What do YOU do with Leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving? I Made Enchilada’s..

Hello fellow frugal friends,

One of my favorite cooking holidays is just TWO weeks away.  I feel so unprepared this year because while I really want to make Thanksgiving dinner this year (because I didn’t get to last year) it’s my older sister’s birthday, my dad is in town, my mother will have to work the Black Friday madness (need new appliances?  She works at the Lacey Sears), and my mother in law may have to make some last minute decisions on her plans.  With all that in mind, I JUST WANT TO COOK THANKSGIVING DINNER AT MY HOUSE and make so much food.

One unfortunate thing about Thanksgiving in my mind is that so much food goes to waste unless you re-purpose it.  It is the same concept as anything else in your house… Why toss it if you can waste less, and re use it for another something.  I like to start thinking ahead of time what I can make with the leftovers, primarily the turkey, because I refuse to buy a small turkey.  At whatever crazy price they sell them for at this time of the year, I normally buy a 20 pound one and use the left overs accordingly.  Now you will always part with some of the food because you share with whoever came to your dinner, so that cuts down, which is nice.  This year, if I do end up getting to make my own dinner, I will be using the leftovers for: turkey noodle soup, lasagna, and enchilada’s in that order-based on the quantity of leftovers.  I was really scared I wouldn’t get to make a dinner this year, so I made a test turkey for practice… and mainly so I could make left over items with it 🙂

Here is my recipe for turkey enchilada’s 🙂


First things first… make your turkey!  If you aren’t going fancy from the butcher, I think Norbest has the best turkeys that come frozen.  I have tried many brands, but have never had a dry Norbest turkey.  Season to your liking.  This is just seasoned with a stick of butter, salt, and cracked pepper.


Next, get all your stuff together.  In the above picture, I have my turkey shredded into thick pieces, cotija cheese, diced onions, olives, cheese, and enchilada sauce.  I know I like to make things from scratch but people really seem to like the enchilada sauce I buy from the store.. One day I may venture into making my own, but for now I use the yellow can of El Pato.

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I learned from a friend the best way to get your enchilada’s super tasty for dinner time is to take each tortilla and fry it up for a bit in a pan with hot oil.  You don’t let it get crunchy…. just a good hot, oily tortilla.  I just keep a piece out and use my fingers to dip.  Inside the tortilla is a thin to medium thickness layer of El Pato and then turkey and cheese.  Top it off with more enchilada sauce.. Some people like it super saucy, some don’t.  I feel like I make mine pretty saucy.


Ugh, don’t judge me for using non reusable pans, PLEASE!   They were getting taken to a place in which I would not receive my glass Pyrex back.  You will top the tortillas now with shredded cheese, Cotija cheese, olives, and onions (or as you wish!).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Of course, everybody makes their recipe a little different, but that is what I do.  It is hard to say exactly how much of any one item you will need because it depends on how many you want to make, how much cheese or sauce you like, and so forth.  If I make two cake pans worth, I go through about a large bag of cheese (almost), 1 pound of Cotija (can be found where specialty cheeses are or in cheese aisle), a can of olives, and a medium onion.  Sauce is about two large cans.

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving… It’s such a great time.   🙂  Next week I will be posting how to make an entire Thanksgiving at the cheapest price.  Last year, I managed an entire meal for SIX for around $35- including dessert.




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