Leftovers… Try Gluten-Free Turkey Tortilla Casserole

Hopefully you don’t have one shred of leftover turkey hanging out in your refrigerator today. But just in case you do, our recipe for gluten-free turkey tortilla casserole gives the last vestiges of the old bird a flavor facelift.

Think of this recipe as a delicious, out-of-the-ordinary “lasagna” made with gluten-free corn tortillas and healthy veggies. Savory authentic south-of-the-border seasonings really do breathe fresh life into those bits and pieces of drying-out-fast turkey. Waste not, want not.

Savory and full of authentic south-of-the-border flavors, this recipe for gluten-free turkey tortilla casserole makes great use of leftover baked turkey, or chicken.

Think of this as a Mexican lasagna, layered with gluten-free corn tortillas, thin sliced baked turkey in a rich, homemade brown gravy thickened with gluten-free sweet rice flour and seasoned with cumin, chili powder, oregano,garlic and fresh cilantro. Delicious!

This recipe is adapted to gluten-free diets from a recipe which appears in Cooking Light – Five Star Recipes: The Best of 10 Years, “Turkey-Tortilla Casserole.”

Gluten free turkey casserole

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • Turkey Mixture:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 minced cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups thin sliced baked turkey breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 can (15-ounce) whole kernel corn, drained and divided
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste
  • Brown Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Tortilla Ingredients:
  • 5 6-inch gluten-free corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra to brush bottom and sides of baking dish
  • Topping Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup chopped Queso Blanco cheese or shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to sprinkle over cheese


Lightly brush bottom and sides of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 350° F / 176° C

To prepare the turkey mixture:

Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet. Heat on medium. Add minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add sliced turkey, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes while stirring. Add half of whole kernel corn and sliced green onions. Stir to combine and saute for 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in chopped fresh cilantro.

Spoon turkey mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

Combine sweet rice flour, remaining dried oregano, cumin and chili powder and ground cinnamon. Use a whisk to blend. Return skillet to stove. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat on medium. Saute 1 minced clove garlic for 1 minute. Add sweet rice flour and seasoning mixture. Whisk to combine. Gradually pour in gluten-free chicken broth, whisking constantly to blend. Gradually add water while whisking. Continue to whisk brown sauce until it is thick and the consistency of gravy. Remove skillet from heat.

To prepare tortillas, brush each side of 5 gluten-free corn tortillas with olive oil. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Cook each tortilla for 30 seconds. Flip and cook other side for 30 seconds. When all tortillas are cooked, slice in 3 equal strips. Use rounded slices to line the bottom and sides of prepared 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

Spoon about 1/2 cup of brown sauce over tortillas in baking dish. Top this with the seasoned turkey mixture. Spoon about 2/3 cup of brown sauce over turkey. Place remaining tortilla strips evenly over top layer. Evenly drizzle remaining brown sauce over all. Use a spatula to spread sauce if necessary. Sprinkle remaining corn evenly over top. Sprinkle cheese over corn and lightly dust top with 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.

Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

Reminder: Prevent Cross Contamination in the Kitchen!

Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

Author Information: Teri Gruss, MS
Teri Gruss, MS
About.com Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking
Teri was diagnosed with gluten intolerance after decades of symptoms that culminated in malabsorption syndrome. Teri has written numerous health and nutrition articles for the popular website naturalnews.com and was a founding member and moderator of nutritioncircle.org, a nutrition forum for healthcare professionals and students. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and supports the non-profit organization Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America as a member.
Email Teri Gruss, MS here.

About Teri Gruss, MS

Teri Gruss, MS

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