Turkey chili pie

This turkey chili pie combines a healthy, leaner turkey chili recipe with a hearty gluten-free cornbread topping, all baked together in one skillet.

If you’ve ever wondered what a chili and shepherd’s pie baby would look like, it’d be something like this turkey chili pie. There aren’t actual potatoes in this like in shepherd’s pie but it’s got a cornbread layer baked right on top of the chili that mimics them pretty well and at a quick glance could easily be mistaken for the traditional Irish fare.

This turkey chili pie combines a healthy, leaner turkey chili recipe with a hearty gluten-free cornbread topping, all baked together in one skillet.

Except there’s nothing Irish about this one, it’s all Mexican! And since I’m IN Mexico right now (probably eating more tacos and sipping more margarita like concoctions however), this felt like good timing to share this updated recipe.

This turkey chili pie is actually a throwback post from over five years ago. Like many recipes on here, I had a brief obsession with it (mainly because of its one-skillet wonders) and then it got lost in the archives as things inevitably do when you have over 1,000 posts in 6 years!

This healthy turkey chili pie is a gluten-free, one-skillet comfort food meal that will make the whole family happy! A hearty cornbread is baked right on top of this turkey chili pie, all in one skillet too for less cleanup!

I babbled away about seeing the Hunger Games movie in the original post and how disappointed I was in the on-screen recreation of the book and while I still stand by that assessment of the movie, I think it might be a better use of words to talk about the recipe for this turkey chili pie instead and share some other awesome Mexican inspired recipes from some of my blogging friends.

Hey, Cinco de Mayo IS right around the corner and any of these healthy Mexican inspired meals would be a great option to celebrate (maybe with one of these mango coconut margaritas in your hand too?).

Healthy Mexican Inspired Meals

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas – Eating Bird Food

These sheet pan shrimp fajitas make for an easy weeknight meal with Mexican flavor. Simply bake your shrimp, peppers and onions together on one sheet, load up your tortillas and enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Looking for the perfect Huevos Rancheros? This classic Mexican breakfast is made with a hearty tomato sauce, homemade refried black beans, topped with the perfect fried egg, and all the fixings! Easy enough for a weekday breakfast and perfect for a festive weekend brunch!

Easy Baked Chilaquiles with Avocado Crema – Fit Foodie Finds

We’ve developed a fool-proof, super-simple baked chilaquiles recipe that’s packed with protein (thank you beans and eggs!) and Mexican flavor!These Mexican avocado egg salad wraps make for a perfect low carb veggie packed lunch! Paleo Avocado Egg Salad seasoned with Mexican spices and jalapeno, then all wrapped up in collard greens! Whole 30 friendly.

Mexican Avocado Egg Salad Collard Green Wraps – Cotter Crunch

These Mexican avocado egg salad wraps make for a perfect low carb veggie packed lunch! Paleo Avocado Egg Salad seasoned with Mexican spices and jalapeno, then all wrapped up in collard greens! Whole 30 friendly.

Whole30 Mexican Shakshuka – Food Faith Fitness

This quick and easy, gluten free Shakshuka recipe has a little, spicy Mexican twist! It’s a lower carb, healthy and whole30 compliant dinner or breakfast!

Those all look great, don’t they?!

Hearty, warming and comforting, this one-skillet turkey chili pie is also quite healthy and super easy!

So, let’s dissect this turkey chili pie a bit, shall we?

It’s basically a Mexican inspired turkey chili made in a skillet. The turkey keeps it nice and lean but of course if you don’t care about that, feel free to use beef or a beef and sausage (chorizo?) mix (yum!). Then, a simple (gluten-free!) cornbread batter is literally spooned right on top of the chili in the skillet and baked off until golden brown.

This turkey chili pie is almost as if chili and shepherd's pie collided into the perfect hearty, one-skillet meal.

Why bother with cornbread on the side when you can bake it right on top? Am I right?

(but, this bacon jalapeno herb cornbread would be an awesome one to try if you’re adamant about having it on the side)

Have your chili and cornbread all in one easy skillet meal with this turkey chili pie!

Favorite parts of this recipe:
-one skillet (boom)
-comfort food central
-still healthy AF

When I get home and poolside margaritas, mojitos, tortillas and guacamole are no longer an option, this easy dinner will for sure be on the menu to put me back in the Mexican mindset!

Maybe with a Pacifico on the side.

Serves 4     adjust servings

Turkey Chili Pie

Cook Time 20 mins Prep Time
Preparation 20 mins Cook Time
Total Time 40 mins Total Time

This turkey chili pie combines a healthy, leaner turkey chili recipe with a hearty gluten-free cornbread topping, all baked together in one skillet.

Ingredients

For the chili

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 15 ounces canned black beans drained & rinsed
  • 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper

For the cornbread topping

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (can substitute regular all-purpose or whole wheat white flour)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or other preferred sweetener)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (can substitute melted coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook turkey until browned, breaking up into small pieces with a spatula. Drain, transfer to a plate and set aside.

  2. Return pan to stove. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil, onions, carrots, celery and pepper and cook until softened, about 7-10 minutes.

  3. Add corn, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and all the spices. Stir to combine.
  4. Add turkey back to skillet and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine.

  5. Turn off heat and set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  7. In a large bowl combine all ingredients for cornbread topping and whisk together.
  8. Spoon cornbread mixture on top of the chili in the skillet.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until cornbread just starts to turn golden brown on top.

  10. Garnish with choice of avocado slices, cilantro, green onion, sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, grated cheddar cheese.

41 Comments

  1. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    Dinner looks fabulous! I didn’t see Hunger Games nor really have intentions on seeing it. For some reason when they hype up a movie, I have no desire to see it. I haven’t even seen a Twilight movie yet.

    I love the little crockpots you have. Silly question, but do you buy all your kitchen accessories to match or do you buy what ever color strikes you that day? I know off the wall question.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      We actually rented the last Twilight movie on Saturday (my husband forced me too, I had no desire..haven’t read the books and hate the whole Twilight plot) so I was hit with that gem on Saturday night and then the disappointment of Hunger Games yesterday. Not a great weekend for movies over here!
      The crockpots are from the Le Creuset outlet near me. All my accessory plates and pots and bowls are just bought randomly, not with any matching in mind. I have a set of my regular off white plates that match (our everyday dishware) but I don’t use those too often in photos (they always look yellow to me in pictures).

      Reply
    2. Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers

      That’s exactly how I feel! Whenever something is that hyped up it’s almost a challenge to me to NOT see it for the longest time. Although people do look at me like I’m crazy a couple of years after a big movie comes out and I have no idea what they’re talking about when they reference it!!

      Reply
  2. Kat

    Pinterest told me that if you put the white ends with the routs into a glass on your windowsill, the scallions will keep regrowing, endlessly. Guess what I’m doing this week?

    On a different note, I saw this pop up in Twitter and my fingers couldn’t go fast enough to click on the link to see the deliciousness.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I’ve actually seen someone do that on a blog and it worked perfectly. Of course, that was my last green onion in this recipe so now I need to buy more and grow my own!

      Reply
  3. Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)

    You’re right. I was looking forward to seeing more of the food that was described in the book on the big screen, but I liked the movie because I feel like they stayed very true to the book and I thought Jennifer Lawrence was a fantastic pick for Katniss!

    Reply
  4. Julie @ Table for Two

    YOU, my friend, are NOT the only one who was slightly disappointed by the Hunger Games movie. I loved the book so much more than the movie. It was a nice try and good portrayal, but I’d stick to the books. This pie looks awesome. I love that you combined chili with cornbread and made it into a pie. Ugh, what a great combination. I love eating cornbread with chili…and just about anything.

    Reply
  5. katie @KatieDid

    hunger games is not on my agenda, just not ready to give into that hype…
    And this meal… I’d sort of love this right now… for breakfast (see I told you I can eat anything in the morning). But really, it sounds incredible and comforting and reminds me of being home with family.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Ok, I could maybe pick the cornbread topping off and eat it for breakfast but the bottom would have to wait until after 12pm… ;)

      Reply
  6. Margarita

    Love this! Anything ground turkey, paprika, cumin, and tomato sauce is a winner in my book! My love for cornbread is immense too, and with this one not requiring any butter, just awesome!

    Reply
  7. Lizzie

    I agree about The Hunger Games! I was very disappointed. They didn’t develop Katniss and Peeta’s relationship well, either. Most of her relationships were fairly trite, including with Haymitch and Effie.

    I love your site and this is my first comment. I haven’t made anything from you yet, but everything looks great. I love your clean design!

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Exactly, I was very disappointed in the character development of Haymitch and Effie. They could’ve dived so much deeper. Thanks for commenting today :)

      Reply
  8. Adrienne @ Boysenberries

    I have the Hunger Games book on deck. I will for sure read the book before seeing the movie. Movies never live up to the book inmy opinion. Have you read or seen One Day? The book got me through a camping road trip in Michigan. I cried at the book. The movie…nada.

    Love the recipe idea too. Potato or sweet potato would make a yummy topping too.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I know! Our theater was playing it on the half hour so the crowds were actually not bad at all. I was surprised.

      Reply
  9. Lindsay @ Fuel My Family

    I read the book and lvoed it but havent seen the movie yet. I stil want to but I usually wait for dvds to come out incase I didnt like the movie I only wasted $1 and not $11 or $22 or my husband and mysef!
    That chili pie looks great. I always make cornbread with my chli but never though of making it pot pie style. great idea!

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I usually do too but I gave in on this one b/c I absolutely LOVED the book. Should’ve held out like I usually do…We even bought the tix online and paid a convenience fee on top of the $10.75 for each ticket!

      Reply
  10. Cat @ Breakfast to Bed

    there was no capitol party!!! no one puking!! There was NO MAYOR’S DAUGHTER!! I also didn’t love Peeta as much as I really love Peeta. I did LOVE Effie and Caeser Flickerman, and Haymitch was spot.on. OH, an NOT ENOUGH CINNA or his team.

    Reply
  11. Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes

    Oh man, that looks so good!! I’m not usually a fan of shepard’s pie- but this surpasses any recipe I’ve seen!! It looks delicious and makes me want to try it very soon! I loved the movie- I thought Katniss was amazing. And Haymitch couldn’t have gotten more perfect! Loved it.

    Reply
  12. Yana

    Totally agree about what has been said so far about The Hunger Games. I too broke my “wait for discounted tickets” rule because I loved the books so much and was super exited about casting. It made me sad and frustrated that all those fantastic actors had absolutely nothing to work with except their faces. When it comes to character and relationship development, I can’t even call it a failure. Because in order to fail you have to try first. And this movie just didn’t. And no lamb stew? Not cool. Add to that theater-full of teenagers constantly making perplexing sounds, people crunching and munching on their nachos and slurping their sodas, and smell of junk food. At the price of an IMAX ticket on the opening night? I have only myself to blame, I am afraid. On the other hand, I had your breakfast cookies with me in theater, and they were so much better than the movie. Considering the box office, we can call those better-than-150-million-cookies.

    The pie looks and sounds fantastic too. Have to make it soon. Also, need to re-read the Hunger Games books soon to calm my frustrations down.

    Reply
  13. kari @ Running Ricig

    I’m actually right there with you on the movie. I enjoyed the movie, but I didn’t think it was a spectacular as everyone keeps saying and it paled in comparison to the book. That being said, the effects were incredible and it was fun to watch.

    I”m making this for dinner tonight.

    Reply
  14. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    Whoa this looks amazing.
    I’m afraid I’ll feel the same as you about the movie. I’m seeing it next weekend hoping the crowds are better. I don’t think the previews look that good and in general I’m way hard on movies.

    Reply
  15. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    Yum! I told myself I’d remember to top chili with cornbread the next time I had chili leftovers but I forgot. This looks so delicious, I think I want to make chili just so I can top it with cornbread :D

    Reply
  16. meg

    There’s a lot of truth on what you said about Hunger Games. I thought it was pretty good but shy of awesome. Gale definitely seemed like such an afterthought and hardly any mention of the food! So many times in the book my mouth was watering.

    Reply
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  18. sweetmaddy

    I agree about the lack of attention on the meals! I wanted to see the lamb stew she loved! And I felt the same way about Gale…especially because I found that actor way more attractive than Peeta. But, to be fair to the producers/director, there was so much to fit into one movie, so it makes sense that they had to cut things!

    Reply

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