I’m all about finding fun ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. In the past I have made Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese, with turkey, green apple, cranberry sauce, mustard, and gruyere, post-Thanksgiving biscuit sandwiches on sweet potato biscuits, and most recently, cranberry quick bread. These turkey enchiladas with butternut squash sauce might just be my favorite way of all to use up that turkey, cranberry sauce, and butternut squash (or sweet potatoes) that are surely lingering after the big day.
I have been dreaming up this idea for a long time, and am shocked it doesn’t exist on the internet yet (maybe it does, I’m just not digging deep enough). All of the turkey enchiladas I can find are basic enchilada recipes with the classic flavors just substituting turkey for chicken. This is great for the rest of the year, but I wanted these to be completely immersed in Thanksgiving flavors, while still resembling the tasty dish. To achieve this I added roasted butternut squash (though you could substitute your leftover sweet potatoes) to the cheesy sauce and topped each serving with cranberry sauce, which brings a great flavor to the mix. Avocados and salsa verde add the classic tastes you expect from Mexican food and provide a fun addition to the traditional Thanksgiving flavors.
The roasted butternut squash sauce is by far my favorite part of this dish. I could eat it by the spoonful. It bubbles in the corners of the dish and between each rolled enchilada, inviting you to serve yourself some more. Make sure to completely cover every inch of the tortillas with the delicious sauce so you can get some in every bite.
As I uploaded these photos, Will looked over my shoulder and said “oh, those were good.” Don’t miss out – make them on Black Friday with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Untraditional and with a small group? Make them for your actual Thanksgiving meal! Yup, I went there.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
½ cup roasted butternut squash, mashed, or mashed sweet potatoes
OR leave out Greek yogurt and use 1 cup roasted butternut squash
4-8 soft flour tortillas (I used 4 8-inch tortillas, but you can use smaller ones too)
2 cups cooked shredded turkey*
3 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 avocado, to top
*You can replace cooked shredded turkey with cooked shredded chicken if you prefer
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and mashed roasted butternut squash (or mashed sweet potatoes).
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is lightly browned and smells nutty. Slowly add half of the chicken stock and whisk until combined. Add the remaining chicken stock, green chiles, and cumin, and whisk until combined and the mixture starts to thicken.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook until it thickens slightly. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir the yogurt-squash mixture into the chicken stock mixture on the stove. Whisk until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in ½ – ¾ cups of the cheese until it melts completely. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Spoon a bit of the sauce into your prepared baking dish, just enough to coat the bottom.
Working with one tortilla at a time, lay the tortillas flat on your work surface and spoon about 1/3 cup of the shredded turkey into each tortilla. Top with cranberry sauce, cheese, and a dab of sauce, then roll up the tortilla tightly and place it in the prepared pan with the seam side down. Do this until the pan is full then pour your remaining sauce all over the tops of the enchiladas so every part of the tortilla is covered. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake the enchiladas for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and gooey and the sauce is golden. When you are ready to serve, top with avocado, and serve with additional cranberry sauce and salsa verde.
To make these enchiladas in advance, prepare everything as directed, but stop before baking. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days then bake as directed.
You can also freeze these enchiladas. Cover the unbaked baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and then with plastic wrap. Place the pan in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bake for 30-40 minutes. Cover the top with foil if the top is starts to get too browned.