Huffpost Taste

Turkey Tamale Pie

Posted: Updated:

Turkey Tamale Pie

Turkey Tamale Pie
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
Provided by:
total prep
Turkey lightens a Tex-Mex favorite and adds to a great combination of flavors. The soft textures of polenta-like topping and chili filling are paired with a simple, crunchy Romaine Parsley Salad.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 pound ground turkey, mix of dark and light meat
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 14- to 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapenos
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Cook onion and bell pepper in vegetable oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add turkey and 1 teaspoons salt and cook, breaking up lumps, until turkey starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste until combined, then stir in tomatoes with juice, corn, olives, jalapeno, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons vinegar, and sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup cheese for topping and stir remaining 1 1/4 cups cheese into turkey mixture until melted. Spoon sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish (3-quart capacity).
  • Put remaining 2 cups water in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then whisk in cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, until very thick, then stir in butter until melted. Drop topping by large spoonfuls over sauce, then spread evenly to cover sauce and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake tamale pie until bubbling and lightly browned, about 35 minutes.