Cornbread Tamale Pie is a Mexican twist on a chili and cornbread combination. This tamale pie casserole recipe combines ground beef, corn, tomatoes, and jalapenos to create a spicy and savory filling. The cornbread casing, on the other hand, is creamy and moist. This is a great recipe to share with the rest of your family.


1 1/4 pounds ground beef
Sea or kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeño chilies, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups corn kernels (if frozen, thawed)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingers

Creamy Cornmeal Crust:

2 1/4 cups coarse cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar, shredded
1 small can diced green chilies or 1/3 cup scallions, diced
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef (season lightly with salt and pepper). Remove the beef from the pan and drain off the grease. Add a few tablespoons oil and over medium-low heat cook onion and jalapenos until tender (season lightly with salt and pepper). Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add ground beef back in along with diced and crushed tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium-low heat 5 to 6 minutes. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring 5 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt to a bowl in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and slowly add cornmeal while continuously whisking. Once cornmeal is incorporated remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Mix in milk, sour cream, beaten egg, 1 cup of the cheese, green chilies or scallions and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Mixture will be thick.
3. Grease an 8 × 8 inch casserole dish and spread a thin layer of cornmeal over bottom and up the sides. Add meat mixture and spread evenly, cover with remaining cornmeal, spread evenly and scatter remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top. Place on a baking sheet and bake 30 to 35 minutes until bubbly and light golden on top. Remove and allow to sit 5 minutes before serving with a dollop of sour cream and/or guacamole over top.

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