Are you looking for a unique and flavorful meal to serve your family? Tamale pie is the ideal dish that offers something new yet familiar.
You can tailor it to suit anyone’s tastes, and it’s so easy to make.
No matter your situation in the kitchen, you can whip it up without trouble.
Are you a busy mom trying to feed the family amid the hustle and bustle?
Or maybe an experienced home cook looking for an exciting twist on dinner?
Just starting out and still trying not to burn water?
Tamale pie is the easy answer for everyone!
Now, let’s explore this delicious Mexican-style comfort food. It’ll undoubtedly spice up your weekly meal rotation.
Tamale pie is the perfect option for a family with wildly varying tastes.
The kids love Mexican food, but Dad only wants good, old-fashioned country cooking. No problem!
This recipe will satisfy everyone. It’s almost like a tamale casserole, making it the ultimate Mexican comfort food.
Even better, it’s as filling as it is tasty. You can serve it alone as a complete meal, and there are no sides needed.
And it’s effortless to make, requiring fewer than 10 ingredients.
However, despite its simplicity, tamale pie has an incredible flavor.
It’s cheesy, beefy, and full of green chiles and enchilada sauce. And the corn muffin topping is out of this world delicious!
Just give it a try for yourself. Everyone around the table will come back for more.
Ingredients in Tamale Pie
Here’s what you’ll need to make this incredible tamale pie:
- Ground beef. Ensure you use extremely lean ground beef, at least 80% lean. Season with salt and pepper and other seasonings if desired.
- Enchilada sauce, chili powder, and chopped green chiles. These ingredients help give the pie its signature south-of-the-border flavor and spice.
I use Old El Paso enchilada sauce and chiles. You can substitute whatever brand you like best.
- Cheddar cheese. You add cheese to the filling and the corn muffin topping. It makes the dish extra cheesy and delicious.
- Corn muffin mix. You use this to make the cornbread-like topping. You also need milk and an egg to make the batter according to the package’s instructions.
Once you mix in the cheddar and green chiles, it’ll remind you a bit of Mexican cornbread.
Some recipes call for tomatoes, Rotel, and other veggies. This one is the simplest version of tamale pie out there.
If you want all the extras, though, feel free to add them.
How to Make Tamale Pie
Here’s how you’ll make tamale pie:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute the beef over medium-high heat. Saute it for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Drain any excess grease.
3. Mix in the enchilada sauce, green chiles, and chili powder. Then, remove the mixture from the heat and top it with shredded cheese.
4. Follow the instructions on the corn muffin box to create the corn muffin batter. Then, mix in the remaining green chiles and cheese.
5. Spoon the batter on top of the ground beef mixture.
6. Bake it in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Then, allow the dish to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving it.
Keep scrolling to see the entire step-by-step recipe and ingredient list below.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few final tips and tricks to keep in mind when making this recipe:
- Top it with aluminum foil if it cooks too quickly. Sometimes, the top of the pie will brown before the rest. If that happens, wrap it in aluminum foil, and let it keep cooking.
- Don’t skip the cooling step, as it’s important. Letting the pie cool before slicing it does more than keep you from burning your tongue. It also gives everything time to settle.
If you cut into it too soon, it might fall apart. Give it at least 5 minutes. If you can wait 10 to 15 minutes, that would be even better.
- Add extra seasonings and veggies. If you want even more flavor, add more stuff! This recipe does well with various veggies, herbs, and spices.
If you want it in the pie, put it in the pie. It’s as simple as that.
- Don’t be afraid to top it with your favorite toppings. Cilantro, sour cream, and salsa are popular options.
You may also want green onions, guacamole, black olives, or other Mexican toppings. You do you, Boo!
- Be careful when handling it. The skillet will be hot, Hot, HOT. Don’t accidentally grab it with your bare hand. Use pot holders or oven mitts, even when slicing it and removing it.
Now, let’s look at a few fun variations if you want to mix up the recipe a bit.
I’ve already talked about adding more veggies and spices to this recipe. Here are a few other variations to try:
1. Make it vegetarian-friendly. Ground beef is the only ingredient keeping this from being naturally vegetarian-friendly. Leave it out entirely, or substitute beans for extra protein.
Black beans work exceptionally well in the recipe.
2. Swap out the meat. If you like meat but don’t want ground beef, that’s okay, too. You could use ground turkey, pork, or chicken.
3. Add some heat. Go heavier on the chili powder, or add a dash of cayenne or chipotle powder. You can also slice up some jalapenos or poblanos and add them to the beef.
4. A homemade cornbread topping is delicious. Corn muffin mix is one of the easiest ways to make the topping. However, if you want to make homemade cornbread, you can.
I’m a big believer in making recipes your own. Add, remove, or swap anything you like in this recipe. You’re the one who’ll be eating it, after all!
How to Store Tamale Pie
Finally, let’s look at storing, freezing, and reheating.
- Storing. To store this pie, start by letting it cool. Then, cover it in plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge. It should remain fresh for up to 4 or 5 days.
- Reheating chilled leftovers. Reheat refrigerated leftovers in the microwave. Nuke individual servings on high for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Freezing. Transfer the tamale pie to a freezer-safe, airtight container. If the container isn’t air-tight, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. You can leave it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheating frozen leftovers. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator. Let it thaw overnight. Then, cover the dish in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It should only take about 15 minutes to warm them through.
You can also make the recipe ahead of time and freeze it for later use.
You can follow the directions for reheating frozen leftovers to warm the pie.
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