What to do with all that lovely leftover roasted turkey or a time-saving rotisserie chicken? Healthy Mole Verde Bowls are a flavorful, Mexican-inspired, and easy way to use that lean protein-rich turkey! Easy mole verde sauce combined with your chicken or turkey, quick black beans, and roasted root veggies is ready in 30 minutes +/- and may redefine your idea of "leftovers"...
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Using Leftovers and Recipe Inspiration
I don't know about you, but I am usually tired of the roasted turkey by Saturday following Thanksgiving. I can only handle so much warming up leftovers, and I don't love turkey sandwiches.
Turkey is such lean, healthy protein, and it is so versatile. In an attempt to come up with a unique, healthy turkey leftovers dish, I borrowed the idea of my Quick Green Mole Verde Sauce (Pipian) that made its appearance on the blog in a delicious and super quick salmon dish a few months ago!
The mole verde requires a food processor, some good salsa verde (can be homemade or store bought), tahini, garlic, and cumin. The leftover turkey gets warmed in the puréed sauce, and the fun part is customizing it. I'll give you a few ideas in this post!
When you don't have leftover turkey to use up, consider rotisserie chicken
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- coconut or olive oil
- good quality salsa verde (homemade of store bought)
- leftover turkey or chicken(1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
- beans and/or grains
- roasted veggies
- avocado, jalapeno, lime, cilantro (to garnish)
- Roast the vegetables - You will probably want to start roasted vegetables first. On photo day, I used butternut squash left from another recipe, but sweet potatoes are another great option!
- Prepare the beans - Canned beans are not always my preference, but in this dish, they're fine (and so quick!). While the vegetables roast, prep the beans, grains, salsa, etc. Grains are another great option - quinoa, red or cilantro rice, bulgar, etc.
- Make the mole verde (pipian sauce) - Last, you'll make the mole verde (pipian sauce). That process takes 5 minutes, and you'll probably need about 5 minutes to heat the turkey or other protein through - unless you start with cold or frozen turkey.
- Prepare the garnishes - favorite salsas, avocado, crumbled cotija, queso fresco, mozarella cheese, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, toasted pepitas.
- Assemble your bowls - Refer to the photos for ideas!
NOTE: If your turkey is cold or partially frozen, you may want to give it a head start by getting it going first. Don't boil the sauce, but a simmer is fine...
Once all components are prepared, you can assemble your bowls. Don't forget to pour a "cold one" and enjoy!
Roast the Vegetables
Prepare veggies for roasting - small pieces get it done more quickly!
Roast veggies until the edges are caramelized and vegetables are tender.
Prepare the Beans
To "elevate" your canned beans, start with chopped onion or shallot, cumin, garlic, and red chile powder.
When onion is soft, add the beans and a bit of broth or water. Cover and simmer on low until ready to serve.
Prepare the Mole Verde Sauce with Chicken or Turkey
Purée the salsa verde and tahini.
Sauté the cumin and garlic in olive or coconut oil.
Add the sauce to the skillet, and fry 2-3 minutes.
Add cubed chicken or turkey to the mole verde sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and allow at least 5-10 minutes to warm everything through. If starting with cold or partially frozen turkey, allow additional time.
The mole verde sauce is now ready. Cover and keep hot until ready to compose and serve your bowls.
While the mole verde sauce and chicken or turkey come to temperature prepare the garnishes for your bowls.
💭 Tips and FAQ
Can I use dried beans? ABSOLUTELY! That's always my preference, and I often have cooked from dried beans in my freezer. The important thing is to start with COOKED BEANS.
I didn't get any of the leftover turkey this year. What else can I use? Rotisserie chicken is another great time-saving option! If you're one to grill chicken breasts for meal prep, they're great too. Use your favorite COOKED PROTEIN.
Do I have to use black beans? Nope! They're pretty typical in Latin American cuisine, but so are pintos, kidneys, and chick peas/garbanzos. Use your favorite cooked beans.
I have "issues" with beans. What can I substitute? Try cooked farro, quinoa, brown rice, or barley.
I HATE breaking down butternut squash. What else can I use? Me too! I love butternut squash, but when time is at a premium, I use the packaged diced butternut squash. Sweet potato is an easier option - just peel and dice. Beets roast well, and I know they'd be a great option. Try cubed and roasted zucchini or yellow squash.
Is this gluten free? YES! 100%. It's also fairly low carb and very healthy!
🥘 Recipe Components
Note: All ingredients (with the exception of the mole verde) start cooked!
- Proteins - leftover turkey, cooked and cubed chicken breast, rotisserie chicken, tofu, shredded pork, any cooked protein that sounds good!
- Veggies - roasted root vegetables like butternut squash, kabocha, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc., summer squash or chayote (cooked and cubed), roasted beets.
- Beans & grains - black, pinto, kidney, cannelini, garbanzos, farro, bulgar, brown rice, quinoa, barley
- Garnishes - favorite salsas, avocado, crumbled cotija, queso fresco, mozarella cheese, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, toasted pepitas.
- 2 to 3 cups vegetables for roasting (1/2 to 3/4 inch dice)
- 4 teaspoons coconut or olive oil (divided)
- 2 cups salsa verde (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds cubed or shredded turkey (or other)
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon onion or shallot minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho, chipotle or New Mexico red chile powder
- 2 cups cooked beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup broth or water
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- avocado, jalapeno, lime, cotija, cilantro (garnishes)
- Preheat oven to 400° (375 convection).
- Toss cubed veggies with oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until edges are caramelized and veggies are tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the beans. Add a drizzle of oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion or shallot, garlic, and cumin. Stir for about 2 minutes before adding drained and rinsed beans. Add about 1/2 cup broth or water, then cover. Simmer until time to serve (on low).
- Add salsa verde and tahini to a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. Heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat, add garlic and cumin. Stir until fragrant (aout 1 minute). Pour the salsa verde mixture into the pan, and fry about 5 minutes, then add leftover turkey (or other). Cover, and simmer at least 5 minutes.
- Prepare garnishes.
- Taste everything for seasoning - especially mole verde sauce and beans.
- Assemble bowls and enjoy!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 18gCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 44g