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Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Chipotle Sauce

Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Chipotle Sauce

These Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Chipotle Sauce are a great way to put leftover Thanksgiving turkey to good use, but they’re just as good any time of the year. The easy-to-make enchiladas have a turkey filling and are covered with a homemade sauce that uses pumpkin puree and chipotle peppers for a spicy-sweet finish.

When preparing the enchiladas, I start with the sauce. I use canned pumpkin puree, tomato paste, a little garlic and minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I like my enchiladas to be on the spicy side, so I tend to add a little extra pepper to my sauce when I’m making it. Feel free to add a little more (or a little less) as needed when you’re making your sauce. Once the sauce is prepared, fill up slightly warmed corn tortillas with your shredded turkey and cover with the sauce before baking. I typically add a very small handful of cheese to my filling, but I put most of it on top of the dish so that it makes a nice golden topping.

I bake this dish as a casserole, placing my filled corn tortillas in a large baking dish and covering them with sauce. It is an easy way to prepare them, but I find that it also allows me to get an extra few servings out of the dish, which is always a plus if you either have a big crowd to serve or simply like leftovers. I primarily use mozzarella cheese, and I also add some fresh cohita cheese (there are actually many brands of slightly salty fresh Mexican cheeses that you can use in place of the cohita, in case you can’t find it) because it lends a nice saltiness to the mozzarella layer.

If you don’t have leftover turkey on hand, know that this recipe works very well with roasted chicken. It is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner if you’re starting with a roast chicken from the supermarket, too.

Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Chipotle Sauce
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 8-oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock/broth
4 cups shredded turkey meat
4 green onions, diced
8-10 corn tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup cohita cheese, or other fresh Mexican cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, tomato paste, chipotle, garlic, cumin and chicken stock. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
In a medium bowl, combine turkey and green onions. Add 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Wrap tortillas in a clean, damp dishtowel and microwave for 40 seconds, or until warm (you can also steam them).
Spread about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Working with one tortilla at a time, roll a scant 1/2 cup of turkey mixture up in each, then place the tortillas seam-side down in the baking dish. You should be able to fit 8-10 tortillas in the dish, depending on how much filling you put in each one and how large your tortillas are. Cover tortillas with all remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the sauce. Crumble cohita cheese and sprinkle evenly over mozzarella.
Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.
Serve immediately.

Serves 8-10

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  • Chris
    November 25, 2011

    Looks like lasagna to me.

  • Easy Peasy Foods
    November 26, 2011

    Thanks for the awesome recipe. I still have some bird leftover. I will definitely have to try out this recipe.

  • Pattypro
    November 26, 2011


  • CopyKat
    November 27, 2011

    You had me at Chipotle. I never thought about coming chipotle and pumpkin together. I am totally loving this one. I can’t wait to try this one out.

  • Kathleen
    November 28, 2011

    Yum! I made turkey enchiladas too! But I topped with gravy and melted cheese (and avocado)… I added pickled jalapenos to my filling for a kick. I LOVE chipotle sauce though — I’ll have to try your spin.

  • Nicole
    December 8, 2011

    Chris – I can see that! That is probably because I made this in a casserole, for easier serving, rather than putting whole enchiladas on a plate, which is a more common presentation.

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