step 2: Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the flour and spice mixture and cook, whisking frequently, or until fragrant and nutty.
Step 3: Whisk the tomato paste into the spice mixture and continue cooking over medium heat for 1 minute.
Step 4: Stir the broth into the tomato and spice mixture. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently, or until the clumps of tomato sauce are dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a heat-safe bowl.
Make the turkey enchiladas:
Step 1: Sauté minced onions in the cleaned-out non-stick saucepan until the onions are cooked through and translucent.
Step 2: Add the turkey to the onions and cook, crumbling the turkey as you stir, until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink.
Step 3: Stir ½ cup of the enchilada sauce into the ground turkey. Remove the pan from the heat.
Step 4: Roll up 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese and a scant ½ cup ground turkey in each of the tortillas. Place the rolled tortillas, seam side down, in an 8 x 13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking oil.
Step 5: Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining cheese.
Step 6: Bake the enchiladas uncovered until the cheese is melted and the enchilada sauce is bubbling. Serve hot with your favorite toppings!
- Whisk the enchilada sauce often while making it. This prevents the sauce from burning and ensures that the sauce is smooth and without any lumps.
- Don't use extra lean ground turkey. The dark meat in the 93% lean ground turkey contributes depth of flavor and a juicier texture to the meat, making the enchilada filling more flavorful and moist.
- Spray the baking dish with non-stick spray before adding the rolled-up enchiladas to keep the enchiladas from sticking to the pan when serving!
Keep your healthy turkey enchiladas healthy by baking the enchiladas immediately after spreading the enchilada sauce and cheese over the rolled tortillas. If you let them sit for long after spreading them with the sauce or store them unbaked with the sauce on top the enchiladas will likely get soggy.
Enchiladas can be made with either corn or flour tortillas, depending on your preference and the freshness of the corn tortillas. As a guide, you want fresh and bendable corn tortillas if you choose to use them. If the corn tortillas crack when you fold them, they will not hold the enchilada filling well.
No, you should not fry tortillas before making enchiladas. In general, you want tortillas that are soft and pliable when making this recipe. Frying them will make them crisp and stiff.
- Meat: substitute ground beef or ground chicken instead of turkey. Crumbled meat substitute or jackfruit also works!
- Cheeses: different cheeses can work on this recipe, too. Sharp cheddar cheese, Colby & Monterey jack cheese, or queso asadero can all work great in place of the Mexican shredded cheese blend.
- Heat: like a bit more spice in your enchilada sauce? Whisk some ancho chili pepper, cayenne pepper, or ground chipotle chili pepper into the red enchilada sauce seasonings.
How to make this ground turkey enchiladas casserole recipe ahead of time:
This recipe is a great one to make ahead of time! Here's how:
- Assemble the enchiladas without the sauce in the prepared baking dish.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. Separately sore the remaining enchilada sauce covered in the refrigerator.
- While the oven preheats, pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the enchiladas according to the recipe directions.
How to make gluten-free enchiladas:
To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour blend in the spice mixture and corn tortillas (instead of flour) and follow the recipe directions as listed.
This Mexican ground turkey recipe is a perfect recipe for a Sunday family dinner, a weeknight dinner, Cinco de Mayo, or even a dinner party with friends.
Serve the dish with sour cream, cilantro, green onions, and/or sliced black olives to garnish. Avocado slices and salsa can also be delicious on top!
Great side dishes to serve with this Mexican turkey recipe are Mexican rice, green salad, refried or smashed beans, or black beans.
Storage and freezing directions:
Leftover enchiladas keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
The red enchilada sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator until assembling the casserole. The sauce can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Non-stick skillet
- Heat-safe spatula
- 8 x 13-inch baking dish
More Mexican-inspired recipes:
- Southwest Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
- Creamy White Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Sweet Potato & Turkey Skillet
- Black Bean Breakfast Enchiladas
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Ground Turkey Enchiladas
Red enchilada sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, gluten-free, etc.)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (or more/less, to your preference)
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium onion, minced
- 1 lb ground turkey (preferably 93% lean)
- 8, 10-inch flour tortillas (white or whole wheat)
- 3 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- sour cream, cilantro, green onions, avocado, or sliced black olives (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 8 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano together until combined.
- Heat the first 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet until simmering. Whisk the flour and spice mixture into the hot skillet and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly, or until the mixture is fragrant.
- Whisk the tomato paste into the spice mixture and continue cooking over medium heat for 1 minute, whisking frequently.
- Whisk the broth into the tomato and spice mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce, whisking frequently, until the clumps of tomato sauce are dissolved and the sauce comes to a boil. Cook for 2-4 minutes, whisking occasionally, or until the sauce has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the sauce in a heat-safe bowl, and thoroughly wipe out the pan.
- In the clean skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-6 minutes, or until translucent.
- Add the turkey to the onions and cook for 4-6 minutes, crumbling as you cook, or until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Stir ½ cup of the enchilada sauce into the turkey mixture. Remove the turkey from the heat.
- Roll up 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese and a scant ½ cup ground turkey mixture in each of the 8 tortillas. Place the rolled tortillas, seam side down, in the baking dish.
- Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the enchiladas uncovered for 22-24 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the enchilada sauce is bubbling. Serve hot with cilantro, green onions, and/or sliced black olives.
1. Leftover enchiladas keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
2. The red enchilada sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator until assembling the casserole. The sauce can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
3. To make the enchilada casserole ahead of time: assemble the enchiladas (without the sauce) in the baking dish prepared with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. Refrigerate the enchilada sauce separately. Before baking, pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake according to the recipe directions.
Amount Per Serving Calories 565Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 107mgSodium 775mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 33g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
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