Tamale Pie

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Cook Time
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Recipe: #1681

October 29, 2011

"This is a take off on my Green Corn Tamales . . . no cornbread crust here! We love the tamales, but they are allot of work. Use my chili recipe or use up your chili left overs!"

Original is 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (818.8 g)
  • Calories 1431.2
  • Total Fat - 74.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 24.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 610.3 mg
  • Sodium - 3592.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 105.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 15.1 g
  • Sugars - 14.1 g
  • Protein - 87 g
  • Calcium - 611.9 mg
  • Iron - 18.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 19.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.9 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

PREPARE CHILI: In a large pot brown ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic, breaking meat into small pieces. Drain of excess grease. Add poblano pepper and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 cup beer and one can of black beans. Add ground cumin, chili powders, chipoltes, adobe sauce, oregeano, and cocoa.

Step 2

Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer and cook for 35 - 45 minutes, adding more beer or broth as needed (keep in mind that the mashed black beans will be added as a thickner).

Step 3

Drain the remaining can of beans and lightly mash. To thicken, add the crushed black beans and adjust spices and liquid as needed.

Step 4

Bring to a simmer again for 5 minutes; squeeze in juice of one lime before assembling pie.

Step 5

Tamale Dough: Place corn husk in large bowl and fill with warm water. Weight husks down with saucer and soak until soft, about 2 hours.

Step 6

If using cornmeal, place in food processor (or blender) and process until fine, 3 or 4 minutes. In food processor, blend cornmeal/Masa Harina, butter, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt until coarse meal forms. Add broth and blend in (mixture will be crumbly). Transfer masa mixture to large bowl.

Step 7

In food processor blend 2 1/2 cups corn, 1 cup cheese, baking powder, black pepper and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt until coarse puree forms. Stir puree into masa mixture until blended. Add the rest of the corn (1 1/2 cups) to masa mixture.

Step 8

Assemble: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If using corn husk; Remove from water, pat dry and line 9 x 11 shallow dish, overlapping to avoid leakage. Spray corn husk or baking dish (if not using husk).

Step 9

Spread half of cornmeal mixture on the husk or bottom of the dish.

Step 10

Spread warm chili on top of the cornmeal.

Step 11

Evenly spread the remaining cornmeal mixture on top. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Step 12

Loosely cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven and bake additional 25 minuters or until the cornmeal is firm and the chili bubbly. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • When selecting a beer for the chili, choose a dark beer for the best flavor.
  • If using masa harina for the tamale dough, make sure to check the package for additional ingredients that may need to be added.

  • Instead of ground beef and pork sausage, use ground turkey and vegetarian sausage. This substitution will reduce the fat content of the dish and make it a healthier option.
  • Instead of canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, use fresh diced tomatoes and tomato puree. This substitution will provide a fresher flavor and brighter color to the dish.

Vegetarian Tamale Pie Replace the ground beef and pork sausage with 2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans or lentils. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Use vegan cheese on top.

Tofu Tamale Pie Replace the ground beef and pork sausage with 2 (15 ounce) packages of firm tofu, crumbled and drained. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Use vegan cheese on top. Saute the crumbled tofu in a tablespoon of olive oil until lightly browned.

RECOMMENDED DISH: Mexican Rice - This classic Mexican side dish is the perfect accompaniment to Tamale Pie. The fluffy, flavorful rice is cooked in a broth with garlic, onion and tomato for a delicious, savory side dish.

RECOMMENDED DISH: Refried Beans - Refried beans are a delicious and hearty side dish that pairs perfectly with Tamale Pie. They are made with cooked pinto beans that are mashed and then fried in lard or vegetable oil for a creamy and flavorful side dish.


Q: What type of cheese should I use for this recipe?

A: This recipe calls for a coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese. You can use any type of cheddar cheese you like.

Q: How do I store cheese?

A: Cheese should be stored in the refrigerator, either in its original packaging or wrapped tightly in wax paper, foil, or plastic wrap. It should be consumed within a few days of purchase.

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Fun facts:

Fun Fact 1:Tamale pie is believed to have originated in Texas in the late 1800s. It was popularized by the famous cookbook author, Irma Rombauer, who included a recipe for tamale pie in her book, The Joy of Cooking.

Fun Fact 2:Tamale pie is a favorite dish of actor and comedian Will Ferrell. He has been known to make it for friends and family, and has even been spotted at tamale pie festivals in Los Angeles.