Winter Squash & Turkey Enchiladas with Cranberry Mole

Most would consider me to be one very lucky bride. My hubby is hard-working and hot. He maintains friendships across numbers of years and miles that blow my mind. And he’s asked me to make very few compromises when it come to holidays. The only one I’ve had to permanently give up celebrating with my family ever again is Thanksgiving. This also means I’ve given up any chance of ever hosting Thanksgiving in our neck of the woods, and thus owning the leftovers.

What, that doesn’t sound like reason to be upset? I swear, there is more to Thanksgiving leftovers than bread stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and more bread. Drowned in gravy.

Maybe that’s not your piece of pie (not leftover, of course, because who leaves pie on the table?) or maybe there’s only so much Yankee “comfort” food your tastebuds can take. Fortunately, there’s plenty more you can do with your leftover turkey – and dried cranberries, and roasted squash (assuming you went the healthy route and didn’t ruin dress it up with boat loads of butter and sugar.

But while we’re still on the subject of Thanksgiving, I need to thank Joanne for inspiring me to pop mole cherry cranberry. Her post about finally conquering authentic mole sauce taught me that I was not alone in my mole fears about needing a zillion exotic ingredients and more time than I could muster up. Suddenly, I felt like the only loser on the blog-block not making mole. Granted, I chose a recipe that is surely less authentic (do they have dried cranberries in Mexico?) and less complicated, and I swear it is total coincidence that my mole pairs perfectly with squash so I simply couldn’t exclude it. But nonetheless, thank you Joanne!

If you’re lucky (and patient) you can wait until your pile of leftover Thanksgiving turkey is still staring at you despite the fact that you’ve eaten three gobbler sandwiches and can’t fathom another. If you’re like me (not hosting Thanksgiving, and admittedly cheap) you can watch for a sale on whole turkey breasts and roast one weeks before the holiday because you’re already craving the leftovers you won’t have. Or better yet, pick up a boneless, skinless, rotisserie-cooked one from your nearest BJ’s. Yes, they have these, and they’re a great deal and delicious.

Winter Squash and Turkey Enchiladas with Cranberry Mole
Printable Recipe

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper
2 cups (450gm) canned pumpkin puree or homemade winter squash puree (such as butternut, acorn, buttercup, etc, or any combination)
2 cups (8oz) chopped, cooked skinless turkey breast
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
12 corn tortillas
1 oz manchego cheese, grated
1 cup cranberry mole (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook onions for about 10 minutes, until softened. Season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper; stir and cook for one minute more.

Add the onions to a mixing bowl with the squash puree, turkey, and cilantro. Mix to combine.

Set a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, place it in the skillet for about 15-20 seconds, turning once. Place about 1/4 cup filling onto the tortilla, roll securely, and place it seam-side down in a 9×13″ baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Spread the cranberry mole sauce evenly over the stuffed tortillas and top with the grated cheese. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 5-8 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4 (serving size = 3 enchiladas)
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 436.7
Total Fat: 13.3 g
Cholesterol: 37.5 mg
Sodium: 351.1 mg
Total Carbs: 57.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.4 g
Protein: 18.0 g

Cranberry Mole
Slightly Adapted from Eating Well

10 dried chiles, any combination of New Mexico, pasilla and/or ancho
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 tomatillos, papery husks removed, rinsed and halved (see Ingredient notes)
2 plum tomatoes, halved
1 oz cashews
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 small, very ripe, almost black plantain, (about 10 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced (see Ingredient notes)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Set a kettle of water over high heat. Meanwhile, cut the dried chiles in half, remove the seeds, and tear the skin into large chunks. Place in a bowl with the dried cranberries. When water bowls, pour enough into the bowl to cover. Set aside.

Set oven rack to top level and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the tomatoes and tomatillos cut side down on the sheet, and broil for about 8 minutes, until skins are charred. Transfer to a food processor along with any juices accumulated in the pan.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the cashews for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add to the food processor.

Add the oil to the same pan and cook the plantain slices for 2-3 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Add these to the food processor.

Finally, saute the garlic in the same pan for about one minute, until fragrant and lightly browned. Add this to the food processor as well.

Drain the chiles and cranberries and add to the food processor along with the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and one cup of the broth. Process until completely smooth.

Transfer the puree to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining broth, the chocolate, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Makes 4 cups; nutritional information is per 1/4 cup serving.

Leftover mole can be frozen in air-tight containers or freezer bags.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 57.8
Total Fat: 2.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 73.7 mg
Total Carbs: 10.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.9 g

Update, 10/28/2010: Enchiladas are always good for a potluck, so I’d gladly bring these to Chelsey’s November Edition of Simply Hot Recipes

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23 Responses to “Winter Squash & Turkey Enchiladas with Cranberry Mole”

  1. 1

    Barbara — October 26, 2010 @ 2:45 pm Reply

    Cranberry mole? Wow, Cara! This looks fabulous!Yep…the best part of Thanksgiving IS the leftovers. But sometimes I wonder if it's because the dinner is over and I can relax and eat what I want!

  2. 2

    TJ — October 26, 2010 @ 3:10 pm Reply

    I want this!!! But I don't wanna make it…lol When you cooking it again? lol

  3. 3

    Kelly — October 26, 2010 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    I love this take on mole. How seasonally appropriate and creative too. Your hubby sounds like a true catch and gives me hope that maybe my Mr. is out there too. :-)You also remind me that it's been for too long since I made mole. I have a couple of lamb shanks in the freezer and you're making me think that maybe they would be fantastic in an inventive mole sauce.

  4. 4

    Kelly — October 26, 2010 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    I love this take on mole. How seasonally appropriate and creative too. Your hubby sounds like a true catch and gives me hope that maybe my Mr. is out there too. :-)You also remind me that it's been for too long since I made mole. I have a couple of lamb shanks in the freezer and you're making me think that maybe they would be fantastic in an inventive mole sauce.

  5. 5

    Joanne — October 26, 2010 @ 4:27 pm Reply

    Adore it! Now YOU have inspired ME! My parents always do the turkey roasting and such and I usually deny any leftovers because (a) my parents are the least healthiest cooks on the planet and (b) they're actually some of the worst cooks on the planet period (sorry mom and dad but…you know it's true). So I will definitely buying a turkey breast to make these! I love the thought of cranberry mole…it made my day.Also, just posted a recipe you would LOVE. Thai sweet potato and winter squash pot pie…and it's vegan and pretty healthy!

  6. 6

    Shannon — October 26, 2010 @ 10:00 pm Reply

    ooh, this sounds fabulous!!! and cranberry mole??? totally trying this one :)

  7. 7

    Kevin — October 26, 2010 @ 11:37 pm Reply

    What a perfect combination of winter flavours!

  8. 8

    newlywed — October 27, 2010 @ 12:30 am Reply

    I would LOVE to have a bite of this. I love Thanksgiving leftovers too. My husband thinks he does not like Thanksgiving food. Crazy!

  9. 9

    flavourfulbounty — October 27, 2010 @ 12:51 am Reply

    This looks great! I have never made mole either.. always a bit scared of the spiciness but cranberry mole sounds right up my alley! :)

  10. 10

    Elina — October 27, 2010 @ 3:10 am Reply

    That is so creative, Cara. I am not the biggest fan of Thanksgiving didnner (I didn't grow up with it so it's not comfort food for me – just generally dry turkey and lots of random and quite ordinary side dishes) but I do enjoy the leftovers because I can use them into my kind of meal. I have a feeling this would be the most amazing (and most complex, ha) way to use up that turkey. Mmmmmm :)

  11. 11

    Dawn — October 28, 2010 @ 5:29 pm Reply

    I saw your tweet of this while I was on vacation and about fell over! It looks so amazing.

  12. 12

    Dani Spies — October 28, 2010 @ 8:15 pm Reply

    Just love your creativity in the kitchen Cara… these sound amazing!

  13. 13

    grace — October 29, 2010 @ 6:42 am Reply

    what a festive and clever dish, cara! we may just skip the whole roasted turkey thing this year and go the easier, dare i say it, more delicious route! :)

  14. 14

    Bridget — October 29, 2010 @ 1:23 pm Reply

    I'm getting SO excited for Turkey dinner!! You could do what I do and have a friends-giving, that way you can still have the big dinner at your house, with leftovers (I do it the Sunday before the actual Thanksgiving) :)This dish sounds so flavorful, and so creative! I actually don't think I've ever had Mole!! I need to get on that, and then make this.

  15. 15

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — October 30, 2010 @ 1:40 am Reply

    I so need to make this enchilada recipe. Not only is it very creative – I bet it tastes fantastic!! Love that cranberry mole sauce. xo

  16. 16

    Taste of Beirut — October 30, 2010 @ 2:52 pm Reply

    How interesting and delicious! I have never heard of cranberry mole and I love the idea! This is the kind of dish I would order in a southwestern restaurant, maybe it is also time I try to make it at home!

  17. 17

    Erin @ EKat's Kitchen — November 2, 2010 @ 3:32 pm Reply

    I love mole, and the thought of cranberry mole is fantastic! What a lovely recipe — and the turkey enchiladas sound spectacular also (have never considered using turkey before for enchiladas)! I can't stop falling in love with all of your recipes – so creative and I'm finding inspiration everywhere… meet your newest follower.

  18. 18

    Chelsey — November 4, 2010 @ 4:52 pm Reply

    Mole? I have yet to make it. I guess I am the biggest loser on the blogging block, lol! I would love to start with your simpler less conventional method though. BTW I made your burgers with brie and figs (The name is currently escaping me). FANTASTIC! The figs were to die for and that burger…oh ho Ho! Thanks again for another great recipe. I follow lots of blogs, but it is yours that I really like to cook from.

  19. 19

    Erin @ EKat's Kitchen — April 5, 2011 @ 1:13 am Reply

    I love mole, and the thought of cranberry mole is fantastic! What a lovely recipe — and the turkey enchiladas sound spectacular also (have never considered using turkey before for enchiladas)! I can't stop falling in love with all of your recipes – so creative and I'm finding inspiration everywhere… meet your newest follower.

  20. 20

    Taste of Beirut — April 5, 2011 @ 1:13 am Reply

    How interesting and delicious! I have never heard of cranberry mole and I love the idea! This is the kind of dish I would order in a southwestern restaurant, maybe it is also time I try to make it at home!

  21. 21

    Dani Spies — April 5, 2011 @ 1:13 am Reply

    Just love your creativity in the kitchen Cara… these sound amazing!

  22. 22

    newlywed — April 5, 2011 @ 1:13 am Reply

    I would LOVE to have a bite of this. I love Thanksgiving leftovers too. My husband thinks he does not like Thanksgiving food. Crazy!

  23. 23

    Joanne — April 5, 2011 @ 1:13 am Reply

    Adore it! Now YOU have inspired ME! My parents always do the turkey roasting and such and I usually deny any leftovers because (a) my parents are the least healthiest cooks on the planet and (b) they're actually some of the worst cooks on the planet period (sorry mom and dad but…you know it's true). So I will definitely buying a turkey breast to make these! I love the thought of cranberry mole…it made my day.Also, just posted a recipe you would LOVE. Thai sweet potato and winter squash pot pie…and it's vegan and pretty healthy!

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