Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Turkey (without the skin) is among the healthier meats you can consume, and many of us have a lot of leftovers from Thanksgiving! I wanted to share a (somewhat) healthy recipe with you that combines wonderful on-hand ingredients to make the perfect blend of spicy and sweet!

Tonight, I made turkey & sweet potato enchiladas. Ok, so tortillas are not the healthiest addition to a meal.  Everything in moderation, right? But the rest of the ingredients are pretty good for you (did you know, for example, that sweet potatoes have a lot of important nutrients, including iron?), and I think this is a great use of ingredients that are likely already in your refrigerator after the big turkey day. I adapted this recipe from the ground turkey and yam tacos I made a few months ago (courtesy of, which I found by an online ingredient search. These Kristen-original-recipe enchiladas are super easy if you have leftovers, and even my husband, a self-proclaimed sweet potato hater, said these were delicious!

Makes 5 servings. 1 serving = 2 enchiladas.


  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 - 4 diced jalapeno peppers, depending on spice preference 
  • Optional: 4 oz diced canned green chilies (Note: I am not a big fan of spice, so I fearfully used one jalapeno when I made the original taco recipe last time. I was surprised at how mild it was. I actually wished I had used more. This time, I noticed we had a small can of green chili's in the cabinet, so I used 1 jalapeno plus the green chili's as an extra, and I would describe the result as medium spicy.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ~3/4 lb leftover cooked turkey white meat, shredded or broken into small pieces
  • ~3/4 lb leftover cooked sweet potato chunks (I made this delicious sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving this year and simply used what I still had left from that.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • ~2 cups canned red or green enchilada sauce (or use more if you prefer your enchiladas very wet - I used medium spicy green enchilada sauce, which I find to be on the milder side of "medium spicy" when cooked in small quantities.)
  • 10 flour or corn tortillas
  • 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: Top with salsa and low fat sour cream to serve.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a skillet on medium-high heat, saute the onion and jalapenos until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the already-cooked turkey pieces, already-cooked sweet potato chunks, chili powder, and salt to the skillet. Stir for another three to five minutes, until heated through.
  • Pour 1/2 the enchilada sauce into the skillet (~1 cup) and continue heating for two to three minutes, until hot throughout.
  • While the turkey and sweet potato mixture is heating, put all ten tortillas in a stack on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds, to soften slightly.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  • Spoon about 1/10 of the turkey/sweet potato mixture onto each tortilla, fold in the sides of the tortilla, and roll the tortilla into a small tube shape. Place the roll into the 9 x 13 pan. You will probably be able to fit about 8 tortilla rolls across the pan, lined up parallel to one another, and then the two remaining tortilla rolls can go the long-way below the other eight rolls.
  • Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce into the 9 x 13 pan, over the tortilla rolls. Sprinkle the low fat cheddar cheese on top of everything.
  • Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted.
  • Serve two enchiladas on a plate, with salsa and/or low fat sour cream, as desired. Eat and enjoy!
I think you could make a version of this recipe work even if you have mashed sweet potatoes in your refrigerator. Rather than mixing sweet potato chunks into the turkey, instead, microwave 1-2 cups of mashed sweet potato and then spread a few tablespoons of mashed sweet potato onto each tortilla before rolling it up. Yum!

Another interesting healthy leftover idea I heard at work was to make stuffed peppers (but stuffed with turkey and cornbread dressing, rather than what you usually stuff into peppers.) This will of course not be healthy if you make your dressing/stuffing with two sticks of butter like a lot of boxed dressing calls for. But I usually use much less butter, and it still turns out very flavorful and rich. I also add lots of veggies to my dressing/stuffing, as well as extra water or broth for added moisture to compensate for the lack of butter. Thanksgiving-stuffed peppers will be my Wednesday night adventure. Hooray!

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