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Tex-Mex BBQ Turkey Tamale Pie


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 pounds ground turkey

  • 1 hot chili pepper, Fresno or jalapeño, chopped

  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon mild ancho chili powder or hot chipotle chili powder

  • 1 cup beer or an additional 1 cup chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 cups tomato sauce

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • About 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or shredded pepper Jack cheese


Heat the EVOO in a cast iron skillet or large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and brown well. Add the chili pepper, bell pepper, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir and cook to soften the pepper and onion, 10 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the beer or 1 cup chicken stock. Stir together the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Pour over the turkey and reduce the heat to a simmer to thicken and combine the flavors.

Pre-heat the broiler.

In a saucepot, bring the stock and milk to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Add the honey and stir to combine.

Spread the polenta over the turkey in the skillet in an even layer. going almost to the edge of the pan. Top the polenta with the cheese, then pop the skillet under the broiler and brown the top. Serve directly from the skillet. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to