Turkey Tamale Potpie

Nothing warms you up like spicy Mexican flavors baked into a piping hot potpie! This is another winning recipe that utilizes lean ground turkey. Of course if you are not a fan of ground turkey feel free to use lean ground beef. Recipes are just an idea of how to combine ingredients and there is always room for substitutions.

In keeping with the Mexican theme the chili flavored filling is topped with a cornbread mixture and baked in the oven.

My guys really liked this one and they are not usually fond of casserole type entrees. One serving was not enough to fill them up and they both ended up having one and a half servings which is often the case when it comes to these lighter recipes. This did reheat well in the microwave oven which is always a bonus. Feel free to play with the spices and up the heat if you prefer. Ground turkey is mild as far as flavor goes and it usually requires extra seasoning.

The on line reviews of this recipe on the Cooking Light message board said that the cornbread topping was a little dry. Indeed it was a tad bit dry (but no one here complained about it) so next time I will add about  1/3 – 1/2 cup creamed corn to the mix before baking. For the guys I added some shredded cheese on top – they love cheese. Not wanting the extra saturated fat for myself I opened the refrigerator to come up with an alternative.

I discovered half an avocado that needed to be used so it was blended with a little fat free Greek yogurt and lime juice and transformed into a delicious, smooth creamy topping that I am going to call Avocado Cream and it made this potpie extra special. Perfection! This topping will be made again and again and used on tacos, burritos, nachos and taco salad.

Turkey Tamale Potpie


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped red 0r green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies un-drained (could use Rotel for extra spicy)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-beans, rinsed and drained


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°.

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.

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.

Tami’s Notes: The cornbread topping was a tad dry so next time try adding 1/3 – 1/2 cup creamed corn to the cornmeal mix. Other reviewers used a box of Jiffy cornbread mix instead of the homemade mixture.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving Calories: 329, Fat: 3g, Protein: 27.6g, Carbohydrate: 47.6g, Fiber: 6.8g, Cholesterol: 67mg,  Sodium: 705mg, WWPP 8

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light


Avocado Cream

  •  1/4 cup Fage fat free Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Place all ingredients in a mini food processor or a blender and process until smooth. You could add cilantro or cumin if desired.

Servings: 4

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving; Calories 53.32,Total Fat 3.34g, Saturated Fat 0.46g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 12.43mg, Carbs 3.32g, Fiber 1.49g, Sugar 1.25g, Protein 3.31g  WWPP 1

A Nutmeg Notebook recipe.

 Nutmeg Notes

All of my East Coast readers are in my thoughts with that storm bearing down on you! Hope everyone stays safe, warm and dry.

On the cooking front I have a new pork tenderloin recipe to try and hope to get some soup made. My list of things to do is long so I am not sure how much cooking will get done around here today.

Looking ahead I do need to prepare for my surgery by stocking the freezer. Soups and stew reheat nicely so I will make a variety of those up and freeze them. Hubby Tom can cook some meat on the BBQ and the smoker and freeze those ahead. We might need to use frozen veggies the first couple weeks post surgery. I won’t be able to drive so shopping for fresh items isn’t going to happen. Oh, I can make a batch of breakfast Sausage Cheese Egg muffins – those freeze and reheat well. I can go ahead and make up several Chocolate Fudge Protein Muffins for the freezer. Dry oatmeal can be measured out with my additions of spices and add ons into little plastic containers – then the liquids and canned pumpkin are easy enough to pull out of the frig when ready to make. Got any other ideas?

Take Care,


Do me the pleasure of leaving a comment 🙂

Do you have any make ahead healthy freezer meal recipes or ideas you can share?

Edited to add; no pasta dishes as we are trying to cut back on carbs.

If so, feel free to leave me a link to your favorite make ahead freezer meals and leave the recipe in your comment or email the recipe to me at Tami@nutmegnotebook.com .

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  1. Linda Sharp says:

    Your website came up today!! I have missed it! The tamale pie looks fabulous – I am not eating nightshades for a few months – which means no tamale pie for now 🙁
    My legs have been giving me such grief I am taking away gluten foods, dairy foods and nightshades for awhile – will re-introduce them later to see if it helps to avoid any of them.

    I have found preparation before surgery to be essential – great job thinking ahead!

  2. Kris says:

    Can your husband help out with shopping for produce and cooking?

    1. Tami says:

      He will do what he can but he works out of town quite a bit so he won’t be here everyday to help. That’s why I thought frozen veggies would work so I can just heat them up in the microwave and they will be already to go, no cleaning or trimming or prep required. If I have single serving entrees made up and frozen I can just heat and eat those too when I am by myself.

  3. Julie says:

    Your avacado cream looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this one!

    1. Tami says:

      Let me know what you think of it Julie!

    2. Correen says:

      I cannot wait to try the avocado cream…made my mouth water just reading it.

      1. Tami says:

        It’s so good Correen – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂

  4. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Great recipe Tami!!!!! YUM!!!

    Yes, maybe Tom can help you & I am sue he will after the surgery. I know you are the cook & like to cook & we are always the last to ask for help but I know your family will be there for you as you have been for them! 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Tom will help all he can. December happens to be one of his most hectic business months of the year! He works 6 days a week and 10-12 hours a day most of the month. Our son will be finished with college classes by mid December and he can come home and stay here to help out so that is going to work out well.

  5. Miz says:

    ok so Im not alone in the MAYBE TOM CAN HELP?? thoughts…..
    update us when you can on your thoughts/plans

  6. Dr. J says:

    We really lucked out in Florida with Sandy!

    My family is in Richmond, Va and I just heard from my dad that it’s not too bad yet!

    1. Tami says:

      Great news Dr J! My sister in law called from Florida yesterday to let us know they were okay! Crazy weather. 🙂

  7. Biz says:

    I would love that tamale pie, but would definitely sub in ground beef – ground turkey gives me the heebie jeebies!

    Soups are always a dream to freeze and reheat. 😀

    1. Tami says:

      I know not everyone likes ground turkey but what about it gives you the hebbie jeebies? 🙂 I do love me some soup so that is going on the make ahead list for sure. 🙂

  8. Veronica says:

    I love tamale pie! Your avocado cream is so smart, and sounds like such a treat and would be good on anything Mexican! Gotta try that. When is you surgery? I bet you’re nervous and excited!

    1. Tami says:

      I am loving that avocado cream! I am having foot surgery the first week of December. 🙂

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