Tamale Pie

  • Yield: servings


4 1/2cups water
1teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2cups quick-cooking polenta
3/4pound ground beef or ground turkey
1/2teaspoon cumin
1/4teaspoon chipotle powder
15 ozcans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
16ounces mild salsa
1cup Daiya cheese or appropriate cheese of your choice (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Bring the water and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan. When the water is boiling, slowly stir in the polenta with a large wooden spoon, stirring constantly to prevent clumping. When all the polenta has been stirred in and is smooth, turn the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the polenta from the heat and scoop half of it into the bottom of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, spreading it evenly with a knife.

3. Brown the ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat in a large skillet, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Stir in the cumin, chipotle powder, and the remaining salt. When the meat is cooked through, remove it from the heat and pour off the excess fat. Return the meat to the burner.

4. Over medium heat, stir in the drained kidney beans and salsa. Cook the mixture just until the edges bubble.

5. Pour the meat mixture into the pie plate on top of the polenta. Spread the remaining polenta on top of the meat, making sure to spread it all the way to the edges of the pie plate.

6. Place the pie in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the cheese if using, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

7. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

8. Store leftovers, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
Reprinted with permission from “The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook” by Elizabeth Gordon, Lyons Press