Turkey Cranchiladas: Looking for a more creative and delicious way to use leftover turkey and cranberry sauce? Enter these turkey cranchiladas!

Oftentimes after a holiday, I’ve got a ton of leftovers that I don’t know what to do with. It seems that leftover protein (turkey, roast pork, beef, etc.) is usually pretty easy to use in a different ways but what do you do with things like leftover cranberry sauce?

Adding to this dilemma is the fact that Kyle doesn’t like cranberry sauce so I often end up throwing it out. For shame, I know.

Until this year!!

I made this kick-butt cranberry orange chutney that our Thanksgiving guests went nuts over but even still, the recipe made 3 cups and there was quite a bit leftover. Enter my pal Josie from over at Pink Parsley – she’s a lifesaver at coming up with leftover turkey recipes!

Josie posted a recipe a few weeks ago for leftover turkey enchiladas that literally made me drool. So instead of tossing the cranberry stuff this year, I used the rest of it up in these turkey cranchiladas along with my leftover turkey.

I’m a huge lover of enchiladas in general and my feelings on the topic have not changed with this nontraditional version of the Mexican meal.

You’re basically throwing leftover turkey in with leftover cranberry sauce and a bunch of ingredients I’m sure you already have in your house: sour cream, cheese, cumin, salsa, etc. Ok, maybe you don’t have cilantro but if this whole meal only costs you $1.59 at the store, it’s worth putting it on your grocery list when you do your holiday meal shopping.

Make sure you’ve also got some flour tortillas hanging around the house too. Or, make your own!

How to make turkey cranchiladas

So you mix everything together, wrap the filling up in tortillas, cover them with cranberry sauce mixed with salsa (an unlikely combination, no?), bake for 45 min, sprinkle cheese and bake some more.  From minimal prep and no dirty pots and pans, you’ve got an entire meal almost in an instant!

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas (Cranchiladas)

I can’t say enough about how excited I am with the results of these turkey cranchiladas! And I think I’m even more excited at the fact that there are a ton of leftovers (yes, leftovers of the leftovers!) for us to take for lunches this week!

The cranberry sauce/chutney gives a punch of tang with the smooth and savory Mexican flavors brought forward with the cumin and salsa. It’s really a delightful combination!

So all in all, after searching far and wide for new and creative ways to use leftover turkey, I’ve found a new go-to recipe that I’ll be making for years to come. Thanks Josie!!

I’d love to know how you’ve used up your Thanksgiving leftovers or your favorite ways to do so. Post your ideas and/or links in the comments.

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas (Cranchiladas)

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas (Cranchiladas)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Leftover turkey enchiladas are an outstanding way to use up leftover turkey and cranberry sauce from your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner! You'll mix shredded turkey with spices and cheese, roll the filling in tortillas, and cover them with a mix of cranberry sauce and salsa. I know it sounds like a strange way to use turkey leftovers, but trust me, you'll never go back to making turkey tetrazzini again after trying these turkey cranchiladas!


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 ½ cups shredded turkey or chicken
  • 2 cups whole-berry cranberry sauce (or 1 16-oz can)
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups salsa
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Pepperjack, Monterey Jack, or cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup lightly-packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 tsp bottled hot sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, 1 cup of the cranberry sauce, the beans, sour cream, ¾ cup cheese, ½ cup of the salsa, green onions, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the filling into each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in the baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining cranberry sauce, 1 cup of salsa, and the hot sauce. Stir to combine and pour over the enchiladas.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese. Continue to bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and scallions, and serve hot.


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Leave a Comment

  • December 7, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    I bet that tasted great! Good use of leftovers. It looks so festive!

  • December 7, 2010 at 5:33 AM

    Awesome idea- and pretty presentation!

  • December 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Oh yum….wonderful idea. I will keep this in mind. 😉

  • December 7, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Great picture, Tara! So glad you liked them 🙂

  • December 7, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Cranberry sauce on enchiladas! What a great idea! It’s so true that things like cranberries are the hardest leftovers to use up. I might just make cranberry sauce just for this dish.

  • ann
    December 8, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    These look so good. We love enchilladas here so I need to try these.

  • December 9, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    Another great recipe…and lovely photo 🙂

  • December 9, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    this recipe looks amazing. i love the idea of cranberry chutney topping the cranchildas and only wish i had some turkey leftovers to make this dish.

  • December 9, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    This is making me re-think what I’m making for Christmas dinner just so I can have left overs!! I am heading over to check out this recipe immediately..

  • January 2, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    What a great way to enjoy some turkey dinner leftovers!

  • August 5, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    I have never tried Turkey meet. but it sound tasty.