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Spicy Tamale Pie

Spicy Tamale Pie ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #texmex #casserole #recipe

A spicy Mexican ground beef, corn and black bean filling topped with crusty cornbread, this Tamale Pie is a hearty, healthy and easy meal to celebrate the season. The chiles open up the sinuses, too. I included options to make this gluten free as well.

The recipe makes enough for two pies, which you can make all at once (if you’re serving a crowd), or save half the filling for another day.

I really wanted to make tamales for Christmas, because I remember in New Mexico that tamales were one of my favorite Christmas traditions. That and the beautiful luminarias. People line the sidewalks, streets and even their rooftops with the pretty little bags of light. It was a magical experience for a midwestern girl like me. New Mexico is also where I acquired my love for all things involving hot chile peppers.

But alas, I really don’t have the ingredients to make tamales and, while I know there are some little Mexican stores here in town, I’m not sure I trust the quality. Sometimes in small ethnic stores like that in a town like mine, things sit on the shelves a lot longer than they should. So I decided instead I would make tamale pie. I wanted to make it for the holiday potluck at work. I needed to make a trial version, so that’s why I made enough for two pies.  I made one at home so I could try it and saved half the filling … then made the second pie in the toaster oven at work. It turned out awesome! No, it’s not a tamale … it’s kinda more like chili with cornbread, but it’s still delicious and spicy and fun.

I couldn’t help but wonder what this casserole would be like with the addition of some cheese, but I left it cheese-free this time. I made it pretty hot, for the other pepper heads at work, and gluten free (because we have a few who are gluten free). Most of my tamale pie got eaten, which is really quite a feat considering the insane amount of food we had in the office that day.

You can adjust the heat to your liking … and it’s super easy to make it gluten free (or not).

Spicy Tamale Pie

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 large tamale pies (about 6 - 8 servings each)

Spicy Tamale Pie


    For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground meat (beef, venison or antelope)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled & chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 6 - 8 baby bella mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup salsa (I used my cilantro almond salsa)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 - 4 Tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno or other hot pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the cornbread topping:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons flour (for gluten free, use brown rice flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray two large pie pans (or 3-quart casserole pans) with cooking spray.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the ground meat until brown, drain off the excess fat, then add the onions and saute until they are white and translucent. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic and bell pepper. Cover and let cook for several minutes, opening to stir quite frequently, until the mushrooms are tender.
  3. Add the black beans, corn, tomato sauce, salsa, broth, hot pepper and seasonings and stir to mix well. Let cook for about 10 more minutes until everything is hot. Split the filling between the two pie pans.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and olive oil. Sprinkle with the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, then stir with a spoon just until fully mixed. Spread the top of each pie with half of the cornbread mixture.
  5. Bake at 425 F for 20 - 25 minutes or until the cornbread is set and nicely golden brown on top. Enjoy!


You can make the filling as above for two pies, but freeze half for another pie later. To top one tamale pie at a time, use 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 cup cornmeal, 1 Tablespoon flour, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2017, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.


Spicy Tamale Pie ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #texmex #casserole #recipe

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