Hey, hi! Happy Thanksgiving week!

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And Happy 19th Birthday to my brother, who is closest in age to me, Kai (Malachi)!!

I can already tell it’s going to be a pretty awesome week. For one, it’s a super short week, so we have that going for us (hello four-day weekend!). Two, Thursday we get to eat till we just can’t eat anymore (bring on all the butternut squash, pomegranate salad and um pies!) and then Friday is the official start to the Christmas season.

I mean, over here we have officially been going hard-core Christmas since Saturday when we cut down the Christmas tree. But that’s just us, or the girls of the family anyway. I mean, it’s been like a winter wonderland here so it’s pretty hard NOT to get in the spirit. All the boys are disgusted in us, if it where up to them they’d put the tree up on Christmas Eve. They are all a bunch of Scrooges if you ask me.

But whatever, this week is still all about Thanksgiving… ok, maybe a little Christmas talk, but then back to Thanksgiving!!

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Some years, our house is full of people for Thanksgiving and some years it is super small. Of course the year I do not even have a working oven, our table is pretty full. Not huge or anything, but still full. All of my siblings will be here so that’s nine of us, plus Blake who should probably just change his last name to Gerard by now and then three guests. There could definitely be more added on, but as of right now this is the head count.

Guaranteed there will be a handful of last-minute people who show up needing a good meal though. It happens every year. Especially since we eat dinner pretty late in the day. Like 7:30pm or 8:00pm. This gives people time to finds us, get comfy and stay a while. Mom and I always shoot for seven, but then gravy happens and well we honestly both suck at gravy so we never end up eating till like eight. But it’s ok because we kind of like late meals over here.

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, it’s gonna be a crockpot Thanksgiving….should be interesting.

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I wasn’t really sure I’d have a ton of turkey leftovers this year because I honestly never do, so I made some turkey breast the other week for the sole purpose of making this tamale pie. I have been thinking about it ever since October 31st. Waiting till Thanksgiving for this was not an option.

When cheesy polenta is involved you know it’s going to be good. Just sayin.

This pie could not be more perfect for the day after Thanksgiving dinner. It feeds all those lingering guests and it’s so easy to make. Plus, it’s saucy, creamy, cheesy and delicious. Perfect cozy, family comfort food.

It’s like a tamale, but better if you ask me, because well, you don’t have to do all the work of real tamales. FYI – if you’ve never made tamales before – they are work. I tried a few Christmases ago to make them for twenty plus people and I have regretted it ever since. So I now make tamale burrito bowls and tamale pies to get my tamale fix. It’s brilliant. <–Been watching too many Jamie Oliver you tube videos apparently.

I made this two ways, one family style and one, in cute little individual skillets. The mini skillets make such a fun presentation, but for some reason they didn’t seem to be as saucy as the big family style pie. Either way is good, but if you are only serving four, the skillets are always a crowd pleaser.

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

If you’re not cooking a turkey this year or you just don’t have any turkey leftovers, use chicken. Don’t let a lack of leftovers stop you from making this. This One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie is too good, and way too easy. You just need one-pot, one mixing bowl and an oven. Oh what I would do for an oven! Did I mention that if one of you guys somehow manages to get me an oven (by Thanksgiving) I will send you cookies in the mail for like a year? I really will.

And with that I am done. I need to go buy some crockpots or mini ovens or something to cook all my sides in. The turkey’s getting cooked in this thing. OMG. Someone send help (or ovens!).

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4-6


  • Polenta
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese shredded, plus 4 ounces more for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter (your preference)
  • Turkey Mixture
  • 2 cup leftover turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup leftover gravy (or 1/2 cup extra enchilada sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (rinsed + drained if using canned)
  • To Serve
  • diced avocado
  • pomegranate salsa (or any salsa)*
  • 4 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • crushed tortilla chips (I forgot to add these in the photos, but you should do this!)


Start by making the polenta. Pour the chicken broth and milk into a medium size brasier or high-sided skillet and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the cheddar cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra milk.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the polenta is cooking, mix together the turkey, gravy, red enchilada sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Stir in the red pepper and black beans. Once the polenta is done cooking, smooth it out into a single layer and then pour the turkey tamale mixture over, spreading it in an even layer. Top with cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes and then serve with fresh cilantro, salsa and queso fresco or cotija cheese. Enjoy!

*To make a quick pomegranate salsa, combine 1 1/2 cups pomegranate arils with 1 small seeded + diced jalapeno, juice of 1 lime and 1/4 cup cilantro.

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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