Turkey Tamale Casserole

"An easy, delicious version of a tamale that tastes like the real thing! I cheated a little bit with the taco mix, but it was in the cupboard and I figured it couldn't hurt, and it turned out great."
photo by Heirloom photo by Heirloom
photo by Heirloom
photo by Heirloom photo by Heirloom
Ready In:
1hr 25mins




  • Crumble turkey into a large skillet over medium high heat and cook until almost all the pink is gone, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add green bell pepper, onion, green chili, tomatillos and cilantro and cook until softened
  • Add taco seasoning mix, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, shutting off burner after 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl beat vegetable shortening on low speed until fluffy.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk masa harina flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.
  • Add chicken broth and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  • Beat flour mixture into vegetable shortening until the dough is combined. It may still have a few lumps, but that's normal.
  • In a round casserole dish spread half of the masa harina dough in the bottom.
  • Layer turkey filling mixture on top of that and sprinkle with monterey jack cheese.
  • Top with remainder of masa harina dough.
  • Place casserole dish in 9 x 13 baking dish and fill with water 1/2 way up the casserole dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes.
  • Remove foil and turn oven temperature up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 10 minutes until top of crust just starts to turn golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and garnish with monterey jack cheese and torn cilantro.

Questions & Replies

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  1. goldeagle300
    Do I cover both dishes with foil or just the round dish?


  1. Nizz6822
    This was amazing! I will never make another tamale again. I followed the recipe exactly and would not change a thing! THANK YOU - this will be a staple at my house forever.
  2. Nanners
    I must admit, I was looking for a way to use up some masa harina, rice, beans and cooked chicken, so I followed the dough recipe exactly, but I made up my own filling using the rice, beans and cooked chicken as well as some onions, a can of tomatoes, chipotle chiles in adobo, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, etc. which I simmered for 10 minutes before assembling and baking just as directed in the recipe. It is a perfect vehicle for leftovers. The tamale dough is fantastic! I will try this again when I have more time to use the filling ingredients as posted. Thanks for a great recipe that I will use again!
  3. dakotacarol
    Delicious! I used a red pepper rather than a green one, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The filling was delicious, but I would like to have it a little more juicy. Not sure how I will accomplish this. The dough is excellent. I will make it again.
  4. Montana Heart Song
    Excellent! The tamale dough is the best I have made and tasted!!! I didn't have tomatillos so used firm tomatoes. There is nothing that I could add or change to this recipe to make it any better!! I will use this dough in my corn husk tamale recipe! Thanks for posting!


I'm a newlywed recently transplanted from the Pacific Northwest to Central California. I've been cooking for as long as I can remember and am always willing to try out new things. I look forward to finding new recipes and meeting new people here on 'Zaar. Onward to the kitchen!
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