Yum Yum Cheeseburger Pie

May  5, 2022
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This recipe combines the Cheeseburger Pie from my mom’s recipe box with my sister’s Yum Yum Stew, a crowd-pleasing dish she invented at a beach shack one evening when we found ourselves in charge of feeding nine hangry children. My sister whipped it up with ingredients at hand—hamburger meat (history repeats!), canned tomatoes, chickpeas, and spices—and served it over rice. To our astonishment, every kid finished their bowl and asked for seconds. Since then, it’s been one of my most reliable go-to recipes. With just a few tweaks, I was thrilled to discover it works perfectly in the crescent-roll crust of my mom’s Cheeseburger Pie.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is its no-fuss adaptability. You can use any ground meat (I prefer ground turkey), or even a meat substitute. Canned chopped tomatoes, lightly drained, work fine instead of fresh. And if you don’t keep garam masala around, you can substitute it with your favorite warming spice mix. (My mom, ever resourceful, still swears by those taco-flavor packets.) Now in regular rotation at the dining table I share with my husband and son, it’s a quick and easy comfort dinner. For them, it’s “I love you” on a pie plate. For me, it’s an homage to my mom, and all the sisters, neighbors, and friends who fill our recipe boxes, and help us find our way.

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: How a Single Mom Conquered Dinner, One Pound of Hamburger at a Time. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 (8-ounce) tube Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef or plant-based meat)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and roughly chopped
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 scallions, chopped (optional), for garnish
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Unroll the Crescent Roll Dough. Stretch and arrange pre-cut triangles forming a rustic patchwork of crescent dough to line a 9-inch pie pan (preferably glass).
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the onions. Fry the onions until translucent, stirring constantly. Add the garam masala, stirring it into the onions, and fry for another minute.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the ground meat. Fry, while stirring, until the meat is broken up, mostly cooked through, and incorporated with the onions. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Cook for another few minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down and all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Turn off the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add ½ cup of the grated cheese and stir to incorporate. Spoon the meat and cheese mixture into the prepared pie pan. Top with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crust turns deep golden brown, and is cooked through. (If using a glass pan, check the bottom for doneness.) Remove from oven, and garnish with chopped scallion tops.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • Linda D
    Linda D
  • NXL
  • Mollywhistle

5 Reviews

Linda D. September 25, 2022
Thank you so much for this simple and tasty dish, Molly. Definitely goes into the rotation. I read Regine's comments and decided to salt during the sauteeing process and let the pie rest for ten minutes before I cut and served. Thanks Regine!
Regine May 16, 2022
Made it for dinner. Very tasty but I am
thinking it may taste even better when it has cooled down a bit or the next day like with lasagnas as it is by then firmer and cuts more cleanly. Delicious with a simple
lettuce or kale salad. Recipe, however, should mention to add salt to taste. Also, I did not have garam masala so I used a mixture of whatever spices I found like coriander, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and clove powder. It also took me less than 25 minutes. Maybe 18-20 minutes.
Mollywhistle May 19, 2022
Letting the pie cool before eating is a great tip - thanks! Salting to taste as well! I do sometimes add salt while cooking, but the dish can easily become over salted depending on the cheese and chick peas you use, so I tend to salt at the table. As long as the crust is cooked through and the cheese is melted, a shorter cook time is great too. Thanks for sharing!
NXL May 13, 2022
Since I don't like to use pre-made ingredients, I considered making my own crust, but in the end was too lazy for that. I made the filling as written, but then covered and simmered for 10 minutes. I then served over brown rice. Very tasty.
Mollywhistle May 13, 2022
Serving over rice is a great idea! And I bet the covering and simmering only helped the flavors combine. So glad you found it tasty!