Turkey Tamale Pie


Even if your turkey is perfectly cooked, the reheated leftovers can be a little dry and uninteresting. This tamale pie will rescue the last remnants of your bird in a significantly more exciting and flavorful way than the usual soup. There are two basic types of tamale pie, one with a cornbread topping and the other with traditional masa dough. Here, I wanted to create something that gives us the best of both, and I was very happy with how this came out. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro if desired.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
1 9x12-inch tamale pie


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 poblano peppers, diced

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 3 cups diced cooked turkey, or more to taste

  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1 (15.5 ounce) jar red enchilada sauce

  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth

For the Crust:

  • 1 ¼ cups cornmeal

  • ¾ cup self-rising flour

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and a large pinch of salt. Saute until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and poblano peppers. Season with black pepper, cumin, and oregano. Cook and stir until peppers start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chipotles and adobo sauce. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

  3. Add turkey and half the Cheddar cheese to the pepper mixture. Add enchilada sauce, remaining salt, and chicken broth. Stir mixture and pour it into a 9x12-inch baking dish; place dish over a sheet pan to catch drippings.

  4. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, and kosher salt together in a large bowl. Add eggs and milk; whisk into a thin batter. Ladle batter over the turkey mixture. Scatter remaining Cheddar cheese on top.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the topping is browned and a toothpick comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Chef's Notes:

You can sub in virtually any other meat and/or vegetable for the turkey, and it should work just as well.

If you don't have self-rising flour, you can use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour sifted with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon fine table salt.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

455 Calories
18g Fat
41g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 455
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 121mg 40%
Sodium 1404mg 61%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 42mg 211%
Calcium 346mg 27%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 598mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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