Tamale Pie!

Simple Delicious Tamale Pie with your choice of ground turkey, beef or veggie meat with seasonal veggies, topped with a delicious cornbread crust. 

Here’s an easy weeknight dinner recipe for Tamale Pie that can be made with ground chicken, turkey, beef or keep it vegetarian and use ground vegetarian “meat”.

The flavorful Mexican-spiced filling is cooked on the stovetop then topped with a simple cornmeal batter before baking in the oven. When it comes out, it is transformed into a golden cornbread-crusted pan of deliciousness!

how to make tamale pie:

  1. In a nutshell, make the flavorful filling on the stovetop with veggies and your choice of meat.
  2. Season the filling and top with cornbread batter, then put the whole skillet right in the oven.
  3. The Cornbread will bake over top of the filling and when it comes out it will be golden, puffed and delicious!
  4. Add cheese for extra richness, or leave it off for a leaner option.
  5. Spread the batter over the stew, then top with jalapeños. Bake for 25 minutes at 425F.
  6. Into the oven it goes to bake!
  7. When it comes out the crust will be golden and crispy.
  8. My husbands loves this topped with a little sour cream and I like to add slices of avocado.
  9. Simple Delicious Tamale Pie, a simple weeknight meal, easily adaptable and perfect for weeknights! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Simple Delicious Tamale Pie with your choice of ground turkey, beef or veggie meat topped with a delicious cornbread crust.

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 1–2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 lb ground meat ( chicken, turkey, or beef) or use vegetarian ground “meat”.
  • 1 bell pepper ( or try cubes of roasted butternut or sweet potato!)
  • 1 can black beans, drained (or sub extra veggies or more meat)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried mexican oregano (or use regular)
  • 1 ½ cups enchilada sauce (or sub 1 can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes and perhaps “up” the spices)
  • ½ cup water
  • 4-ounce can drained green chilies (optional)
  • 1–2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro- optional
  • 1 cup grated cheese- optional

Corn Bread Topping

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2/3 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced- optional
  • more cheese- totally optional

Garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream ( or avocado) and hot sauce ( all optional).


Preheat oven to 400F

In a 10-11 inch oven proof skillet or dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, ground meat and bell pepper in the olive over medium heat until meat is golden brown, about 10 minutes. ( If using vegetarian meat option, no need to brown first – cook the onion, garlic and bell pepper until tender, then add the ground veggie meat. Use a metal spatula to prevent sticking. If the veggie meat continues to stick no worries scrape it up when you add the liquids.)

Add the corn and beans, salt and spices. Stir in the enchilada sauce and water and optional canned chilies, bring to a simmer over low heat. Taste, adjust salt and spices. ( If you used tomato sauce instead of enchilada sauce you may want to add more spices). Bottom line is …you want this stew base to be flavorful and robust in flavor and just slightly liquidy. Simmer on low and while it’s simmering, make the cornbread topping.

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk sour cream, and oil in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk.

Stir in optional cilantro into the filling and sprinkle with optional cheese. While the stew is still simmering on the stove, spread the cornbread batter in a thin layer over top. Simmer 1-2 minutes more, and top with thinly sliced jalapeño ( or more grated cheese) and then place in the hot oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, check, then continue baking an additional 5 minutes or until puffed and beautifully golden.

Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce.