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November 25, 2016 | Cooking

Leftover Turkey Chilaquiles with Red Sauce

At home we love turkey for Thanksgiving. It is our yearly tradition and one of the main dishes in our celebratory table. And since we love to get together, following day after Thanksgiving I host a brunch with all the family to enjoy el recalentado. And my tradition is to cook leftover turkey chilaquiles with red sauce. This recipe is comforting and perfect for using the turkey from prior day and serve as a brunch item.

In my Mexican cuisine many of our staple dishes were created with the idea of reutilizing food from the prior day to avoid waste. Specially if we are talking about proteins, such as chicken, pork, beef or turkey. Many of our famous dishes like sopes, tacos dorados or tostadas are made with shredded meat that was enjoyed the day before in another dish. And then it is repurposed to become a tasty meal for everyone to enjoy.

The trick to be successful repurposing leftovers is to craft fresh sauces to complement and to change the flavor profile so that the meal is completely different from the one enjoyed the day before. It is very common in the Mexican culture to use dried chiles like guajillos, serrano chiles, tomatillos and tomatoes, as well as sauces such mole to prepare yummy chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles are a very good dish that was born using tortillas and meat leftovers. Thanksgiving turkey goes perfect with this Mexican favorite. That is why today I am suggesting making this leftover turkey chilaquiles with red sauce.

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Leftover Turkey Chilaquiles with Red Sauce

Serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 cups of shredded turkey leftovers (can be breast, thigh or leg meat or both)

  • 4 cups of Guajillo red sauce (made with 2 cups pf water, 4 garlic cloves, 1 red tomato and 6 Guajillo peppers, 1 teaspoon of cumin, one tablespoon of chicken bouillon)

  • 4 cups of fried corn tortillas or totopos (approx. 12 tortillas cut in quarters and 1 cup of peanut oil)

  • 1 white onion chopped finely

  • 1 10 ounce Cacique Queso Fresco crumbled

  • 1/2 cup of Cacique Crema Mexicana


  1. Shred the turkey. You can use turkey breast, the leg or the thigh. Or make a combination of both meats.

  2. Chop one white onion finely and crumble one Cacqiue Queso Fresco. Cut the corn tortillas in quarters. Place all ingredients in separate bowls for later use.

  3. Prepare the red sauce roasting 4 garlic cloves, 1 red tomato and 6 guajillo peppers. Then add to a pot and cook with 2 cups of water. When the chiles are soft add to the blender along with the cooking water and blend. Strain the sauce and season with cumin and chicken bouillon. Add the shredded turkey and let it simmer for few minutes.

  4. Fry the tortillas until golden brown and add to a serving dish. Then add the turkey in the red sauce. Top with chopped onions, crumbled Cacique Queso Fresco and Cacique Cream Mexicana. Serve with white rice and enjoy.

  5. Note: Let the tortillas dry after cutting. Just spread them on a tray and you can even toast inside the oven if not wanting to fry. The sauce and the tortillas can be prepped the day before to save time.

  6. ingredients-for-making-the-leftover-turkey-chilaquiles-with-red-sauce