This 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 chili pie recipe.
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 turkey chili that mimics them pretty well and at a quick glance could easily be mistaken for the traditional Irish fare.
Except there’s nothing Irish about this one, it’s all Mexican!
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!
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?).
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?!
So, let’s dissect this turkey chili pie a bit, shall we?
It’s basically a Mexican inspired turkey chili made in a skillet with a cornbread topping.
It’s simple because it’s almost an entirely pantry or freezer meal with ingredients you likely have on hand already like frozen corn and canned beans.
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.
Why bother with cornbread on the side when you can bake it right on top? Am I right?
Although, this bacon jalapeno herb cornbread would be an awesome one to try if you’re adamant about having it on the side.
When you Google “chili pie” chances are you’re gonna get Frito chili pie recipes left and right.
I have always despised Fritos. I think they’re the grossest of the salty chip snacks out there.
For some reason, their incredibly corn-y taste is a huge turnoff to me so while this chili pie recipe includes zero Fritos, I promise you it’s even better.
Why add gross corn chips as your topping when this simple from scratch cornbread topping is a million times better, you know?
My 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 (or its cousin, this healthy taco soup) will for sure be on the menu to put me back in the Mexican mindset!
Maybe with a Pacifico on the side.
Love this turkey chili pie recipe?
You might also like this taco soup recipe. It’s basically like a brothy chili and taco night combined! Or maybe you prefer a more traditional American comfort dish of classic chicken pot pie? You can’t go wrong with any of them!
Try other turkey recipes like my Buffalo Turkey Cauliflower Skillet, Turkey Sausage Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti with Mushrooms and Chard, and Cherry Lentil Turkey Sausage Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
Turkey Chili Pie
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)
- 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.
- Return pan to stove. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil, onions, carrots, celery and pepper and cook until softened, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add corn, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and all the spices. Stir to combine.
- Add turkey back to skillet and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine.
- Turn off heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine all ingredients for cornbread topping and whisk together.
- Spoon cornbread mixture on top of the chili in the skillet.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cornbread just starts to turn golden brown on top.
- Garnish with choice of avocado slices, cilantro, green onion, sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, grated cheddar cheese.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.