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Close overhead shot of tamale pie in a cast iron skillet
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5 from 3 votes

Tamale Pie

Classic comfort food! This ground beef casserole is topped with a cheesy cornbread crust for an easy dinner with about 15 minutes of prep.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword tamale pie, tamale pie with cornbread topping
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 516.5kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ½ cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained (such as Rotel or Red Gold brands)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy brand)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes and green chilies, chili powder and salt. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with half of the cheese.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together corn muffin mix, milk, egg and remaining cheese. Pour over the beef filling in the skillet.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown.


  • If you don't have a cast iron (or other oven-proof skillet), or if you plan to prepare the pie in advance for freezing, you can make the recipe in an 8-inch square casserole dish.
  • You can use ground chicken, ground pork or ground turkey in lieu of the beef.
  • If you want a more mild dish, swap out the diced tomatoes with green chilies and replace them with a 14.5-ounce can of regular petite diced tomatoes.
  • Jazz up the filling with even more additions, such as sliced black olives, chopped bell pepper (add it to the skillet with the onion and meat), or canned, drained pinto beans or black beans.
  • I use cheddar cheese, but you can use just about any cheese that you prefer, including Pepper Jack or a Mexican blend.
  • Store leftover Tamale Pie in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to reheat Tamale Pie: To reheat previously-baked tamale pie, warm the dish in a 325 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Individual portions of the pie can be microwaved just until heated through (about 1-2 minutes).
  • How to freeze Tamale Pie: You can freeze Tamale Pie, but it's best when frozen before baking. To do so, add the cornbread batter on top and place in the freezer (uncovered) for one hour to allow the topping to harden. Then, wrap well with plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil, and place back in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • How to bake the pie from frozen: When ready to enjoy, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake the pie straight from the freezer for 60 minutes. If the top starts to darken, lay a piece of foil loosely over the top.


Serving: 1/6 of the pie | Calories: 516.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.6g | Protein: 23.6g | Fat: 30.1g | Saturated Fat: 14.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9.7g | Cholesterol: 91.6mg | Sodium: 914.9mg | Potassium: 422.6mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 9.3g