6 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

Capture the flavors of your favorite tamale recipe in a casserole. This hearty turkey tamale potpie takes under 40 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

To prepare filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and turkey; cook 5 minutes or until turkey loses its pink color. Add chili powder, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and beans; cook 3 minutes. Spoon turkey mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Step 3

To prepare topping, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Combine buttermilk and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Spread cornmeal mixture evenly over turkey mixture. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until topping is golden.

Ratings & Reviews


December 05, 2016
I agree with previous reviewers.  I made it as written and it was kind of dry an unexciting.  It would be much better with cheese melted over, but then it wouldn't be "light"

Great "Concept" Recipe

January 19, 2017
As written this recipe is good, and is so versatile and easy to tailor to your tastes. If you want a very clean, simple and light meal, make it as is. However one thing to note is that the standard packages of ground turkey comes in a 1.3 lb package( just over 20 oz.), and this recipe calls for a pound, so right there may the reason this comes out dry or bland for some. You have to account for this and add in additional tomato/liquid/spices if you want the proportions to be correct! I use the 85% lean turkey, which I find more flavorful and moist. I add in any veggies that strike me and have on hand, which this accepts very well, again making sure to add in additional liquid and spice as needed (I use cumin and coriander). I use a 13.5 oz box of tomatoes(Cirio brand), and so add in about 1-1.5 cups of broth(veggie or chicken or combo) to compensate- eyeballing it until it is a saucy as I like. Sure, throw in that 1/4 jar of salsa kicking around the fridge, why not! I can't eat cooked bell peppers, but can eat them raw and my kids only like them that way anyway, so I use them in a side salad instead along with romaine, avocado and fresh tomato. I can handle moderate jalapeno so I add in one diced up to the saute mixture which is really good and not too hot for the kids. I bake from scratch a lot, and so the cornbread is super quick and easy to throw together and always have the ingredients on hand, although last night used plain yogurt for the buttermilk which is a standard substitute and makes a slightly thicker batter. As I result I had the brilliant idea to simply drop dollops of the batter right on top on the saute mixture, which I prepared in my trusty 15" stainless steel skillet, and then I stuck it right in the oven as is. Perfect one pot meal- less dishes, yay! I did top it with a scant cup of sharp white cheddar in the last 5 minutes of baking, and fresh cilantro to finish. Served with the salad, sour cream, and fresh lime wedges, kids devoured it and hubby said it was awesome at least 4 times. I called this a concept recipe because you can vary it a million ways- using different meat, making it meatless by subbing a variety of beans/veggies, or gluten free by using all cornmeal for the topping, or even vegan if you are savvy about dairy and egg substitutes!

Jance1's Review

January 31, 2009
A nice idea, but needs a major overwork. The filling is just the assorted ingredients, no binding no coming together. I agree with everyone who wants to add cumin some smoked chilis, corn, black beans, but it still needs more to bring the body together. The topping is also much more coarse than a tamale wrapping.

AganaBaby's Review

December 14, 2011
This was delicious! Instead of the no salt tomatoes, I used a can of the "petite cut tomatoes with zesty jalapenos"... just to give it a little more of a "kick." My family likes things a little spicy. I even made this recipe "vegan style" with a combination of Chik'n Strips and extra firm tofu in the filling and soy milk for the corn bread! This is a keeper! I'll definitely make it again.

mkathrynm's Review

January 01, 2013
Needs significant work. I thought that this recipe was very bland and dry. There are better tamale pie recipes in past issues of Cooking Light.

ESmith6's Review

December 03, 2011
This recipe provides a good base to start from. I added cumin and subbed black beans as suggested. I used half Mexican hot chili powder and half regular chili powder and drained the diced tomatoes and filled the can with salsa. I also added a couple of teaspoons of adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers. Finally, I topped it with Jiffy cornbread mix. With the changes it was delicious!

runrgirldvm's Review

November 21, 2010
This is a great recipe WITH THE SUGGESTED CHANGES (otherwise it was a little bland). I used diced tomatoes with green chiles, instead of plain diced tomatoes, to add a little spice; I added 3/4 tsp cumin to the meat mixture; I added about 1/2 tsp. cracked red pepper because I like it a bit spicy; I used black beans instead of kidney beans; I used Jiffy cornbread mix instead of making my own (it's so much easier and is basically the same ingredients). The recipe is super easy and great on rainy days!!

LindsayC's Review

April 08, 2009
I gave this 4 stars because it is worth trying, but with significant alterations. I made it once according to the recipe, and I agree with all of the other reviews that the filling bland is bland and the cornbread topping is dry and tasteless as well. I made it a second time, and used many of the suggestions that were made by other reviewers. I used diced tomatoes with chilies instead of the plain tomatoes (Rotel will work), added a tsp. of cumin, about a half a cup of frozen corn, pinto beans instead of kidney, and I added some chopped cilantro. I also used a cornbread mix made with skim milk instead of making the recipe's version. It turned out a ton better the second time around! I would give it 5 stars with the changes :).

SSAIOKC's Review

December 26, 2012
A very easy weeknight meal that even the kids will love.

LadyAlethea's Review

January 30, 2013
Typically, I make a recipe as written the first time I make it. However, after reading the reviews, I took into consideration all the suggestions and made some changes. First, I chose Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Serranos; this brand is *amazing* and never fails to enhance anything I use it in. Second, I added a can of Green Giant white corn with serranos. I used a cornbread mix for the top (Gene Autrey mix, because it doesn't have sugar in it). I also added cumin as suggested. This was seriously good; my hubby had seconds! He ate his with sour cream and asked if I'd add black olives next time, which I will. I will also switch to black beans as we all prefer them to kidneys (unless of course we're having redbeans and rice). I'll definitely be making this again.