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Easy Skillet Tamale Pie, full of flavor and perfect for weeknights!

Tamale Pie Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 16 reviews


Simple Delicious Tamale Pie with your choice of ground turkey, beef or veggie meat topped with a delicious cornbread crust.


Units Scale
  • 12 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 lb ground meat ( chicken, turkey, or beef) or use vegetarian ground “meat”.
  • 1 bell pepper ( or try cubes of roasted butternut or sweet potato!)
  • 1 can black beans, drained (or sub extra veggies or more meat)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried mexican oregano (or use regular)
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (or sub 1 can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes and perhaps “up” the spices)
  • 1/41/2 cup water
  • 4-ounce can drained green chilies (optional)
  • 12 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro- optional
  • 1 cup grated cheese- optional (jack, cheddar, mozzarella- anything melty)

Corn Bread Topping

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2/3 cup milk, soy milk, or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced- optional
  • more cheese- totally optional

Garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream ( or avocado) and hot sauce ( all optional).


Preheat oven to 400F

Make the filling: In a 10-11 inch ovenproof skillet or dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, ground meat and bell pepper in the olive over medium heat until meat is golden brown, about 10 minutes. ( If using vegetarian meat option, no need to brown first – cook the onion, garlic and bell pepper until tender, then add the ground veggie meat. Use a metal spatula to prevent sticking. If the veggie meat continues to stick no worries scrape it up when you add the liquids.)

Add the corn and beans, salt and spices. Stir in the enchilada sauce and a little water and optional canned chilies, bring to a simmer over low heat. Taste, adjust salt and spices. If it feels dry, add a little more water to loosen. ( If you used tomato sauce instead of enchilada sauce you may want to add more spices). Bottom line is …you want this stew base to be flavorful and robust in flavor and just slightly liquidy. If it is too liquidy, simmer on low so some of the liquid dissipates. And while it’s simmering, make the cornbread topping.

Make the Cornmeal Crust: Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk , and oil in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk. If it seems dry, just add a few more tablespoons of milk until the consistency seems spreadable.

Stir in optional cilantro into the filling and sprinkle with the optional cheese. While the stew is still simmering on the stove, spread the cornbread batter in a thin layer over top. Simmer 1-2 minutes more, and top with thinly sliced jalapeño ( or more grated cheese) and then place in the hot oven, over a sheet pan, or sheet of foil to catch any overflow. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, check, then continue baking an additional 5 minutes or until puffed and beautifully golden.

Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce.


PS. my husband likes his cornbread top lathered in butter right when it comes out of the oven. Optional of course.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 347
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 1085.7 mg
  • Fat: 13.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.4 g
  • Fiber: 6.4 g
  • Protein: 20.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 70.9 mg