My mom is the tamale pie queen, and to many of us children of the ’50s, tamale pies represent the best of comfort food. Here’s an updated version of this classic tamale pie, which uses turkey and black beans. Try substituting hominy for the black beans, or adding a chopped green bell pepper to the saucepan with the onion.–Rick Rodgers
Turkey and Black Bean Tamale Pie Recipe
- Quick Glance
- Serves 6 to 8
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
- 2 cups homemade turkey stock or canned reduced-sodium broth
- One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 12 ounces)
- One 15 1/2-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
- 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- 1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly oil a 9-by-3-inch baking dish.
- 2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with the flour and chili powder, and stir until vegetables are coated.
- 3. Gradually stir in the broth, then the tomato sauce and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey, black beans, and corn. Pour into the prepared dish.
- 4. In another medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, whisk the cornmeal with 1 1/2 cups cold water. Whisk into the boiling water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and boiling, about 1 minute. Spread over the turkey mixture as smoothly as possible. Sprinkle with the cheese.
- 5. Bake the tamale pie until the turkey mixture is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let the pie stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Turkey and Black Bean Tamale Pie Recipe © 2007 Rick Rodgers. Photo © 2007 Ron Manville. All rights reserved.