Mouthwatering Corn Bread Tamale Pie Recipe

Pie lovers, gather around! I have a mouthwatering recipe that will make you forget all about classic pies. Introducing my Corn Bread Tamale Pie, the perfect combination of savory meat and fluffy cornbread topping.

This dish is a unique take on traditional tamale pie, featuring homemade cornbread mix and tasty ingredients such as ground beef, black beans, and green bell pepper simmered in a rich tomato sauce. Trust me; your taste buds will be delighted.

Not only is this recipe effortless to make, but it’s also a crowd-pleaser to serve at any gathering or dinner party. The crunchy texture of the delicious cornbread crust, combined with the flavorful meat filling, will have your guests asking for seconds.

So why not skip the same-old boring dinner routine and impress your family and friends with this classic comfort food. Whether enjoyed warm straight out of the oven or reheated as leftovers, Corn Bread Tamale Pie is guaranteed to be an instant hit – it always is in my household!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Corn Bread Tamale Pie
Corn Bread Tamale Pie

Tamale pie is a comfort food that brings warmth to our bellies on cold evenings. When you combine the rich flavors of chili with the savory texture of cornbread, you get a dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. This particular recipe for corn bread tamale pie takes an already delicious classic to new heights.

Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also incredibly versatile. With the option to substitute ingredients or add variations, this recipe can be made personal to your taste preferences. Whether you want to add some spice with jalapeño or substitute chicken broth for beef broth, there are endless possibilities to personalize this dish.

Additionally, this recipe can feed a crowd and has the potential for leftovers. It’s perfect for family dinners or potlucks, and reheating in individual portions means that it’s easy to grab a quick bite on busy days.

This tamale pie recipe also provides a healthier alternative than traditional tamales. The cornbread crust ensures that it is lower in calories and fat than traditional masa dough, while still being filling and satisfying.

In summary, with its ease of preparation, versatility in ingredients and flavors, low calorie count, and leftovers potential – this Corn Bread Tamale Pie Recipe is destined to become a staple comfort food in your kitchen.

Ingredient List

 Golden, crispy, and spicy Corn Bread Tamale Pie.
Golden, crispy, and spicy Corn Bread Tamale Pie.

Let’s get started with the ingredients you will need to make this delicious cornbread tamale pie recipe. Don’t worry if you don’t have them all, as most of them are versatile and can also be used in other recipes!

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ green bell pepper (chopped)
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ½ cup chicken broth and beef broth, each
  • 8 oz of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of frozen corn (thawed)
    *Tip: Use fresh corn, if available
  • 15 oz canned black beans, (drained and rinsed)
    *Tip: Use dried beans to save money

Ground Beef Mixture

  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 pound ground beef

This recipe calls for common ingredients found in your kitchen pantry or at your local grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

 A medley of flavors and textures in this Corn Bread Tamale Pie.
A medley of flavors and textures in this Corn Bread Tamale Pie.

Now, let’s get cooking! Here’s how to make this delicious Corn Bread Tamale Pie:

Step 1: Prepare the Cornbread Topping

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk together 1 large egg, 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Alternatively, you can use a pre-made cornbread mix according package directions to save time.

Step 2: Brown the Ground Beef

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up into crumbles with a spatula or wooden spoon until browned and cooked through.
  3. Drain any excess fat.

Step 3: Add Vegetables and Spices

  1. Add 1 diced onion and 1 diced green bell pepper to the skillet with the beef and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon each of ground cumin, chili powder and black pepper to the skillet with the beef mixture and cook for another minute or two.

Step 4: Add Sauce, Beans and Corn

  1. Reduce heat to low.
  2. Stir in one can (15 ounces) of black beans (rinsed and drained), one can (14 ounces) of tomato sauce and 1 cup of water or chicken broth to the beef mixture.
  3. Add one cup of frozen corn (thawed) to the mixture and stir until combined.

Step 5: Assemble Tamale Pie

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Transfer the beef mixture into a greased 10-inch pie dish.
  3. Spoon or pour the cornbread mixture over top of the meat mixture, smoothing it out into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes,until golden on top.

Serve hot, garnished with sour cream if desired.

Enjoy your delicious homemade tamale pie!

Substitutions and Variations

 Nothing beats a hot slice of Corn Bread Tamale Pie on a chilly evening.
Nothing beats a hot slice of Corn Bread Tamale Pie on a chilly evening.

Are you looking to switch things up in your corn bread tamale pie recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations that will add a twist to the traditional dish:

– Ground Chicken or Turkey: For a healthier protein option, switch out the ground beef with ground chicken or turkey. These meats will not change the flavor of the dish significantly but they will reduce fat content.

– Vegetarian Option: Simply omit the meat altogether and add more canned black beans instead. You can also substitute vegetable broth for chicken or beef broth.

– Cheese Cornbread Topping: If you’re feeling cheesy, mix in a cup of cheddar cheese with the cornbread mixture for a savory addition.

– Spicier Tamale Pie: Add some extra heat to your tamale pie by increasing the amount of chili powder, cumin and black pepper in the recipe.

– Enchilada Tamale Bake: Turn this plain piece into an enchilada casserole by adding in enchilada sauce and Mexican cheese blend. It’ll take your tamale pie to another level

– Sweet Cornbread Mix: Make your tamale pie sweeter by swapping out 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of cornmeal with 2 cups of Jiffy corn muffin mix. In a small bowl whisk together Jiffy corn muffin mix according package directions with egg, creamed corn, sour cream, cream, and water. Pour over tamale pie crust and bake according to instructions.

With these substitutions and variations, you’ll have endless possibilities with your tamale pie. Try them out and see which one is your favorite!

Serving and Pairing

 A classic comfort food with a twist of Mexican flavors.
A classic comfort food with a twist of Mexican flavors.

When it comes to serving and pairing this cornbread tamale pie, there are a few options to keep in mind. First and foremost, you can choose to serve it as a one-dish meal on its own with some sour cream for topping. The creamy tang of sour cream pairs great with the bold flavors of the beef and spices.

Another option is to balance the richness of the tamale pie with a simple side salad dressed with a vinaigrette. A bright salad made with mixed greens, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro will refresh your palate between bites of the hearty pie.

If you’re looking to pair this tamale pie with a beverage, you can opt for a cold Mexican beer or a glass of red wine like Zinfandel, which works great with bold and spicy flavors like those found in the tamale pie.

If you really want to double down on the Mexican theme, you can serve it with some homemade guacamole or salsa roja on top. The fresh and zingy taste of these classic dips contrast the rich cornbread topping beautifully.

No matter how you choose to serve this delicious tamale pie, one thing is certain: your guests will eagerly go back for seconds – so make sure to have plenty on hand!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A perfect combination of cornbread, spicy beef, and cheese.
A perfect combination of cornbread, spicy beef, and cheese.

If you’re a busy person, you’ll appreciate the make-ahead, storing, and reheating options that come with this Corn Bread Tamale Pie Recipe. You can do much of the preparation before, which makes this recipe perfect for those hectic weeknights. Here’s how you can get started:

Firstly, if you plan to make this tamale pie ahead of time, prepare the cornbread crust in advance and store it separately from the tamale filling. Store the cornbread crust at room temperature or in the refrigerator if you plan to use it within 24 hours.

To store leftover tamale pie, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. You can keep it in your fridge for up to three days. To reheat, put individual portions in the microwave for about one minute or until heated through.

If you’re looking to make a large batch of this tamale pie recipe and want to freeze some for later, I have good news – this recipe freezes quite well! You can freeze it for up to three months. Before freezing, let it cool completely and cover it well with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. When ready to eat, thaw the tamale pie in the refrigerator overnight and bake as per original instructions.

One great tip I recommend is that since this recipe freezes so nicely – try making two batches at once! One can be served fresh from the oven while the other o ne can be stored away in your freezer ready for when unexpected guests arrive or when life is just too hectic to cook from scratch.

With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, there’s no reason not to enjoy this delicious Corn Bread Tamale Pie Recipe whenever and however you like!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Indulge in this savory and mouthwatering Corn Bread Tamale Pie.
Indulge in this savory and mouthwatering Corn Bread Tamale Pie.

To ensure that your Corn Bread Tamale Pie Recipe comes out perfectly every time, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Here are some pointers that you might find helpful:

Firstly, when making the cornbread crust, be sure to not overmix the batter. Overmixing can lead to a tough and dense crust, which will take away from the overall deliciousness of this tamale pie recipe.

Secondly, if you prefer to have a spicier tamale pie, feel free to add more chili powder or red pepper flakes. Conversely, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can always cut back on the amount of ground cumin and chili powder listed in the ingredients.

Thirdly, make sure that your beef mixture is cooked through before adding it to the cornbread topping. You don’t want any raw meat in this dish!

Fourthly, if you’re making this recipe in advance and plan on reheating it later, consider undercooking the cornbread topping just slightly. This will ensure that it doesn’t dry out when reheated.

Finally, don’t forget to let the tamale pie cool down for about 10 minutes before serving. This time allows the flavors to meld together properly and makes for easier cutting/serving.

By keeping these tips and suggestions in mind, you should be able to whip up a perfect Corn Bread Tamale Pie each and every time!

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this cornbread tamale pie recipe is a classic Tex-Mex dish with an incredibly flavorful twist of cornbread crust. With the help of simple ingredients from your pantry, you can create a wholesome and hearty dinner that will satisfy your cravings and impress your guests. The best part is that you don’t need to be an expert baker to whip up this delicious pie!

Whether you’re hosting a potluck or simply making dinner for your family, this tamale pie recipe is sure to impress. It’s easy to make, customizable, and can be easily stored and reheated for later use. Make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook from scratch.

So what are you waiting for? Head to the kitchen and give this cornbread tamale pie recipe a try! You won’t regret it. It will be a perfect addition to your regular meal rotation as it offers a unique taste compared to other traditional baked dishes. Follow these simple steps mentioned in the article, add your own personal touch if desired, and enjoy the delicious meal with your loved ones!

Corn Bread Tamale Pie

Corn Bread Tamale Pie Recipe

I found this in my Joy of Cooking cookbook.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: < 60 Mins
Cook Time: 1 hour
Calories: 363.7kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned corn or 1 cup frozen corn, drained
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1 cup beef broth or 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Sauté the ground beef and onion over medium heat.
  • When onion is translucent and the meat is browned, add black beans, corn, tomato sauce, broth or water, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Set aside and prepeat the oven to 425°F
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vegetable oil.
  • Pour the milk mix ingredients over the cornmeal mix and whisk together until well-combined.
  • Spread the meat mixture into a 3 quart casserole and cover with the corn bread topping. Don't worry if the cornbread falls into the meat mixture; it will rise while baking.
  • Bake until corn bread is brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 316g | Calories: 363.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.2g | Protein: 21.2g | Fat: 16.2g | Saturated Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 88.5mg | Sodium: 1133.1mg | Fiber: 6.2g | Sugar: 6.4g

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