For a long time, I struggled to know what meal I should take for someone who just had a baby. I never thought I was a great cook, which stopped me from trying. So, for years I just wouldn’t offer. Yet, during those years, I benefitted from the blessing of many people bringing me dinner when I was going through hard times. I decided to try this easy, healthier version of a Tamale Pie for a friend, and it got rave reviews.
Another thing that happened when I brought that meal is that I got to bless another person with an easy meal to make their life a little bit easier for that night. I was able to let her know that I care and I want to help. I know for me, when someone goes out of their way to bring me a meal, I am filled with gratitude. It didn’t need to be a fancy gourmet meal. Not having to worry about dinner is a HUGE help. I love that I was able to do that for someone else… and it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Now I love to bring meals to others!
Where Did This Healthier Tamale Pie Come From?
Every year on my birthday, I got to choose the meal my grandma would make me for dinner. I always decided on the dish I called “tortilla chip casserole.” From what I remember, it was basically a tamale pie with Doritos in the place of the cornbread. When I got older and tried to recreate my favorite childhood dish, I made a few adjustments and turned it into a healthier tamale pie. Now it’s a dish that my kids request. (But they don’t know my grandma topped it with Nacho Cheese Doritos!)
Most tamale pie recipes have cornbread on top. When my grandma made it, she topped it with Doritos. When I make it, I top it with cheese and then eat it with tortilla chips and make cornbread on the side. I’m not the biggest fan of soggy Doritos anymore. But apparently, I used to enjoy them.
This Tamale Pie is a perfect meal to take to a friend. It can be cooked ahead of time and brought over hot, or you can assemble it (after cooking the meat, of course), and they can save it for another day. It also reheats very well. My family loves these leftovers for lunch.
This Healthier tamale pie is also a superb last-minute weeknight meal. It is quick to throw together, especially since I usually have all the ingredients in the pantry. In addition, it cooks in one pan for easy cleanup.
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How Do I Make a Healthier Tamale Pie?
I’m so glad you asked! First things first… wash your hands and put on a cute apron. Cooking is always more fun when you can look like you know what you are doing.
What Ingredients Do I Need For Healthier Tamale Pie?
Ground Turkey is generally lower in saturated fat than ground beef, so when my doctor told me I needed to cut back on saturated fat, this was an easy switch. In addition, I learned that I prefer the taste of ground turkey over ground beef in this recipe, so it was a happy discovery. Just make sure the internal temperature of the ground turkey reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can of Condensed Tomato Soup
I use the 10.75 oz can of condensed tomato soup. In Utah, grocery stores often have case lot sales, which is when I stock up. So I always have this in the pantry. It especially comes in handy when I need to use up bread before it goes bad. I like to do that with tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.
A can of RoTel is an easy way to get your tomatoes and chilis in there. It comes in mild, original, and hot. I prefer mild, but I have made it with all three at different times. Any brand of tomatoes and chilis will work.
Canned corn is another thing I like to keep on hand. Although, I use a smaller can for this, or I save half the can for later.
A small can of sliced olives is plenty for me, but if you LOVE olives, feel free to put more.
Medium or sharp cheddar is my preference, but you can also use a Mexican cheese blend if you already have it lying around. The important part is that you have cheese… because cheese makes everything better. (Except broccoli, according to my husband. He doesn’t think anything makes broccoli eatable)
What Do I Do With Leftovers?
If the whole thing doesn’t get devoured in one sitting, you can put it into an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat it in a pan on the stove or in the microwave in a microwavable bowl. The leftovers are delicious. My son has even been known to wrap it in a tortilla and make a tamale pie burrito.
Now Let’s Make This Healthier Tamale Pie
You are going to love how easy this is! First, brown the ground turkey. Make sure there is no pink left and the internal temperature reaches 165 Fahrenheit.
Next, dump in the can of condensed tomato soup, RoTel, and corn. Be sure to drain the corn first.
Mix all the goodness.
Now add the cheese and olives.
If I am making it for my family, I serve it right from the pan. When taking it to a friend, I transfer it to a baking dish. I usually save some cheese to top it with once it is in the casserole dish. It melts nicely.
We serve this with some sour cream, avocado, jalapenos, and chips. I also like to make cornbread with this healthier tamale pie. Basically… anything that is good with chili is good with this!
If you try it, leave a review and let me know your thoughts. And if you are looking for another easy meal to take to a friend, you can try this one: Click on the picture or the name.
Healthier Tamale Pie
- 1 saute pan
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 10.75 oz can condensed tomato soup
- 1 10 oz can Ro Tel Can use mild, original, or hot depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 7 oz can sweet corn
- 1 2.25 oz can sliced olives
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- In a sauté pan, cook ground turkey until it is no longer pink.
- Add in tomato soup and Ro Tel and mix together
- Add in the can of corn and can of olives and mix together
- Top with cheese and allow cheese to melt
- Serve with chips or tortillas
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