Turkey Tostadas with Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce

This time of year, one of the most common questions for food bloggers is “What should I do with my Thanksgiving leftovers?”  There are a bunch of great ideas and recipes floating around out there in the blogosphere, and I’d like to add one more–turkey tostadas with spicy cranberry-chipotle sauce.  It’s one of my best friend’s most favorite recipes on this blog.  She actually makes extra cranberry sauce every year just to be able to make these.

For me, spicy food is the best way to break through the traditional post-Thanksgiving flavors.  This recipe brings just a bit of heat and uses up a good amount of leftover turkey and cranberry sauce.  It’s very easy to put together and it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser–perfect for Saturday night when the family’s all still in town.  

turkey tostadas cranberry chipotle sauce

Turkey Tostadas with Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
adapted from Southern Living Christmas Cookbook


For the cranberry-chipotle sauce:
1 c. whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 c. tomato sauce
1 chipotle pepper, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder

For the tostadas:
2 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large red bell pepper
3 c. shredded turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
8 tostada shells
1 c. refried black beans or spicy bean dip
1 c. crumbled queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese
1/2 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro
8 lime wedges

1.  To make the cranberry-chipotle sauce, combine all ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened slightly, 5-7 minutes.  (This step can be done in advance.  Keep the sauce in the refrigerator.)

2.  Preheat oven to 400° F.  Remove cranberry-chipotle sauce from the refrigerator, if made ahead.  

3.  Warm oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Sauté onion, poblano, and bell pepper until onion is golden, 6-8 minutes.  Stir in turkey, garlic, cumin, pepper, and salt.  Cook to warm through, 3 minutes more.

4.  Place tostada shells on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 2 minutes.  Remove from oven, then spread each shell with beans.  Divide turkey mixture among tostadas.  Drizzle with a small amount of cranberry sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake tostadas 10-12 minutes or until thoroughly heated, watching the edges of tostada shells for burning.    

5.  To serve, sprinkle with cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges and remaining sauce.

Yield: 8 servings

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  1. Lexie Rochelle
    November 22, 2013 / 3:51 pm

    This looks fabulous. I don't think I can wait until Thanksgiving to try it. Thanks for a spicy alternative to Thanksgiving leftovers. Yummy!

  2. Nicky Omohundro
    November 24, 2013 / 6:56 pm

    Great combination of flavors. A turkey and cranberry sandwich is a standard day after food. It's great how you changed it up. Adding a little heat is never a bad thing.

  3. Natalie
    November 24, 2013 / 11:51 pm

    such a fun use of leftovers!!!!

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