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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Tamale Pie

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This classic American comfort food recipe is written to use up leftover meat, but you don't need leftovers to make it - scroll on down to the Zhuzh it Up! for alternatives.

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook time: 15 min

Yield: 6-8 servings


Tamale Filling

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion minced

  • 2 garlic cloves minced

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste

  • 3 cups leftover cooked roast beef (or other leftover meat) chopped into 1/2“cubes or shredded

  • 1 560mL can black beans drained and rinsed

  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained of liquid (about 1/2 a large can)

  • 1/3 cup of corn kernels (canned, frozen or cut off the cob)

  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

Cornbread Crust

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 2/3 cup corn kernels (canned, frozen or cut off the cob)

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 cup 1% milk or buttermilk

  • 1 tbsp white vinegar if using 1% milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 3 tbsp salted butter melted and cooled

  • 2 tbsp salted butter melted to brush onto finished cornbread, optional


Prepare Tamale Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees

  2. In a 12"oven-safe skillet, heat oil on the stovetop. Add onion, garlic chili powder, salt and cook until onion is softened.

  3. Add beef (or other leftovers), black beans, canned tomatoes and corn to the skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes.

  4. Turn heat off. Stir in mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

  5. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Make Cornbread Topping and Finish the Pie

  1. In a small bowl, mix 1% milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar and set aside for 10 minutes. Alternatively, buttermilk can be set aside in the small bowl.

  2. Whisk egg into the milk/ buttermilk mixture.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, corn, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

  4. Pour egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients.

  5. Add the melted butter into the bowl and stir until just combined.

  6. Drop spoonfuls of cornbread batter onto the tamale filling and spread into an even layer across the skillet. It may not completely cover the top.

  7. Place skillet into hot oven until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the cornbread layer (about 15 mins).

  8. Remove the full skillet from the oven and brush melted butter onto the cornbread crust. We recommend serving with a red pepper dip like this one.

Zhuzh it up!

  • If you love cornbread, you could totally increase the cornbread recipe by 1/2.

  • While this Tamale Pie is written for use of leftovers, it's ok if you don't have any. You could also start by browning ground beef and take it from there. Or stop at the deli and get a fully roasted chicken (remember to keep the carcass to make broth).

This amazing recipe was inspired by one on


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