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.

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

This turkey chili pie is actually a throwback post from over five years ago.

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!

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?).

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 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.

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?

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?

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

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 SkilletTurkey Sausage Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti with Mushrooms and Chard, and Cherry Lentil Turkey Sausage Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

4.58 from 7 votes

Turkey Chili Pie

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
This turkey chili pie combines a healthy, leaner turkey chili recipe with a hearty gluten-free cornbread topping, all baked together in one skillet.


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.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 904kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 50gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1870mgFiber: 17gSugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Can I make this the night before, pouring the cornbread mixture and all in my pan and then refrigerate it so I can pop it in the oven when I get home from work or will it not rise correctly or be soggy? Just wondering if I could make in advance and then put it in the oven the next day to just back when I get home. Thank you!

    1. Hi Christie- I have not tried that and I’m not sure to be honest. I think worst case, the cornbread just won’t rise as much as you stated. Worth a try!

  2. THIS is how you do healthy, Mexican comfort food! I can’t wait to dive into this pie!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.