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Tamale pie is bursting with spice and hearty meat with a fabulous crust of tamale goodness. It is a delicious easy-to-make one-pan meal!

Tamale pie comes together in just about 30 minutes and is served straight from the pan like our favorite Taco Casserole and Chile Relleno Casserole.

Slice of tamale pie on white dish.

We Love Easy!

We adore tamales, but they sure are time-consuming, which is why we only make them once or twice a year.

However, I LOVE tamales and their flavors! Tamale pie is a casserole version of the traditional Mexican dish with much less work and way less time, making it an easier dinner idea.

Why we love it:

  • Easy. This tamale pie recipe is an easy take on tamales, all the flavor, and half of the work!
  • Packed with flavor. This recipe takes the classic tamale flavors and turns them into an easy delicious casserole version.
  • One pot! This is made in one pot for easy cleanup!
Meat and sauce in a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

  • lean ground beef or use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, or spice up the beef mixture by adding chorizo.
  • red enchilada sauce – store-bought or Homemade Enchilada Sauce.
  • green chilies
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • shredded cheddar cheese or use pepper jack, Monterey jack, sharp cheddar cheese, or a blend of your favorites.
  • corn muffin mix plus ingredients called for on the box – for example, an 8.5-ounce box of JIFFY Corn Muffin Mix lists 1 egg and ⅓ cup milk.
    • Make it Gluten Free – As long as the cornbread topping mix is gluten-free then this dish will also be gluten-free.

How to Make Tamale Pie

  1. PREP. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. BROWN. In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, cook the ground beef, crumbling it into pieces as it cooks. When the ground beef is browned and cooked through, drain the grease.
  3. COMBINE. Add the enchilada sauce, one can of green chiles, the chili powder, and the cumin to the skillet, and stir to combine. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese on top.
  4. MUFFINS. Prepare the corn muffin mix according to the directions on the box, then stir in the remaining can of green chilies and the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Spread the batter in an even layer over the beef mixture in the large skillet.
  5. BAKE & SERVE. Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on top and cooked through. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
    • Top your slice of easy tamale pie with a dollop of sour cream.
Golden brown tamale pie in a cast iron skillet.

Recipe Tips

  • Variations – change it up by doing this:
    • Jalapeños. For a pretty crust add sliced jalapeños to the top of the batter. They will bake beautifully into a browned flavorful crust.
    • Add heat with diced fresh jalapeños or a bit of Tabasco sauce or chorizo.More flavor. Mix some diced onions, bell peppers, black olives, tomatoes, or black beans into the meat mixture. Add extra flavor with garlic salt and black pepper mixed into the cornbread mixture.
  • Baking dish. A cast iron skillet creates the best texture but you can transfer the ground beef mixture to a casserole baking dish. Top with the cornbread batter and bake until the top has cooked through.
  • Serving suggestions. This Mexican tamale pie goes perfectly with Homemade Spanish Rice Recipe, Mexican Street Corn Recipe, Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Sopapilla Cheesecake, or Guacamole.
Tamale pie with piece taken out of it.

Storing Info

  • Make ahead of time. Prepare tamale pie the day before and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. You can also freeze it. 
  • STORE. Divide leftovers into individual-sized portions. Store in an airtight, freezer safe if applicable, container. Pie can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
    • Reheat in the microwave, or transfer to an oven-safe dish and bake in the oven until hot.
  • Make a freezer meal. Place the unbaked easy tamale pie recipe in the freezer until the top is solid, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and again with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
    • To bake from frozen. Heat the oven to 400°F and bake for 60 minutes. If the top begins to darken before it is finished cooking tent a piece of tin foil over it.
A slice pulled from the cast iron skillet topped with sour cream.

For More Mexican Casseroles:

5 from 13 votes

Tamale Pie Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Tamale pie is bursting with spice and hearty meat with a fabulous crust of tamale goodness. It is a delicious easy-to-make one-pan meal!
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix plus ingredients called for on the box

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, cook the ground beef, crumbling it into pieces as it cooks. When the ground beef is browned and cooked through, drain the grease. Add the enchilada sauce, one can of green chilies, the chili powder, and the cumin to the skillet, and stir to combine. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese on top.
  • Prepare the corn muffin mix according to the directions on the box, then stir in the remaining can of green chilies and the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Spread the batter in an even layer over the beef mixture in the skillet.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on top and cooked through. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 1423kcal, Carbohydrates: 215g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 22g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 3280mg, Potassium: 545mg, Fiber: 26g, Sugar: 66g, Vitamin A: 628IU, Vitamin C: 27mg, Calcium: 321mg, Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a fun recipe that I have never seen before! I made it this weekend and will definitely be making it again soon because it was so yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used cupcake pans instead of a casserole dish! They made perfect appetizers topped with a dab of sour cream, sliced black olives and chopped green onion. SO yummy 😋 I also put them in my children’s lunch boxes! What a hit!!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe😀❤️

  3. 5 stars
    Hello,

    I was wondering if yku yave a video. I am a visual learner and i love your recipes so much! I hated cooking until i found your weBsite. Thank you thank you thank you!!

    1. I am sorry, I do not for this recipe. I am so glad you found my site. If you have any questions for this recipe, let me know how I can help!