These little Chili Polenta Skillet Pies not only make for a unique presentation, but this recipe makes great use of the leftover turkey chili I recently made. Leftover chili is topped with creamy polenta then baked.

2 chili pies in cast iron skillets topped with polenta

Last week, I made a huge batch of turkey chili. When trying to come up with dishes to make with the leftovers I came across my recipe for skillet shepherd’s pie. That’s it, that was my inspiration. Instead of 1 giant pie, I thought I will use my favorite thing in the kitchen, my mini cast iron skillets to serve individual mini pies.

Pouring creamy polenta over chili in a cast iron skillet

Leftover chili is spooned into the skillets and instead of using mashed potato (the traditional shepherd’s pie topping), I used creamy polenta with fresh basil.

Once baked, the polenta makes for a delectable, crunchy crust and when they come out, remember to top them with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Delish! Your family will love this new comfort food.

Chili polenta skillet pie viewed from overhead

They’re sort of like an Italian Shepherd’s pie.  Meaty, rich chili combined with creamy polenta and then, don’t forget, there’s the fresh basil completing this truly Italian taste sensation. This dish would also be really delicious with leftover bolognese sauce too, so keep that in mind. Enjoy!

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Yield: 4 pies

Chili Polenta Skillet Pies

Scooping chili polenta pie out of a skillet

Leftover chili is topped with creamy polenta then baked in mini cast iron skillets

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 cups leftover turkey chili
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Divide the chili between 4 mini cast iron skillets, set aside.
  3. To a large saucepan add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the cornmeal to the stock and whisk until it starts to thicken.
  5. Whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
  6. When the polenta is thick and creamy and not gritty turn off the heat and stir in the basil.
  7. Top the chili with the polenta, divided evenly.
  8. Top with the 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and broil until golden brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 pie

Amount Per Serving Calories 407Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 65mgSodium 653mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 9gSugar 7gProtein 29g

Easy Turkey Chili

Turkey chili in a white bowl topped with grated cheese and cilantro