Ground Turkey Enchiladas
This ground turkey enchiladas recipe is a delicious and healthy meal that’s easy to make and perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or as a make ahead meal. It’s a time saving main course that uses just a handful of ingredients and is sure to be a new family favorite!
5 star review
“Sometimes enchiladas seem daunting, but these came together so quickly! Now I can eat enchiladas more often.”– Lauren
About Ground Turkey Enchiladas
I love a really hearty meal that comes together quickly, and the whole family will love, and this ground turkey enchilada casserole is just that!
Enchiladas are a great make-ahead meal and time saver if you want to do batch cooking, which is why I love creating recipes like these (hello easy chicken enchilada, black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, and chicken enchilada skillet!).
To mix things up, this version of enchiladas features ground turkey, which is a super quick and easy protein to cook up – if you want a 30-minute meal featuring ground turkey, try this turkey taco skillet!
I also love that these healthy enchiladas are packed with lots of protein and fiber, so they’re super filling, but not heavy.
Using flavorful homemade enchilada sauce (or store bought), canned black beans, ground turkey, a few spices, and cheese, this recipe is simple but does not sacrifice on flavor.
And the best thing is you can totally switch things up with different ground meat, your favorite cheeses, or the beans or tortillas you have on hand.
However you make this recipe, don’t forget about all the toppings (I share some of my favorite easy topping ideas later in this post!)!
Visual Guide: How to Make Ground Turkey Enchiladas
This easy ground turkey enchiladas casserole works best with flour tortillas since the ground turkey is drier and flour tortillas offer the best texture.
However, I also tested this recipe with 50/50 flour and corn tortillas, as well as corn tortillas with success.
If using warmed flour tortillas, no need to dip tortillas in enchilada sauce first, however, if using corn tortillas you may need to dip them to keep them from tearing.
You can customize this recipe by using different types of meat or vegetables.
You can replace the ground turkey with ground beef, and if you have shredded chicken, I recommend this easy chicken enchilada recipe that uses shredded chicken.
If you want to bulk up this recipe even more, and up the veggies, feel free to add peppers, corn, or zucchini for extra flavor and texture.
Time Saving Tips & Tricks
While the ingredient list may seem longer than usual, this recipe actually comes together quickly, and there are some tricks that can make it even easier!
Just make sure the enchilada sauce is not too spicy if your family isn’t a fan of spice.
For the cheese, I do prefer shredding my own cheese, but pre-shredded cheese is just fine and will save you time and effort.
And one of my favorite time-saving hacks is to make one full recipe and divide it into two smaller pans.
Bake one and freeze the other for a quick homemade meal for busy nights.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Olive oil: For sautéing, I love the light, buttery flavor of the olive oil in this recipe. But you can also use any other neutral flavored cooking oil in its place like avocado, vegetable or canola oil.
Ground turkey: I used 93% lean ground turkey, you can use an even leaner ground turkey if you like but it will be drier, less tender and less flavorful. Ground chicken or ground beef would also work great in this recipe.
Onion: White onion, yellow onion, or red onion can be used.
Cumin: Together with the garlic powder and chili powder, the earthy flavor of the cumin creates the delicious flavor for these enchiladas.
Garlic powder: I like the ease of using granulated garlic powder in this recipe, but if you prefer fresh minced garlic you can substitute 2 minced garlic cloves in its place.
Chili powder: If you don’t like spicy food, use mild chili powder. And if you like spice use a hot chili powder and top with your favorite hot sauce.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Black beans: Pinto beans or kidney beans can be used instead of black beans.
Enchilada sauce: I used 1 batch of my easy homemade red enchilada sauce but you could also use a 15-ounce can of store bought enchilada sauce. Choose one that’s gluten-free if that’s important to you.
Shredded Mexican cheese blend: This is typically a blend of four cheeses – including Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses. So it’s a great shortcut ingredient. You could also use just all of one type of cheese that you like, for instance all Monterey Jack cheese.
Flour tortillas: I prefer the flavor and texture of flour tortillas in this recipe, but corn tortillas will also work. Make sure to dip corn tortillas in the enchilada sauce before rolling to prevent cracking.
Make It Gluten & Dairy Free
For a gluten free version, use corn tortillas or gluten free tortillas, and if using a store-bought enchilada sauce, make sure it’s gluten free. For a dairy free version, use your favorite dairy free cheddar cheese.
What to Serve with Turkey Enchiladas
These enchiladas can be served as a standalone meal with a side of slow cooker refried beans, creamy cabbage slaw, pinto beans and rice, or a simple green salad topped with chipotle honey vinaigrette.
How to Store & Freeze
This recipe can be made ahead and frozen!
You can freeze it unbaked or baked by simply covering it with plastic wrap and placing in the freezer.
To cook from frozen, simply add an additional 15 minutes to the cooking time.
Otherwise, leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container – making this a great dinner to prep ahead for an easy weeknight meal!
This Recipe Is…
Follow my step-by-step video:
Ground Turkey Enchiladas
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 2 cups mild red enchilada sauce
- 10 (8-inch) small flour tortillas, warmed
Optional Serving Suggestions
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Queso fresco
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook on medium low until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt as well as the cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Break the turkey apart into small pieces and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Add the beans and 1 cup enchilada sauce, stirring to combine. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly, then add ¾ cup cheese, stirring to combine.
- Spread ¼ cup enchilada sauce over the bottom of a large, 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Add a heaping ⅓ cup of the turkey-bean mixture to a warmed tortilla. Roll and place in the prepared casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and turkey-bean mixture.
- Pour over the remaining ¾ cup enchilada sauce, spreading into an even layer. Sprinkle over the remaining ¾ cup cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble along the sides. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
- Serve with toppings of your choice.