Enchiladas Verdes con Pavo (Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas)

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we have leftover turkey to gobble up. At the request of our amigos at Avocados from Mexico, we’d like to share a family favorite, mom’s enchiladas verdes, (green enchiladas) again, yes they’re that good, but instead of using chicken, why not use leftover shredded pavo (turkey) and add a  side of sliced buttery, melt-in-your-mouth avocados. Anyone who has ever had my mother’s enchiladas verdes knows that there are green enchiladas and then there are mom’s green enchiladas. Her enchiladas are in a class all their own. With no exception this is a family favorite.

We are delighted to share our enchiladas verdes recipe with another ingredient all in a league of its own, Avocados from Mexico. When Avocados from Mexico asked us to share a favorite recipe that would go well with avocados we quickly thought of mom’s enchiladas verdes. So when shopping for your ingredients to make the enchiladas do not forget to pick up several Mexican avocados to garnish your plate or as a light side.

Enchiladas in our home means flat tortillas dipped in either red or green homemade chile sauce with just the right amount of spice, a layer of finely chopped onion and a mountain of queso (cheese). Now try that two or three more times for a final product of three or four layers of stacked enchiladas. The funny thing is we never had enchiladas rolled at home, the only time I saw enchiladas rolled was at a restaurant. I always thought that was rather odd. However, for this specific post we thought we’d roll them, which by the way is a lot more work and messier than stacking them.

Mom’s green enchiladas are simple. Her secret weapon is two fold. First you have to roast the long green chiles and you must use suero (whey) or buttermilk, not the same but it’s a close second. If you live in El Paso, you can purchase the “secret ingredient,” Suero de Sal from Licon Dairy, or substitute with buttermilk. (To make your own buttermilk, add one tablespoon of lemon or vinegar to one cup of milk.)

Our family prefers our enchiladas stacked, but if you plan on making this recipe using your leftover turkey I would suggest rolling them. You can even prepare them ahead of time and then you’ll have a quick and delicious meal a couple of days after Thanksgiving. Just when you thought you couldn’t eat another bite of turkey this recipe reinvents the way you’ll think about leftover turkey.

Imagine turkey filled green enchiladas surrounded by slices of fresh Mexican avocado; now that’s a picture worth taking with your smart phone and blasting it out to all your friends. Show them how you chose to eat your leftover turkey this year; with a little spice and some cool and creamy Mexican avocados.

Stacked or oven style, with or without leftover turkey, you’ll find yourself making this recipe again and again. Buen Provecho!

Enchiladas Verdes con Pavo (Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


12 Anaheim long green chile peppers

2 tablespoons flour

1 quart Suero de Sal (whey) or buttermilk can be used as a substitute, divided

½ cup canola oil for frying 1 medium white onion, diced

12 to18 corn tortillas, preferably white corn

1 pound shredded turkey (or rotisserie chicken)

1 ½ cups white shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, Azadero or Muenster)

¼ cup queso fresco, crumbled

½ cup crema Mexicana or sour cream (for sauce and topping)

Salt to taste

Water, if needed

2 to 3 ripe avocados from Mexico, pitted and sliced


Roast Chile Peppers

Preheat broiler. Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles for roasting.

Rinse thoroughly.

Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.

Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a kitchen towel and when cool, rub off blackened skin, and discard stem.


In a blender combine the peppers, flour, and half of the suero or buttermilk and blend until creamy.

Pour mixture into medium skillet and set over medium-low heat to warm. Add additional suero or buttermilk and stir. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema Mexicana or sour cream and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.

Stacked Style

Fry tortillas in hot oil until softened.

Drain on paper towels.

Soften tortillas by soaking in sauce one at a time.

Place softened tortillas on individual serving plates. Layer with shredded turkey, onion, and cheese. Repeat process for a total of 3 to 4 tortillas for each serving.

Serve with slices of avocados. Sabroso!

Oven Style

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fry tortillas in hot oil just until softened. Drain on paper towels.

Spread 1 cup of the sauce in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Fill each tortilla with shredded turkey, onion, and cheese. Roll tortilla with filling, placing seam side down in the baking dish.

Pour 2 cups of the sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake until warm, about 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of crema Mexicana or sour cream and slices of avocados.

And speaking of avocados…Have you heard of the Mini Chef Video Contest? Now through December 4th, Avocados from Mexico is hosting a video contest for parents of children ages 5 to 15. Submit a 1 to 3 minute video of your child/children preparing an avocado dish and be sure to have them include why they love avocados and the catchy Avocados from Mexico jingle found on their website. Videos will be judged on the Mini Chef’s personality and the presence of avocado. All video entries must be submitted by December 4th, 2011. Public voting will begin on December 6th and contest finalists will be notified by December 12th. Hurry click here to read all about the fabulous prizes!

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

Note: Avocados from Mexico compensated us for this post but the recipe and opinions are our own. Avocados from Mexico make good food better. 

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  1. This is such a mouthwatering recipe. I love the photos so much had to pin one as a reminder to make this soon. It’s funny in my house we never had the stacked enchilada. But now I really want to try them. Another great recipes chicas!

  2. This looks delicious! What a great way to use leftover turkey. I can’t wait to try it!

  3. My favorite kind of enchiladas! This recipe looks divine! On my menu for the week 🙂

  4. I now know what my family is eating tomorrow before I freeze up the turkey!
    Gorgeous, como siempre.

  5. Ooooooohhhhhhhhhh turkey with avocado! This looks great! Makes me wish I had leftovers…

  6. I had not heard “Licon Dairy” in years. Thanks for bringing back memories of El Paso. Many hidden treasures in my hometown. 🙂

  7. MMM, que ricura! I love enchiladas, but I usually go for the red ones. You make the green enchiladas look super deliciosas. Must try soon.

    • Lisa,
      I love red AND green enchiladas. I think I just love enchiladas in general. But it’s actually a dish I NEVER order at a restaurant. I am always disappointed and would rather just make them at home.

  8. anything with aguacate works for me! anything. some enchiladas sound like a great way to use all those seasoned pavo leftovers… now if only i could find a substitute for tortillas! not sure how much carb i can take in one sitting considering i don’t know how to control myself! 😉

  9. OMG! You are killing me with this recipe – starting with the photos. The enchiladas look delicious and with aguacate? I think aguacate has to be one of my favorite foods, todo sabe mejor con aguacatito al lado.

  10. That looks so absolutely fresh and wonderful…I know what I am doing with my turkey leftovers now.

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  12. Hey Yvette, Vangie and Veronica, your Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win? http://www.knapkins.com/guess_games/1069?source=blog

  13. Marie and her Sheltie's Reply

    This recipe I will try it looks GREAT and love Enchiladas, and this recipe looks simple, although my Sheltie”s will not eat them..too spicy..They eat other human food with their kibble, but a bit of turkey will not hurt them…

  14. Hi gals,
    I am making this recipe tomorrow for dinner. My son loves Mexican food and could eat it 7 days a week! I’m excited about making the sauce……seems easy.
    Does the queso fresco go inside the enchilada or on the outside before baking?

    • The queso fresco is an added bonus but not necessary. I like to crumble it on after baked. Good luck with the recipe – I have a feeling your son will LOVE them 😉

      Feel free to share a photo on our facebook page. YUM!

  15. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post 🙂

  16. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  17. I made these for Chistmas and they came out amazing. Having a brunch this weekend and am going to make them. Is it possible to make the sauce the day before or even assemble them the day before? I make stacked enchiladas.

    • Hi Carey! So happy to hear you’ve made them before. You can definitely make sauce days before. As far as assembly I wouldn’t recommend you do that ahead of time unless you are making rolled and oven style. If I’m serving guests I pre-fry tortillas and have that step out of the way. Then I get guests involved and have them assemble their own plate 😉 Once all plates are made I nuke each plate for 1 minute so that we can all sit and eat together and everyone’s enchiladas are piping hot 😉

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  22. A wonderful neighbor I had in Phoenix used to make home made enchilada sauce from dried red (purple) chilies. It was so good I could eat it with a spoon. It was a light brown color, not red. Can you give me directions?.

  23. I haven’t made Turkey Enchiladas in years and needed a good recipe.  This recipe looks great!  It is also that only one I found that met my key knock criteria:  Corn Tortillas with instructions to lightly fry them!!!  It’s the heart of a good enchilada.

    Can’t wait to try the recipe!


  24. hi! do you cook these onions before putting them in your enchiladas? or leave for the crunch. thanks. beautiful recipe, going to test it for second thanksgiving here este Domingo!

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