I hope I’m not alone in being completely taken by surprise at how quickly Thanksgiving arrived this year! Just over a week ago, the boyfriend and I were in Puerto Rico, and since it was my first real vacation in over five years (and certainly the first since starting grad school), I’d forgotten/not realized how many things there are to take care of both before and after a trip…and now all of a sudden, Thanksgiving is upon us! As well as at least half a foot of snow. We’re definitely not in Puerto Rico anymore…
I’m not hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, which leaves me free to think about other things…like this chicken and sweet potato tamale pie. In a way, though, I’m still thinking about Thanksgiving, because this tamale pie would be the *perfect* way to use up a bunch of leftover turkey and sweet potatoes, if you need a change of pace from turkey sandwiches and such.
Shredded chicken (or turkey, as the case may be) and roasted sweet potatoes make up the filling of this tamale pie, along with red peppers, black beans, tomatoes, and corn, and on top of all this southwestern goodness sits a layer of creamy, cheesy polenta.
Far easier to make than actual tamales (although I’ve got a great recipe if you are so inclined!), this chicken and sweet potato tamale pie has quickly become one of our favorites: it’s comforting, hearty, and will serve you well in the chilly months to come!
Happy Thanksgiving! Be sure to wear your stretchy pants 😉
In case you’re still deciding on a menu for Turkey Day, here are a few of my suggestions:
Cranberry sweet potato couscous (or quinoa)
Green bean casserole (lactose-free)
Sweet potato and apple stuffing
Apple maple pecan cheesecake bars
Chocolate pumpkin swirl bread
Cranberry apple crisp
Cranberry orange white chocolate cheesecake
- 2 sweet potatoes (medium or large), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- extra cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes and red pepper strips with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 20 minutes (they should be easily pierced with a fork at this point). After you remove the vegetables from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the roasted sweet potatoes and red pepper, cooked chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste, and enchilada sauce. Spread the mixture into an ungreased 9×13 baking pan.
- Make the polenta: in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Once it boils, slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Stir in the cheeses, butter, and salt (you may want to remove the pan from the heat first, if the cornmeal is sputtering). Spoon the polenta on top of the filling and use a spatula to smooth the surface.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Either storebought or homemade enchilada sauce is fine. I make it from scratch, using a recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
- If it is important to you to keep this recipe gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free enchilada sauce; the rest of the ingredients do not contain gluten.
- Feel free to substitute any type of diced or shredded meat in place of chicken. Leftover turkey from Thanksgiving would be a great choice!
chef mimi says
This is beautiful! I don’t love tamales, for some reason, but I love the way you’ve got all of the lovely components, plus chicken and sweet potatoes. Wonderful.
Thank you! I adore tamales, but my one issue is the filling-to-masa ratio, since it’s tough to pack much inside and still get the tamales to close. I think this tamale pie allows for much more balanced proportions.
chef mimi says
HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones) says
Yes yes yes!! I love tamales but are always too lazy to make the real thing. This is the PERFECT compromise for me. Thank you!
I completely agree – making tamales is an experience to be shared with others…it’s too much work alone! I hope you get a chance to try this!
this looks so yummy!!!!!!
Thank you! I’m glad it caught your eye.
Kim | Peeled Wellness says
This looks so tasty! Great photos, too!
Thanks so much, Kim! I actually took photos of this dish a second time because I wasn’t happy with my first attempt, so I’m glad to hear you like them!
This looks fantastic! I saw you on Peeled Wellness and will definitely be giving this a try!
I’m so glad this recipe caught your eye, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
alyssa breed says
Yum! This looks so tasty!! 😀
Thanks! Tasty indeed!
Kari Guastella says
What a great way to use sweet potato!
It seems to be the case for me that wherever black beans go, sweet potatoes follow…they go together so seamlessly!
Stretchy pants on. I’m locked and loaded!
Glad to hear it! Happy eating, and thanks for stopping by!
Jessica @ Sweetest Menu says
Gorgeous pie! I love sweet potato in just about anything. Just perfect for thanksgiving! Hope you had a lovely holiday!
I actually used to hate sweet potatoes, but now I seem to toss them into a ton of dishes – they’re so versatile! Thanks so much for stopping by!
As one who loves tamales but seldom gets around to making them, this is a great alternative.
Yes, exactly! I adore tamales, but for everyday meals, my options are either store-bought tamales or this tamale pie. Luckily, this tamale pie is mighty tasty!
Arl's World says
This looks delicious! Happy FF!
Thank you! And I have to say…it tastes even better than it looks!
Julie is Hostess At Heart says
You need to change the name of your blog to Fancy pants! This dish is just lovely and I love every thing about it!
Haha, “Fancy pants,” I like it! Thanks so much, and I hope you get a chance to make this!
Cake Lover says
My husband whipped this up last week and we loved it. It was also just as delicious as left-overs, which we adore. Thanks for another delicious recipe!
I’m so glad to hear that you liked it! Yes, the leftovers keep quite well…another perk, for sure!
I like your version of the tamale pie. Looks very easy & comforting.
It’s super comforting – I predict we will be making it a fair amount this coming winter. Thanks for stopping by!
Such beautiful flavors in this yummy dish. Would love to try it out for myself.
I hope you get a chance to make it! It has quickly become one of our favorites. Thanks for stopping by!
What a beautiful dish! I love tamale pie and have never seen one with sweet potatoes. Such a great idea! Putting on my list of things to try.
Thanks! I can’t remember why I decided to toss in sweet potatoes, but I’m glad I did. Let me know what you think if you make this!
I know what you mean about Thanksgiving coming around quickly. This looks a delicious way to enjoy some leftovers. Yum!
Thanks! And yes, I could have sworn that Labor Day was just a couple weeks ago!
Great recipe idea…happy feasting!
Thanks! This is one of our favorites. I’m glad it caught your eye!