Leftover Turkey Fajitas
There’s come a point after every Thanksgiving I’ve ever hosted or attended where there’s a few huge bags of leftover turkey meat in the fridge and everybody has pretty much had as much turkey as they can take.
You will eat it with stuffing, put it on a sandwich, and probably sneak it at midnight, but sometimes even with all of that, you’ll be left with more turkey than you know what to do with.
This is when fajitas come in and save the day. They may just be the perfect way to use leftover turkey. Let me explain:
1) They take just a few minutes to make. After slaving away over the stove for days, it’s nice to have a quick meal.
2) They are somewhat healthy. They are mostly lean meat, veggies, and salsa. It’s actually a somewhat light meal after days of gorging.
3) They have a different flavor profile. Even though you’re using turkey, it has a completely different taste because of the spices.
Even though the actual turkey day is still a few days away, this is a great way to put a dent in some of those leftovers!
Leftover Turkey Fajitas
Yield: Serves 4.
1-1.5 pounds leftover turkey, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange, yellow, or green pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt and pepper
12 flour tortillas
1) Chop up turkey roughly. You can use white or dark meat. Also slice peppers and onions into strips.
2) Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees and wrap tortillas in foil. Add tortillas to oven and let heat up for 5-10 minutes.
3) Add oil to a large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the peppers and onions and cook until they are slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes.
4) Add chopped turkey to skillet with spices and a pinch of salt and pepper.
5) Toss ingredients together well and cook until the turkey is slightly browned.
6) Serve turkey mixture with warm flour tortillas and toppings.
Peppers and more Peppers
Like I said, one of the great things about fajitas is it gives you a chance to use some nice fresh veggies after days of carbs.
I like my fajitas to be really pepper-heavy so I usually use a red pepper, one other kind of pepper, and a jalapeno or two.
Slice up the peppers and onions. For the jalapeno, if you’re using one, remove the seeds and chop it a bit smaller. Nobody will enjoy a huge slice of jalapeno in their fajitas.
This might take 5 minutes to prepare.
As far as the turkey goes, you can definitely use white or dark meat. I used leftover turkey from my apple cider brined turkey. I was worried about the apple flavors not going well with the fajitas, but they were delicious.
No problems at all.
There are some options when it comes to prepping the turkey. You could shred it, but I like my fajitas to have larger chunks of meat so I just roughly chopped my leftover turkey.
Cooking the Fajitas
Before you actually start cooking your fajitas, I’d recommend wrapping your tortillas in some foil and sticking them in a hot oven for 5 minutes or so to get them nice and warm.
The fajitas themselves only take about 10 minutes to cook at the maximum.
Start by heating your oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once it’s hot, add your onions and peppers and cook them until they start to caramelize a bit, about 5 minutes. Then add the turkey and spices and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook this all for a few more minutes and you’ll be ready to rock.
Cook the fajitas on a high heat is key so you get some browning on the veggies and on the turkey.
While they cook, I always like to get some fun toppings ready. For this meal, I just used some salsa, sour cream, and diced up an avocado.
Serve the fajitas with a few flour tortillas and pile on the toppings.
Two or three fajitas is a really good meal.
There’s nothing tricky or hard about this recipe. It’s just straightforward good food which is all you need when you’re looking for a way to use your leftovers and relax.
If you have some turkey leftover after Thursday (who doesn’t?), try out the Tex-Mex route!