Tamale Pie Recipe

Tamale Pie Recipe

Tamale Pie Recipe, One of those traditional American potluck casseroles is taco pie. It’s likely that the person who came up with the idea wanted to imitate the flavor of a real tamale in a cornbread dish.

Why Tamale Pie Is a Family Favorite

Tamale pie barely loosely matches the taste of authentic tamales and is not even really Mexican. However, it does have a fantastic flavor, is inexpensive, and easily feeds a large group.

What Are the Ingredients in Tamale Pie?

As a child, I always enjoyed tamale pie, which was fortunate because our school cafeteria frequently served it. Although pulled pork or a more conventional tamale stuffing might also be used, the tamale pie that comes to mind was made with ground beef, green chiles, olives, whole corn, and cornbread on top.

Where Does Tamale Pie Come From?

Tamale pie gained popularity as a student meal in high school cafeterias after it is believed to have originated in Texas sometime in the early 1900s. Beef, pig, chicken, chorizo, beans, and cheese with vegetables, cornbread, and/or creamed corn are examples of variations. When wheat was scarce like during World War II, this meal became exceptionally well-liked.

Some variations, like our Tamale Pie with Chicken, Green Chiles, and Cheese, have a cornbread topping while others, like this one, have a masa topping akin to an actual tamale.


Tamale Pie Recipe

10 mins
60 mins
70 mins
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds, and stem removed, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin (more or less to taste)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can of green Anaheim chiles, drained, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) can slice of ripe olives
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (16-ounce) package of prepared cornbread mix, such as Jiffy or Bob’s Red Mill
  • Water, egg, oil, or milk as needed for mixing the cornbread batter according to package directions


  1. Preheat the oven:
  2. Set the oven to 375°F.
  3. Brown the beef, onions, and bell pepper:
  4. Heat olive oil in a big skillet over medium-high heat before browning the beef, onions, and bell pepper. Add the bell pepper, onion, and ground meat. Add cumin, salt, and chile powder. Cook the ground beef until it is evenly browned, stirring infrequently.
  5. Get rid of the heat. If necessary, drain any extra fat (there shouldn’t be any if you’re using lean beef).
  6. Make the filling:
  7. Add water, cheese, olives, raisins, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, Anaheim chiles, and corn to the mixture. the seasoning. If desired, increase the cumin and chili powder.
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  9. Pour the filling into the casserole:
  10. A 9 x 13-inch casserole dish should be internally rubbed with some olive oil (or use a nonstick cooking spray). The filling should be poured into the casserole.
  11. Make the cornbread batter:
  12. Prepare the cornbread batter per the box instructions in a big bowl. Over the casserole’s filling, spread the cornbread batter.
  13. Bake:
  14. Bake for 40 minutes at 375°F or until the top is golden.

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