A Taste of Texas: How to Make Southwestern Turkey Tamale Pie! by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of KSCU 103.3 FM LIVE Food Talk Radio S.F. Bay Area

Poultry Dinner
5 years ago
A Taste of Texas: How to Make Southwestern Turkey Tamale Pie!

Tamale pie was developed sometime in the early 1900s – and may have originated in Texas. Its first known published recipe dates way back to 1911!

You’ll need:

  • 3 - 5 cups turkey, shredded in large chunks
  • 2 cups of your favorite fresh or prepared salsa
  • 2 cups of your favorite enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (12 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 onion, diced small 
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated medium
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • sour cream
  • sliced black olives
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 avocados, large dice
  • 1 - 2 jalapeño or Serrano chilies, sliced
  • crumbled Mexican cheese

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Prepare a 13x9-inch ovenproof baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (or a large cast iron pan). Set aside.
  2. If using the cast iron pan, prepare everything on the stove and transfer to the oven later. If not, use a medium saucepan over medium heat and warm the turkey with the salsa, enchilada sauce, beans, onions, 1/2 cup stock, chili powder and cumin. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and fold in the scallions and sliced black olives. Set aside.
  3. In another medium-sized saucepan, combine the cornmeal with the remaining 2 cups chicken or turkey broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until very thick, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese and the butter. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the cornmeal mixture over the filling and bake at 400 degrees F until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Serve warm with a platter full of delicious garnishes.

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
What an incredible plate of goodness. Gotta make this over the weekend. Thanks, Chef Gigi Gaggero! xoxo
Dan Scott
Thank you Chef Gigi , I'm totally going in for this tonight
Holly Budde
Oh my!! its a rainy, chilly day here and look what I found?!

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