Tamale Pie Recipe


There’s nothing more comforting than taking a few minutes off during your busy day to sit in your favorite spot and eat your favorite tamale pie recipe.  There are sweet pies made out of fruit and there are savory pies like the tamale pie.

In the beginning, Hispanics made and ate tamales. In today’s world, it’s not strictly for Hispanics alone. The traditional dish made of starchy corn-based dough that’s boiled or steamed in leaf paper evolved into a pie.

From its origins in Latin America, tamales were made including the whole family taking part on the cooking. A lot of time was used to prepare and make tamales.

Tamale pie origins are primarily American. Many say it appeared after WWII when meat was scanty and women prepared a baked meal made with cornmeal, cheese, peppers, tomatoes and olives.

Others say tamale pies originated with mainly in California, and it was basically a spin off the typical Mexican tamales.

Maybe you’re wondering how different these two dishes can be, I am speaking of tamale and tamale pie of course.

Basically, we cook and wrap tamales individually, in leaves of either corn or maguey, and make the dough from dried corn kernels processed with lime. To know more about the history and tradition go to my Tamale page.  In contrast, we make and serve a tamale pie in a casserole, and it can feed the whole family.

Making a Tamale Pie


  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of white cornmeal
  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Another tablespoon of salt

How to Prepare:

1. When you’re making a tamale pie, you need to make use of the oven so preheat it to 350 degrees F.

2. You then grease your casserole dish lightly.

3. In a saucepan, boil water and add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

4. Add the cornmeal slowly and turn the heat to low. Cook this mixture for 5 minutes making sure you stir constantly.

5. Pour the hot cornmeal into the casserole dish.

6. In a frying pan, cook the ground beef making sure not to brown it.

7. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook for five minutes.

8. Add the undrained can of corn kernels, salt, tomato sauce, and chili powder.

9. When this is heated up enough, pour this into the mixture you have into the casserole dish.

10. Spoon this over with more cornmeal.

11. Put grated cheese on the top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

This tamale pie recipe might seem complicated to you but when you try it out, you’ll find that it’s actually very easy to make. Set yourself up for a delectable treat with a slice any time of the day you have a craving for something delicious.

Tamale Pie TIPS

  • You can serve this meal any time of the year.
  • Use the cheese as an indicator because when it is brown and melted your tamale pie is ready.
  • You can make this tamale pie recipe hot by adding 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper.

Other Tamale Articles You May Enjoy

Authentic Tamale Recipe
Chicken Tamale Recipe
Colombian Tamales
Puerto Rican Pasteles
Mexican Tamales

Speak Your Mind