Turkey tamale pie

By Lynn Crawford
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Use leftover turkey in this creative dish!



For the polenta:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese shredded, plus 1 cup more for topping
  • Salt + pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the turkey mixture:

  • 2 cup leftover turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

To serve:

  • Diced avocado
  • Tomato salsa
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Crushed tortilla chips


  1. Start by making the polenta: Pour the chicken broth and milk into a medium size brasier or high-sided skillet and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the cheddar cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper.
  4. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra milk.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375*F. While the polenta is cooking, mix together the turkey, gravy, red enchilada sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Stir in the red pepper and black beans.
  6. Once the polenta is done cooking, smooth it out into a single layer and then pour the turkey tamale mixture over, spreading it in an even layer. Top with cheese.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  8. Allow to sit five to ten minutes and then serve with fresh cilantro, salsa and queso fresco or cotija cheese. 


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