One Skillet Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas

January 24, 2020

Something from an old copy of Oprah magazine caught my eye.

I saw two rolled up, straw-golden tortillas stained cherry red by a sauce that gathered in a pool on either side of the plate. Fluffy dots of fresh cheese and soft herbs balanced delicately on top, melting lazily into the steam.

I could imagine a silver fork fogging up as it approached the hot dish, slipping easily into its delicate exterior while the filling tumbled out.

In that moment I realized there was not a single enchilada recipe on this site.

So I set out to make a version of Oprah’s Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Mole.

I swapped the goat cheese for feta to create a more assertive, salty bite, and added ground turkey and black beans for more heft. Ground beef would work too, but I think we’re all trying to eat less of that.

I planned to make the sauce exactly as described, even though it would be a project.

And then my plans changed.

Browsing Whole Foods later that day, I stumbled across a small pouch of pre-made organic enchilada sauce.

I almost turned away to continue my hunt for the long list of ingredients in Oprah’s sauce, but it was getting late in the day and I was hungry.

So I threw caution to the wind and bought two.

Let’s make turkey and black bean enchiladas

If the pre-made enchilada sauce didn’t make this recipe easy enough, I decided to keep it all contained in one skillet.

I’m not the type of person who enjoys practicing mindfulness while washing dishes.

I sautéed a diced red onion, two poblano peppers, and a small mound of garlic in a 12-inch, oven-safe skillet with plenty of olive oil.

Overhead shot of diced green peppers and red onion in a skillet.

Then I cranked up the heat and added the ground turkey, smashing it into an even layer so one side could turn chestnut brown.

Raw ground turkey in a skillet with peppers and onions.

Next, I added an array of spices and let them toast for a minute, releasing heady aromas into my kitchen that are better than any Diptyque scented candle.

Chili powder, oregano, and cumin in a skillet with ground turkey, peppers, and onions.

A can of diced tomatoes and a can of black beans completed the one skillet dinner.

Black beans and tomatoes in a skillet with turkey enchilada filling.

A couple whole wheat tortillas, probably too much sauce, and a short stint in the oven produced dinner for three hungry adults, with plenty of leftovers.

Someone pouring enchilada sauce onto 6 tortillas

Use any kind of cheese you like; feta is a great unexpected addition. I use it here in two ways- scattered on the enchiladas before baking and added right at the end. Each forkful starts with oven-warmed, creamy feta and ends with a fresh, salty bite.

Someone scattering feta on top of 6 turkey and black bean enchiladas

Since I prepare this dish in a skillet rather than a casserole pan, it yields 6 turkey and black bean enchiladas with leftover filling. This extra filling is meal prep gold: use it in breakfast tacos, work week lunches, as a pre-dinner snack.

Overhead shot of steaming turkey and black bean enchilada filling in a blue skillet.

If you’d like, you can make this vegetarian by omitting the ground turkey. The black beans, tomatoes, and peppers make this a filling main without the meat.

Toppings are essential, especially in the form of creamy avocados spiked with fresh lime, spicy pickled jalapeños, and all the cilantro you can stand to chop.

Close up shot of a turkey and black bean enchilada.

What really makes the meal, however, is the pre-made sauce.

Sacrificing a bit of flavor for a lot of ease turned my cooking endeavor from an hours-long chore into a quick creative break. I even had time to dance in the kitchen to Dolly Parton while dinner cooked itself in the oven.

Let’s eat

Dinner isn’t just about cooking, it’s also about eating.

I sat down to eat a little earlier that night, with extra time for conversation with my family in between mmms.

Did I mention the pre-packaged salad I served on the side?

One Skillet Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Dinner Tex-Mex
By Samantha Serves: 3 servings, with leftovers
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Easy, healthy turkey enchiladas made extra-easy with a pre-made sauce and extra-good with a hearty filling, an array of toppings, and plenty of cheese.


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey (at least 7% fat, 93% lean)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas or wraps
  • 2 cups of your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce. Mine is Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • Pickled jalapeños, optional, for serving
  • Diced avocado tossed in lime juice, optional, for serving
  • Cilantro, optional, for serving



Preheat oven to 400F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch, oven-safe skillet over medium. Cook the onion and green bell pepper for 5-7 minutes until softened. Season with 1 tsp salt. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan to make an open space in the middle of the pan. Add the ground turkey to the middle of the pan. Smash it into a large, flat disk so that one side can get really browned. Cook about 6 minutes until the bottom of the turkey is browned, then season with 1 tsp salt and break it up into smaller pieces and combine it with the onions/peppers until cooked through, about 2 minutes more.


Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, canned tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Simmer on medium heat for 4-6 minutes until the liquid from the canned tomatoes has reduced. Transfer black bean and turkey mixture to a large bowl.


Spread ⅔ cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the skillet. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon some of the turkey and black bean mixture into the middle (about 1/2 cup per tortilla) and roll. Place rolled tortillas seam-side down in the skillet with the sauce. Repeat with remaining tortillas. If you have extra turkey/black beans, just scatter it over everything or save it for later- it’s great on its own. Top everything with the remaining enchilada sauce, then scatter over 1/2 cup of feta cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling.


To serve, top with remaining 1/2 cup of feta cheese, pickled jalapeno, diced avocado and chopped cilantro.


  • 462 Calories


Since I prepare this dish in a skillet rather than a casserole pan, it yields 6 enchiladas with leftover filling. This extra filling is meal prep gold: use it in breakfast tacos, work week lunches, or as a pre-dinner snack. If you'd like, you can make this vegetarian by omitting the ground turkey. The black beans, tomatoes, and peppers make this a filling main without the meat. A typical package of turkey (with the 93% label on it) is a combination of white and dark meat and contains more fat than the all white-meat version. The leaner options (99% lean) will be made with all (or mostly) white meat. I wouldn't recommend this option- it dries out when cooked because it's so lean. If you accidentally buy it (I've done that!), just add extra olive oil before searing it in the skillet.

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  • Reply
    MacAvoy, Martha
    February 9, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    love it!!


  • Reply
    amanda macavoy
    January 24, 2020 at 2:24 pm


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