So, I know I told you yesterday that I’m doing Thanksgiving for three this year, but I’ll inevitably make enough food to feed at least twelve. This is partially because I don’t like to scale down certain recipes, but it’s mostly so that I can have all kinds of boss LEFTOVERS.
Even people who don’t like leftovers know that T-Day leftovers are God’s gift to tired (and potentially hungover) souls. I’m fine with simply re-heating turkey and sides or going the traditional sandwich route, but when there are mountains of leftovers to be consumed, one has to get creative in order to avoid “Thanksgiving Burnout.” (It’s a sad, sad thing.)
Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet, and this post may seem slightly premature, but the interwebs are already overly saturated with recipes for the day itself, so I wanted you to have a little something to look forward to post-feast: Turkey and Sweet Potato Taquitos with Jalapaño-Cranberry Sauce.
Yes, we’re talking about Thanksgiving, but it feels kinda like Christmas right now. Do you know how long I’ve been sitting on these bad boys?! I wrote “Thanksgiving Taquitos” down in “Badass Blog Ideas” last March, and I’ve been patiently waiting to share the magic with you for eight excruciating months. And now that the day has finally come, I feel weirdly emotional about unleashing these magical taquitos on the universe. Please bear with me for a hot sec while I detail their wonders…
First, there’s the glorious combination of turkey and smooth sweet potatoes, which gets extra depth from smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne. The soft, smoky filling is wrapped up in perfectly crisp tortilla cocoons, and then dipped in fiery cranberry sauce for a wild Thanksgiving flavor party that can only be described as…wait for it…LIFE-CHANGING. (I haven’t used that term in a while, right?)
Seriously though, people, these taquitos are bomb and scarily addictive. I have made many fabulous leftover creations over the years, including Mashed Potato Pancakes with Goat Cheese and Chives, but I think these take the cake. I shamelessly crushed several of them while sitting cross-legged on my living room floor last week, even though I wasn’t wearing pants and there was a window washer on my fire escape watching me in confusion/horror. They were that good.
I then fed them to Logan, who almost died (both from excitement and from choking on his oversize bites). Great success.
Think making your own taquitos seems crazily labor intensive? Wrong. I’m delighted to inform you that it takes 15 minutes (even with post T-Day sluggishness), and it couldn’t be easier: Mix leftover turkey and potatoes with some seasoning. Plop the mixture on tortillas and roll them up like cigars. Brush the tortillas with a little olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. FIESTA.
In other exciting news, these baked taquitos are actually on the healthier side of the Thanksgiving leftover spectrum, especially when compared to the beast-like turkey and stuffing sandos favored by Logan. I’d even go so far as to say that they’re Dude Diet approved if you exercise moderate portion control. (3 taquitos should do it, dudes.) Hallelujah.
While these taquitos are an epic way to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers, please know that they can (and should) be made on a regular basis. Just mash a single large roasted/boiled sweet potato, and use roast chicken instead of turkey. Whip them up for a festive weekday dinner or weekend snack, or serve them as compliment-inducing finger food at all your weird football parties. (Doing the latter pretty much guarantees a slow clap and/or mass hysteria, which I obviously love. Who doesn’t like to feel like Beyoncé at the Super Bowl?)
FYI, I’m going dark for the rest of the week to spend quality time with my turkey, my roommate, and my fam, but I’ll be semi-available via email to answer last minute cooking queries tomorrow and Thursday morning. Feel free to drop me a line here with the subject “EMERGENCY,” and I’ll help you out. (You can also tweet, if you prefer.)
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! May it be filled with nothing but love, compliments and deliciousness. I’m thankful for each and every one of you.
Turkey and Sweet Potato Taquitos with Jalapeño-Cranberry Sauce: (Serves 2-4)
2 cups shredded or chopped turkey (Yes, you can use chicken.)
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (You can also use regular mashed potatoes or a combo if you like!)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
10 6-inch flour tortillas (You can use corn tortillas, but they’re much harder to work with.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the jalapeño-cranberry sauce:
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup cranberry sauce
Preparing your Turkey and Sweet Potato Taquitos with Jalapeño-Cranberry Sauce:
-Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
-Place the turkey, sweet potatoes, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, and cayenne in a medium bowl. If you want to get CRAZY, you can add a couple tablespoons of gravy…
-Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of the turkey mixture onto each tortilla leaving about a ½-inch of empty tortilla on either side. The mixture will start to peek out of the taquitos while they bake, so you want to leave them a little room. (If your tortillas are very cold, warm them for 20-30 seconds in the microwave to make them easier to roll.)
- 2 cups shredded or chopped turkey (Yes, you can use chicken.)
- 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (You can also use regular mashed potatoes or a combo if you like!)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 10 6-inch flour tortillas (You can use corn tortillas, but they’re much harder to work with.)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sweet potatoes, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. (If you want to get CRAZY, you can add a couple tablespoons of gravy.)
- Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of the turkey mixture onto each tortilla leaving about a ½-inch of empty tortilla on either side. Tightly roll up the filling in the tortilla like a cigar, and place each one seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. (If your tortillas are very cold, warm them for 10 seconds in the microwave to make them easier to roll.)
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon paprika and a generous pinch of salt. Brush each taquito all over with the oil.
- Transfer the taquitos to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until browned and crispy.
- Meanwhile, combine the chopped jalapeño and cranberry sauce in a small mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Serve taquitos warm with the jalapeño-cranberry sauce for dipping.