This easy Turkey Enchilada Casserole is the answer to busy weeknight dinners! Just layer tortillas with turkey, beans & cheese and pop it in the oven. With just 15 minutes of prep, you'll have dinner on the table in under an hour.
Enchilada casserole is great for using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey or swap it out for rotisserie chicken, ground turkey, or ground chicken and make it all year.
Table of Contents
- Easy Mexican Recipes
- Why You'll Love This Turkey Enchilada Casserole Recipe
- Ingredients for Enchilada Casserole
- Ingredient Notes
- How to Make Turkey Enchilada Casserole
- Recipe Variations
- What to Serve with Enchilada Casserole
- Make Ahead Enchilada Casserole
- How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
- More Mexican, Tex Mex, and Southwestern Recipes
Easy Mexican Recipes
I love quick and easy dinners that use simple, easy-to-find ingredients and come out tasting delicious and anything but ordinary. Enter this enchilada casserole recipe inspired by all the leftover turkey that was sitting in my house after the big day.
And what's better than dishes made with leftovers that taste nothing like leftovers? Recipes like Crescent Roll Taco Ring, Mexican Chili, and Air Fryer Quesadillas are prime examples. As you can see, I seem to gravitate toward Mexican-flavored dinners, so this turkey enchilada casserole seemed like a no-brainer.
Don't make the mistake of thinking this cheesy enchilada casserole is only for after Thanksgiving. You can substitute rotisserie chicken, ground turkey, or chicken for the cooked turkey and have it any time of year. Why limit the deliciousness?!
Why You'll Love This Turkey Enchilada Casserole Recipe
You'll love this recipe because it's surprisingly quick and easy to throw together. There is no filling and rolling the tortillas. Just simply layering ingredients in a big casserole, kind of like fixing a lasagna, that goes together quickly and has little clean-up.
The only hard part is waiting for it to finish cooking when you smell all those warm and inviting aromas emanating out of your kitchen.
Ingredients for Enchilada Casserole
- Turkey - leftover holiday turkey, rotisserie chicken, ground turkey or chicken can be used
- Vegetable Oil
- Canned Chopped Green Chiles
- Canned Black Beans
- Red Enchilada Sauce - Store-bought or homemade enchilada sauce
- Tortillas - 10" flour tortillas work best but corn tortillas can also be used
- Shredded Cheese - cheddar, jalapeno jack, and 4-cheese Mexican blend are all good choices
Corn or flour tortillas? You can use either to make this casserole. Here are some notes on each:
- Corn Tortillas - Authentic Mexican enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas. Additionally, they are great for gluten-free enchilada casseroles too.
- Flour Tortillas - Many people enjoy flour tortillas over corn ones. This casserole works great with either one.
What cheese is best for enchiladas? There are several types of cheese you can use for making enchiladas and this casserole.
Authentic enchiladas are made with cotija cheese. Other choices are shredded Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or a combination of the cheeses.
How to Make Turkey Enchilada Casserole
to prepare turkey filling
- In a medium skillet, heat oil and add onion, green chiles, and spices.
- Saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Place in a large bowl and add chopped or shredded turkey.
- Pour 1 ½ cups of enchilada sauce over the turkey mixture and stir. Set aside.
to assemble enchilada casserole
- Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with a nonstick spray.
- Begin by layering flour tortillas that have been halved until they cover the entire bottom.
- Take ⅓ of the turkey mixture and add over tortillas.
- Scatter ⅓ of the black beans over the turkey.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the beans. Repeat with 2 more layers of all ingredients.
- Finish by pouring the remaining enchilada sauce over the entire turkey enchilada casserole.
finishing enchilada casserole
- Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, uncover, and sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
Just look at that beautifully browned and baked casserole. Before serving, it is best to let it rest for 5-10 minutes as it will hold together better when lifting out. Enjoy!
Leftover turkey can easily be substituted with ground turkey or other ground meat including beef, chicken, Mexican chorizo, and pork. To do so, just cook the meat along with the onion until it is cooked through.
Additionally, you can also make this into leftover turkey enchilada casserole using your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. And they'll never guess it's leftovers!
Make this casserole into a green enchilada casserole by substituting green chile enchilada sauce for the red enchilada sauce.
What to Serve with Enchilada Casserole
Are you wondering what goes with enchilada casserole? There are many sides and toppings you can serve with it. Here are some good ones:
- Chopped Lettuce
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Chopped or Sliced Avocado
- Corn - serve it separately or add it directly into the casserole
- Refried Beans
- Mexican Rice, Spanish Rice, or Spanish Quinoa
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro
- Hot Sauce
- Simple Green Salad
Make Ahead Enchilada Casserole
You can make this casserole a day in advance. Simply prepare it as instructed except don't bake it. Wrap the casserole in foil and keep it in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to cook, you generally need an extra 10 minutes to the baking time because it is cold from being in the fridge.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
Store: Cover the casserole dish with foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze Unbaked: Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Freeze Baked: Make sure the casserole is cooled to room temperature. Transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe container or slice the casserole into individual servings and place them in separate freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Frozen enchilada casserole can be cooked or reheated straight from the freezer. However, be sure to use a metal dish or disposable casserole dish because a glass dish will shatter if transferred directly from the freezer to the oven. When you are ready to cook or reheat, bake it covered at 350°F until it is heated through.
If you prefer thawing it, you'll need to thaw it in the fridge overnight.
To Reheat Baked: Bake it in an oven-safe dish covered in foil at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. Additionally, you can also microwave it in 1-minute increments until heated through. When microwaving, cover the dish with parchment or wax paper because it will splatter.
More Mexican, Tex Mex, and Southwestern Recipes
- Air Fryer Quesadillas with ground beef, refried beans, and cheese.
- Mexican Pork Stew is easy to make with leftover pork tenderloin.
- Pork Enchiladas with green sauce.
- Taco Stacks with ground beef, guacamole, and cheese.
Find lots of easy and delicious recipes for Mexican food on 2CM!
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Turkey Enchilada Casserole
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 ½ lbs. turkey (rotisserie chicken, shredded or ground turkey or chicken can also be used)
- ½ large onion chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 teaspoon dried oregano)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 4 oz chopped green chiles drained
- 15.5- oz black beans drained & rinsed
- 28 oz enchilada sauce
- 8-10 10" flour tortillas cut in half (corn tortillas can also be used but you will need a few more)
- 3 ¾ cups cheese (a combination of cheddar and jalapeno jack cheese or 4-cheese Mexican blend can be used)
- Garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, chopped green onions, chopped lettuce & tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with a non-stick spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook onion, spices, and green chiles together until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Note: If using ground turkey, add with the onion mixture and cook until turkey iw well done.
- Place cooked onions and cut-up or shredded turkey in a large bowl. Add 1-½ cups of enchilada sauce and stir well. Set aside.
- Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce in bottom of prepared baking dish (just barely enough to cover). Lay 4 or 5 half-tortillas in bottom. Overlap them so the bottom is completely covered.
- Continue layering with ⅓ of turkey mixture, ⅓ of black beans, 1 cup cheese. Repeat with layers 2 more times ending with cheese.
- Pour remaining enchilada sauce over all. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes then remove from oven, uncover, sprinkle remaining ¾ cup cheese on top, and bake for another 10 minutes. If you like your cheese browned, place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with chopped lettuce & tomato and avocado slices.
This post has been revised with new photos, step-by-step directions, and more useful information. It was first published on February 14, 2016.