Despite COVID-19 forcing my family to limit our Thanksgiving dinner to a three-person endeavor, my mother insisted on cooking a whole turkey as per usual. However, after a couple of days, eating plain old turkey can get boring — unless you know creative ways to make use of it. My father took this opportunity to teach me how to create one of my childhood favorites, pan-fried enchiladas, using our leftover turkey breast as a filling instead of the customary chicken. If you’re in a similar predicament in the leftovers department and are looking for a flavorful meal to share with your friends or family, these pan-fried turkey enchiladas are perfect!

Natalie Gomez // The Daily Nexus


  • Leftover cooked turkey breast 
  • 2 cans (30 ounces total) tomato sauce
  • 5 ounces chicken broth
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano
  • Crushed pepper
  • Cooking oil (I prefer canola oil, but take your pick!)
  • Regular or large-sized corn tortillas 
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Sour cream 

Making the sauce:

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of cooking oil into a medium-sized pot, and turn on the stove to medium-heat. 
  2. Then, add in two cans of tomato sauce. Be careful — the tomato sauce will sizzle and spray on impact.
  3. Add stemless fresh cilantro and oregano to the pot, and stir slowly.
  4. Pour in 5 ounces of chicken broth. This should thin out the sauce. Continue to stir.
  5. Add crushed pepper.

Natalie Gomez // The Daily Nexus


  1. Pull apart cooked turkey into thin strips.
  2. Microwave the turkey for about 1 minute. Be careful not to warm for too long, as to not dry out the turkey.
  3. Shred cheese and chop lettuce, for garnish.

Cooking directions:

  1. Pour ½ cup of oil in a deep pan or enough to be able to submerge a tortilla in it.
  2. Turn on the stove to a medium-heat and wait until oil is hot. Then, submerge a tortilla in the oil, and cover the pan with a splatter skin.
  3. After a few seconds, the tortilla will soften and bubble. Quickly remove the tortilla, place on a plate and pat with a paper towel to soak up the excess grease.
  4. To assemble an enchilada, place pulled turkey in the center of the warm tortilla and fold the tortilla over on both sides.
  5. Pour the desired amount of sauce on the enchilada(s).
  6. Top with cheese, lettuce and sour cream. You can also add more sauce.
  7. I suggest making 2-4 enchiladas at a time, then repeat the steps for each person you are feeding. The enchiladas taste best fresh, so have your family or friends ready at the dinner table!

Natalie Gomez // The Daily Nexus

Although I admit the clean-up process is not the most fun after making these pan-fried enchiladas, the delicious product you get out of it completely makes up for it! I enjoy eating the enchiladas à la carte but if you’re looking to have a more hearty meal, they pair well with Spanish rice and refried pinto beans. This is a recipe that has been passed down in my family for generations. I hope you’re able to enjoy it as much as we have!