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Turkey Tamale Casserole Recipe

Happy Friday everyone! Today we’re going to cover our third and final budget friendly recipe for this week. I hope you caught our other two recipes on Monday and Wednesday. They were Quinoa “Fried Rice” and Fried Egg and Avocado Tostada, respectively. I also did a post with tips on grocery shopping on a budget.

Today I’ve got an interesting turkey tamale casserole recipe for you. I actually made this last fall and have been waiting for the perfect time to post it.

Turkey Tamale Casserole Recipe

This is more like a “bake” but I guess that’s the same thing as a casserole in the end. We actually don’t do very many casseroles in the part of Louisiana I’m from, nor in New Orleans. It’s just not a thing we do in our part of the South. So I’m sorta out of my element here. However, all the ingredients I’m cooking with here are things I’m very familiar with. And the dish was very tasty so I must be doing something right!

Turkey Tamale Casserole Recipe

Let’s get on to this recipe and take a peek first at the key bulk ingredients in this dish. This casserole is filled with ground dark turkey, frozen corn nibs, black beans and pureed canned tomatoes. Not pictured is the cornbread mix that binds the casserole. These vegetables and the turkey work together to create a harmonious blend of flavors.

Turkey Tamale Casserole - Key Ingredients

Next let’s look at the key flavoring ingredients. These are the spices and seasonings that give the casserole it’s rich, delicious flavors. Onions are a key player here along with chiles and the spices you see below. These are all seasonings that are familiar from a chili spice mixture except that I used smoked paprika instead of chili powder.

Turkey Tamale Casserole Recipe - Key Seasonings

So this recipe is cooked in two stages – on the stove then finished in the oven. About half of the cook time is on the stove top then it’s finished for 25 minutes in the oven to set the cornbread. I like to let the casserole sit about five minutes before cutting into it. This allows the casserole to cool a bit so that it’s able to be scooped a bit easier from the pan. This is actually supposed to bake up rather stiff (because of the cornbread mix).

Turkey Tamale Casserole Recipe

And there you have it – ground turkey tamale casserole. This is actually the first and only casserole I’ve published here. It’s not my favorite type of cooking, but it has its place. I’m very proud of this dish, and I think you’ll enjoy it.

OK, ready to “casserole”? Me too – Let’s do it!

Yield: 8 servings

Turkey Tamale Casserole Recipe

This turkey tamale casserole is filled with lean dark ground turkey meat, black beans, corn and tomato sauce. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese, this casserole is sure to please.


1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1-4 ounce can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-28 ounce can whole tomatoes, pureed
1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1-15 ounce can black beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1-8.5 ounce box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 ºF.
  2. Brown turkey in a skillet or pot over medium high heat. Remove and reserve cooked meat.
  3. In a soup-sized pot, heat olive oil. Once heated, add the onion, salt, cayenne and green chiles and cook until onions are softened, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and briefly stir until garlic is fragrant, about one minute.
  5. Next add the pureed tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, black beans, cooked turkey, cumin and paprika. Stir very well to combine.
  6. Lower heat and cover pot. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. While that's heating, combine the corn muffin mix, egg and milk in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  8. Using a 9"x13"x2" baking dish, carefully pour the turkey filling into the dish. Mix in the cornbread batter and smooth the top. Use a butter knife to swirl the cornbread mix into the turkey filling.
  9. Cover with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and place in the oven.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.

Prep:20 minutes

Cook:45 minutes

Total:1 hour, 5 minutes

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