Close up of tamale pie showing the cornbread crust, ground beef topping and melted cheese on top.

Tamale Pie

  • Author: Serene


Tamale Pie. Juicy ground beef on top of a cornbread crust, all drenched in a bold enchilada sauce. This casserole recipe is an easy spin on tamales making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.



  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup corn (whole kernel or creamed corn)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese monterey jack or medium cheddar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking dish (square dish or round pie pan)
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. These include cornmeal, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir these with a fork to combine.
  3. Add the egg, sour cream and corn to the dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Pour the cornbread mixture into the prepared baking dish. 
  5. Bake the corn bread for about 15 minutes, it won’t be done completely, but it will bake more once we layer everything on. 
  6. While the cornbread bakes, prepare the ground beef. Cook over medium heat in a skillet, once the meat is cooked through, no longer pink, drain the grease, add the seasonings and stir to combine. 
  7. Poke the cornbread with a fork all over and drizzle with enchilada sauce.
  8. Add the ground beef on top of the cornbread, then top with the shredded cheese.  
  9. Bake again for another 30 minutes until the top is melted and bubbling. The sauce will be bubbling along the edges of the baking dish. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.


  • To prepare this meal ahead of time, follow the directions for making the cornbread crust and the topping ingredients. Pre-bake the crust, then add the toppings. Cover with foil and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake for dinner. Before baking, set the casserole on the counter to come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Then bake in the oven at 400 for 30 minutes, or until the top is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
  • If you’re wanting to freeze this tamale pie for a later date, follow the directions above for preparing the casserole ahead of time. Except store the tamale pie in the freezer. Be sure that it is in an airtight container. If covering with foil, let it freezer for about an hour, then place the pie dish in a sealed freezer bag. This can be stored for about 2-3 months. When ready to cook, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator the day before, to allow it to thaw, or you can place it on the counter to come to room temperature about 1 hour before cooking.
  • If you are looking for a shortcut, you can replace the homemade cornbread dry ingredients with one box of Cornbread mix. Add the same wet ingredients to the mix and follow the rest of the recipe.