Ground Turkey Enchiladas – Healthy Seasonal Recipes


This healthy Ground Turkey Enchilada recipe is a quick and easy variation on a Mexican classic! This hearty, flavorful dish has bold authentic flavors but is ready from start to finish in just a little over an hour! 

overhead shot of healthy cheesy turkey enchiladas in white casserole dish.

Why We Love This Recipe For Ground Turkey Enchiladas

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that we love enchiladas. And while we can’t put our finger on where this love affair began, we know we have always loved them. 

Maybe it began during childhood since my mom’s side of the family is from West Texas. And this meant that when Grandma Ginger was around, she would whip up a spread of Tex Mex recipes full of tacosguacamole, and enchiladas

And this healthy ground turkey enchilada dish is the perfect recipe to add to your arsenal of Mexican Food recipes. It’s a cinch to whip up and is bursting with bold, authentic flavors that come together in just over an hour. 

Creamy lean ground turkey is wrapped in soft corn tortillas and enveloped in a rich, spicy red enchilada sauce, and then baked until golden-brown and bubbling. Serve with refried beans and Mexican coleslaw for a simple, delicious, and comforting Mexican-inspired dinner that is perfect for busy weeknights when the family is craving a hearty and filling meal.    

Key Ingredients for These Turkey Enchiladas

the ingredients on a white table with text overlay

Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are traditional for enchiladas and have the best texture and taste. Look for 5 ½ to 6-inch corn tortillas with flour blended into them. These are easier to roll, and do not split or crack. La Tortilla Factory or Maria and Ricardo’s are two popular brands that make them.

I do not recommend flour tortillas because they tend to get gummy once they are baked with the sauce.

Ground Turkey

Use your favorite brand of lean (minimum 90%) ground turkey. If you’d prefer to use ground chicken or beef, feel free to swap in these meats instead.

Onion

We recommend using a diced sweet onion but feel free to use white.

Enchilada Sauce

Feel free to make your own Enchilada Sauce from scratch, or to save time, use your favorite store-bought brand. Our favorite store-bought brand is Hatch Red Mild Enchilada Sauce, or medium if your family likes spice if you can find it. We find that it has the best flavor, is organic, and is made with the cleanest ingredients. 

Green Chiles

Canned green chiles are an inexpensive and easy way to add bold flavor to the turkey mixture. If you’d prefer to add more heat to this dish, feel free to substitute in canned jalapeños; be sure to drain and chop before adding to the mixture.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt adds a protein-packed creamy texture to the turkey mixture. Feel free to use regular or low-fat plain Greek yogurt.

Mexican Cheese Blend

To save time, feel free to use a pre-shredded Mexican cheese blend. Or if you’d prefer fresh as possible, feel free to shred blocks of cheddar and Monterey Jack, and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix over the freshly shredded cheese.

Additional Ingredients

  • Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin

Step By Step Instructions To Make Ground Turkey Enchiladas

Browning and seasoning the turkey.

Step 1: Cook Turkey and Onions

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add in onion and turkey, and cook until turkey is cooked through, and onion is soft and brown.

Step 2: Season Turkey

Sprinkle turkey with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cook until spices are fragrant. Add in tomato paste and stir until the spices and tomato evenly coat the turkey. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Stir in Chiles and Yogurt

To the turkey mixture, stir in green chiles and Greek yogurt. Set aside.

Step 4: Prepare Baking Dish and Warm Tortillas

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and microwave until warm and flexible. 

Step 5: Prepare Casserole Dish

Spread enchilada sauce in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.

Step 6: Fill Tortillas

Fill warmed tortillas with turkey mixture and a heaping tablespoon of cheese. Roll and set into casserole dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled and in the casserole dish.

Step 7: Bake Enchiladas

Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake until hot and cheese is melted and bubbling.

Step 8: Garnish

Serve and garnish with cilantro, tomato, and red onion if desired.

Ground turkey enchiladas in white casserole dish.

FAQs and Expert Tips

How to store leftover enchiladas

Store any leftover ground turkey enchiladas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can these turkey enchiladas be frozen?

These healthy turkey enchiladas are a great freezer-friendly dish! To freeze, assemble in the baking dish, leaving off the sauce and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 2 months.

Also, feel free to freeze the sauce in a separate container. When ready to use, thaw the day before baking.

When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, discard plastic wrap, pour on the sauce. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F when inserted into the center of the enchiladas, about 1 hour. Remove foil and top with cheese and bake until melted and bubbling hot, about 12 minutes longer.

What kind of tortillas are best for enchiladas?

The best tortillas to use to make enchiladas are corn and wheat flour blend. This corn-wheat flour blend allows the tortillas to be soft enough to roll without cooking in oil and didn’t have an unpleasant slimy texture when baked with sauce and filling.

Our personal favorite is the GMO-free corn and flour blend tortillas by La Tortilla Factory or Maria and Ricardo’s; however, feel free to use 100% corn tortillas to create a gluten-free recipe but be aware corn tortillas are very delicate and can split or fall apart as they bake.

Can the tortillas be warmed in the oven?

Yes, the tortillas can be warmed in the oven. Simply wrap a stack in foil and place it in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Why are my enchiladas soggy?

Enchiladas will become soggy if made ahead, rolled, and placed in the sauce as they will absorb too much of the liquid, which will cause them to fall apart and become soggy. In our experience, it is best to roll and place in a prepared casserole dish right before baking. Flour tortillas also make soggy enchiladas because they absorb the sauce. We also recommend that the dish be baked without a foil cover so that the edges of the tortillas become crispy.

Additional Recipes To Try

  1. Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole is a snap to make with a gluten-free version as well, so delicious, kid-friendly, and ready in just 40 minutes!
  2. This Healthy Zucchini Casserole is an easy gluten-free, low-carb recipe that’s a perfect potluck or summer entertaining recipe and that requires only 15 minutes of hands-on prep!
  3. Mexican Casserole is a hearty, satisfying comfort food dish that’s a great make-ahead dinner for those busy nights!
  4. These Chicken Taco Sloppy Joes are a healthy, family-pleasing dinner ready in under 30 minutes! This simple recipe takes the classic flavors of a spicy southwest ground chicken taco and transforms it into a messy-saucy comfort food sandwich.
  5. Healthy Turkey Chili with Pinto Beans is a homemade dish with all the flavors of a classic chili but has less saturated fat. Plus, this hearty, cozy, wintertime meal can be on the table in just 40 minutes.
  6. This festive Taco Tuesday, family-friendly weeknight dinner is ready in just 20 minutes! Easy Ground Chicken Tacos with poblano peppers are a tasty, simple, kid-friendly meal that the whole family will love!
  7. Slow Cooker Bolognese is a perfect freezer-friendly meal that’s a healthier version of the classic. Made with lean ground turkey this dish doesn’t sacrifice any of that amazing cooked-all-day Bolognese flavor!
  8. Turkey Meatloaf is a lean and healthy recipe that’s nutritious, juicy, and topped with a flavorful sweet, and tangy glaze. Plus, any leftovers make delicious meatloaf sandwiches that the whole family will love!
Up close overhead shot of baked easy ground turkey enchiladas.

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Description

Our healthy Ground Turkey Enchiladas are a cinch to put together and taste amazing! The creamy ground turkey filling is wrapped up in soft corn tortillas and enveloped in rich spicy red enchilada sauce. The best part is, these easy cheesy enchiladas have authentic taste in only 45 minutes making them weeknight fast!



Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 7-ounce can diced green chiles or jalapenos
  • ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 10 corn tortillas, preferably corn and flour blend* see note
  • 1 8-ounce bag shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can (or jar) enchilada sauce
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, tomato and red onion for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and turkey and cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, stirring often, until the turkey is cooked through, and the onions are soft and brown, 6 to 10 minutes. 
  2. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Cook, stirring until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring until the spices and tomato evenly coat the turkey. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir green chiles and Greek yogurt into the turkey mixture. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and microwave until warm and flexible, about two bursts of 25 seconds each. 
  5. Spread ½ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Set aside 1 cup (4 ounces) of cheese for the top of the casserole.
  6. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup turkey mixture and 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese, roll and then set in the casserole dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling, cheese and tortillas. 
  7. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Top with the reserved 1 cup of cheese and bake until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.
  8. Serve enchiladas topped with cilantro, tomato and red onion if desired.

Notes

Ingredient Note: Look for corn tortillas that have flour blended into them for the best texture and taste. They are easier to roll and do not split like corn tortillas and they don’t get slimy like flour tortillas. La Tortilla Factory and Maria and Ricardo’s are two popular brands who make them.

Tip: If you cannot get all 10 of the enchiladas into the casserole dish side by side, you can lay two of them lengthwise on the side of the casserole dish.

Make AheadTo make these in advance, I suggest making the filling only, but do not roll the enchiladas because the tortillas will start to break down and split open. 

However, you can freeze them! Assemble them but do not add the sauce or cheese on top. (You can freeze the sauce in a separate container and thaw the sauce a day before baking.) Cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze up to 2 months. To bake, remove the frozen enchiladas from the freezer. Discard plastic wrap and pour on the sauce. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F until an instant read thermometer registers 150°F when inserted into the center of the enchiladas, about 1 hour. Remove foil and top with cheese and bake until melted and bubbling hot, about 12 minutes longer.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 enchiladas
  • Calories: 510
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 36 g

About the Author

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple Quirk Books was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.





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