Chili Pie with Potatoes and Cheese

img_1124I created this recipe just for the Super Bowl. The combination of the Chili with the potatoes and cheese put together in a pie crust, meets the challenge of Super Bowl food criteria; it is filling, satisfying, and delicious. It is not finger food, but you will not mind taking out a plate for this.

I use the Pillsbury pie crust that you can find in the refrigerated section at the grocery store for convenience, but the Chili is homemade. It is easy to prepare, and to save time you can prepare the Chili the day before and assemble the pie on the day you want to serve it.

1 – lb. ground sirloin
1 – cup diced green pepper
1 – cup diced onion
2 – cloves garlic minced
3 – tbls. tomato paste
1 – tbls. chili powder
1 – tsp. ground cumin
1/4 – tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 – cup chicken stock or water
1/4 – tsp. salt
1/4 – tsp. ground black pepper
1 – 15.5 oz. can black beans
1 – large Idaho potato
1 – cup Pepper Jack Cheese
1 – cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 – tbls. butter
Sour cream for serving

Pour about 2 tablespoons of canola oil into a large skillet. Mince the garlic and dice the onion and green pepper, then add them to the oil. Sauté until they start to soften, about 5-6 minutes. Push the onion mixture to one side of the skillet and add the ground beef. Break up the meat into crumbles and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Stir often. Once the pink color is gone, mix it together with the peppers and onion.

Clear a small space in the skillet and add the tomato paste, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Stir and cook about 1 minute, then add about 1/4 cup chicken broth (or water) to deglaze the pan. Combine the seasoning with the meat and onion mixture. Add salt and black pepper. Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the skillet. Stir to incorporate the beans into the meat and continue cooking for about 10 minutes on a medium-low flame, stirring often.


In the meantime, place the pie shell in a deep pie plate. Peel the potato and slice it into 1/8″ thick rounds. Once the chili is ready, add it to the pie shell.  Real cheese lovers can add a little extra cheese to the meat mixture.img_1105

Top off with a layer of potato slices. Start from the middle and place the slices around in a circle, overlapping rows until you reach the edge of the pie pan. img_1106

Brush the entire surface of the potatoes and the rim of the pie crust with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.


Put the pie into a pre-heated 425° oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes. The pie crust should be golden brown.


Remove the pie from the oven and top with the grated cheeses. Return it to the oven and turn the oven to broil. Cook until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. Watch the pie carefully as it will brown very quickly under the broiler.

You can serve this with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.


Makes 6-8 servings.


Best Ever Turkey Chili

turkey-chiliGrowing up, Mom made Chili at home, and of course, it was her own creation. She used ground beef and kidney beans in a tomato based sauce. It was delicious. For many years, I made it exactly the way she did until one day your father and I were visiting the botanical gardens and we stopped for lunch in their cafeteria.  Dad ordered the Chili, which he liked very much, so I took a taste. It was slightly sweet and in addition to beans it also had corn.  I decided to recreate a hybrid recipe at home.  I started with my Mom’s recipe and added a second type of beans, corn, a little brown sugar to add the sweet element, and a little nutmeg.  Pardon my frankness, but my creation is better than the one we tasted at the botanical gardens.

I use ground turkey now since it is a healthier choice, but you can use beef. The turkey has a certain gamey taste, and this is the reason I use nutmeg. It disguises the gamey flavor. I use nutmeg in all my ground turkey recipes.


1 – lb. ground turkey (97% lean)
1 – medium onion diced
2 – stalks celery (center leafy is best)
3 – cloves garlic
1/2 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 – tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 – tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 – tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 – cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 – tbls. chili powder
1 – 15 oz. can black beans
1 – 15 oz. can red kidney beans
1 – 15 oz. can sweet corn
1 – 10..5 oz can tomato soup (Campbell’s healthy request)
1 – 10.5 oz can diced tomatoes

Note:  you can substitute the beans with any kind you prefer; for example, chic peas or pinto beans.


Add 2 tsp. Canola oil in a large heavy pot. Add the diced onion and garlic. Sauté on low heat until tender. Careful not to let the garlic burn. Push the onions aside and add the ground turkey. Break it up into small pieces. Add the salt, pepper and the rest of the spices. Cook on medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Add the tomato soup, and 12 oz. of water. (You can use chicken stock in place of water if you like). Stir, and then add the diced tomatoes, celery stalks (keep whole), corn, and beans. Drain the corn and rinse the beans before adding them. Once the chili comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 45 min. to one hour.   Remove the celery before serving.

We usually add a little cheddar cheese on top or sour cream.