Pumpkin and Turkey "Enchiladas"
Pumpkin Mania is a real thing and it has totally taken root at this point in the year. But at the same time, you might be secretly thinking, I need a break from all the sweet and cinnamon flavors of pumpkin spice. If you feel like this too this is the recipe for you, making pumpkin a base for a delicious and healthy enchilada sauce that you will want to dump on everything. This recipe makes a ton of sauce and it freezes so nicely so you can have a taste of homemade sauce anytime you want! And you can’t make enchilada sauce without actually making enchiladas! But you are probably thinking, how can I make enchiladas without tortillas?! Well I saw this magic of using thin slices of zucchini on Every Last Bite when she did a Whole30 Recipes takeover and I was like, OMG, why didn’t I think of that? It is pure genius and I honestly did not feel like I was lacking anything without a tortilla.
Not only is this delicious, it is dead simple too, you use the slow cooker to make some bomb turkey and one pan for the sauce. The slow cooker turkey makes a good amount so you can enjoy leftovers for any recipe you would normally use shredded chicken. I feel like people think turkey is only for Thanksgiving, it is so good, why not use it throughout the year? I use it for soups, salads, turkey salad sandwiches, pastas, casseroles, and of course enchiladas. This is a perfect dinner for a weeknight or even a pre-trick-or-treating dinner!
Pumpkin and Turkey “Enchiladas”
3 1/2 pounds turkey breast, bone-in
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup apple juice, no added sugar
Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce
2 Tablespoon oil
2 Tablespoons Chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
3 cups chicken broth
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
2 large zucchini
taco seasoning to sprinkle
- In a slow cooker, add the turkey, sprinkle with taco seasoning, and pour the broth and juice to the side of the turkey. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 or until it shreds easily and is cooked through. Remove from slow cooker, cool slightly, and shred, removing all the bones. Set aside until ready.
- Preheat the oven to 350, spray a baking dish with avocado oil.
- Combine all the dry spices in a bowl. In a large pan, heat the oil at medium-high heat and add the spices and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, then add the tomato paste. This “wakes up” the flavors of the dry spices and paste. Lower the heat to medium-low, then slowly add the broth, it will steam up a ton. Then add the tomato sauce and pumpkin puree, whisk slowly until combined. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Cool completely the amount you will not be using in mason jars or freezer bags and store in the freezer.
- Clean and dry the zucchini. Take a vegetable peeler and peel the zucchini length-wise to create wide strips, you might have to flip over the zucchini and rotate so you get even slices. Pat dry the slices.
- To assemble the enchiladas, lay out 3 zucchini strips, the center strip first with either side slightly overlapping. Place about 2 tablespoons of shredded turkey on one end, then roll while holding the strips. Place seam side down in a baking dish and continue.
- Pour over enchilada sauce to cover the center of the enchiladas, leave the edges free of sauce. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked and a little crispy on the edges. Drain the excess water with a turkey baster or spoon before serving. Top with yogurt, cilantro, green onions, avocado, whatever you love.
The turkey is so easy, just season and throw into the slow cooker. I prefer to use bone in because it gives great depth of flavor. When it is done, remove the skin, it is just rubbery, not yummy and crispy, then shred it up.
Here is everything you need for the sauce. Start with a pan that has the oil and all the spices. You want to do this to make the spices become fragrant again, they are dried so they need a little extra help.
Get those spices all smelling amazing
Add the tomato paste, that also needs a little cooking to make it work its magic
Slowly add the broth, careful it will steam up a lot so pour it slowly while whisking
Once it is all in there and bubbling, lower the heat
Add the tomato sauce and pumpkin. Let it simmer for a bit for all those flavors to come together.
Sauce is ready! Save some for the enchiladas and put the rest in jars or freezer bags for all your saucy needs.
Time to make the zucchini “tortillas”. Clean your zucchini and then take your veggie peeler and peel lengthwise, the first couple slices are not ideal so put those to the side. You will have to rotate sides and direction a couple times to keep the peeling even. Stack them up and ready for rollin’
The best way I have found to layer is to lay down a center slice, then overlap on either side with two more slices. Then add a pile of shredded turkey, give it an extra taco seasoning sprinkle and roll up. Then place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until done.
When the enchiladas come out of the oven, take a turkey baster and suction up the excess liquid the zucchini released. Then it is ready to serve and make pretty, I like to put a drizzle of cashewgurt, pumpkin seeds, green onions, and cilantro!