This Enchilada Bake is the type of meal I always see on Pinterest or blogs or Instagram and instantly drool over. I think about how amazing it looks and how delicious I’m sure it is. Then I pin it to my “Foodspiration” board, where I pin all the food I plan to make or recreate in the future. But deep down inside I know I’ll never actually make it. Why? It always seems too intimidating!! I worry it won’t come out like the photo or it seems like too much work. I’m all about easy and little to no fuss meals which is the opposite of what this recipe looks like.
I’m here to tell you it’s not.
I’m here to tell you this is probably one of the easiest meals I’ve made so far this year. I’m here to tell you that not only was this a super quick meal (even though every part of it is homemade- even the sauce), but it tastes just as good as it looks. Best of all, come on, you know the answer… it’s toddler approved!!
After seeing recipes like this for years on Pinterest, I first thought it might be doable when I saw What’s Gaby Cooking make it on Snapchat… with one hand! The woman is a rockstar! I quickly went to her site to get the logistics (how many tortillas, how is she layering it, how long does she cook it and at what temp, etc.) but knew I would make this my own with my favorite fillings: 99% fat free ground turkey, my fave baked veggies, beans, chiles, and knew I would also attempt to make an enchilada sauce myself. Don’t get frightened by all those steps! So much of it is hands off you’ll be able to catch up on your Netflix queue while it’s all baking- I promise!! Plus, I swear it’s all worth it in the end!
- 1 20.8 oz package 99% ground turkey
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 green pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 package baby bella mushrooms
- 1 can of green chiles
- 1 can black beans
- 1/2 box of frozen corn
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/2 block of cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cumin, salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375
- Cut sweet potato, pepper, onion, and mushrooms into small pieces to ready them for baking. One trick I use to make sure they all bake evenly is to cut them uniformly then line them in the pan with the veggies I know will take longer on the outside (onions on the edges, then sweet potato, then peppers, then mushrooms). That way the mushrooms which have the potential to burn quickly will be protected by the other veggies. But your oven may be different so roast as normal.
- Before putting in the oven you could toss with olive oil or spray with coconut oil, but I actually just tossed these in a little oregano flavored vinegar and got to cut out all the calories from the oil (Score!). Bake until tender.
- While the veggies bake, season the turkey with cumin, salt and pepper and cook fully over medium heat. When fully cooked add chiles and beans and cook for another few minutes(and a little more salt and pepper).
- Make the 10 minute enchilada sauce (link below).
- Once the veggies are done mix it with the turkey mixture.
- Now it's time to layer! I used a lodge cast iron pan because it conducts heat so well. Start with a layer of enchilada sauce in the cast iron then layer 4 tortillas, a layer of the turkey and veggie mixture, more enchilada sauce, a handful of cheese, and then repeat one more time.
- Put the last 4 tortillas on top, layer with sauce, add one last heap of cheese and then bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the edges begin to brown.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes then try not to eat the whole pan. I mean it.
The homemade enchilada sauce is really the rockstar here. It’s a mix of just the right amount of sweet and with just the right amount of spicy. My little guy and my big guy ate this enchilada bake 3 days in a row without complaint and asked when I’d be making more. Okay, just my big guy asked that. My little guy just said “spicy…. mmmmmm”.
A side note on that- I’ve been feeding my little guy spicy food since he was about a year old. I once offered him some of my dad’s gumbo which had a bit of kick to it, and while he acknowledged the mix of bold flavors and heat, he enjoyed it. I really think it’s important to both offer your child things you don’t think they will enjoy while also acknowledging the flavors they’re experiencing. They may hate it (and that’s ok) or they may love it and now you’ve got yet another recipe in your arsenal!
This enchilada bake is so versatile I could see making it 2 dozen different ways! My husband has requested I make this every other week so if I come up with another fun variation I’ll be sure to share!
One last thing- you should really only need about half of the filling you made for this bake. The rest can be used to top a baked sweet potato with for lunch or to make baked flautas (which I’ll be sharing in this week’s newsletter so make sure you’re signed up below!)
What would you stuff these enchiladas with?