How To Make Tamale Pie With Cornbread

Tamale Pie with Cornbread is a delicious combination of two comfort cuisine favorites: tamales and cornbread. This savory dish combines a hearty, spiced filling with a golden, slightly sweet cornbread topping to create a harmonious mixture of flavors and textures that is certain to please the palate.This article, will explain how to make tamale pie with cornbread.

What Exactly Is Tamale Pie?

This cornbread and minced beef combination differs from the husk-wrapped masa dish from which it takes its name. Even the term “pie” is somewhat contentious. What it is: a cozy casserole, notably famous in the Southwest, that originated in the early 1900s. 

Most tamale pies have a flavorful minced beef base and a cornbread topping, but we decided to take a different approach. We layered minced beef and cheese over a cornbread crust covered in enchilada sauce. Surprisingly, despite all of our meat, cheese, and sauce, the crust becomes smooth and becomes the ideal flavorful base for all delectable toppings. 


For The Filling

  • 1 kilogram of ground sirloin or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of drained and rinsed black beans 
  • 1 cup frozen kernels of maize
  • 2 teaspoons of chili spice
  • pepper and salt to flavor

For The Cornbread Topping

  • 1 cup maize flour
  • 1 cup flour for all purposes
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 gallon of milk
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 hefty eggs
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional), grated

How To Make Tamale Pie With Cornbread


Step 1: Preheat The Oven

  • Start by turning the oven on and heating it to 375°F (190°C).
  • This step makes sure your tamale pie cooks all the way through and evenly.

Step 2: Prepare The Filling

Creating a delectable filling is essential for a tasty tamale pie:

  • A dollop of oil is heated in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 1 pound of ground beef or turkey should be added to the skillet and cooked until beautifully browned.
  • While the meat is cooking, cut it into small segments to ensure an even browning.
  • Next, add onions and bell peppers that have been finely chopped to the skillet. They should be cooked until tender and translucent. This phase gives your filling a sweet and savory base.
  • Add minced garlic, chile powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pan.
  • Rich and smoky flavors are imparted to the filling by the seasonings.
  • Saute for another minute until the herbs become fragrant.
  • Incorporate chopped tomatoes (with liquid), washed and drained black beans, and frozen corn.
  • The tomatoes add an acidic sweetness, the black beans a creamy texture, and the maize a sweet burst and textural contrast.
  • Allow this combination to percolate for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Remove it from the heat.

Step 3: Prepare The Cornbread Topping

To make a successful tamale pie, you must create the ideal cornbread topping:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt. This dry mixture serves as the foundation for the cornbread topping.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, & 2 big eggs. This liquid blend will make cornbread that is soft and moist.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl where the dry ingredients are already sitting.
  • Stir the ingredients together until everything is spread out evenly.
  • If you mix cornbread too much, it can be hard to eat, so be careful not to mix it too much.

Step 4: Assemble The Tamale Pie

It is now time to bring everything together.

  • Transfer the flavorful filling mixture from the skillet to a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish or an ovenproof dish of a similar dimension.
  • This delicious mélange forms the substantial foundation of your tamale pie.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese evenly over the filling if desired.

Step 5: Top With Cornbread Batter

Your tamale pie’s crowning triumph is the cornbread topping:

  • Spread the prepared cornbread batter uniformly across the surface of the filling in the baking dish.
  • This cornbread layer will rise and turn golden brown as it bakes, creating a delectable contrast to the savory filling underneath.

Step 6: Bake

  • Bake the tamale pie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cornbread on top is golden brown and a toothpick stuck into the cornbread comes out clean.
  • This step makes sure that the cornbread is fully baked and has a nice, moist texture.

Step 7: Serve

  • Before serving, allow your tamale pie to chill slightly.
  • You can garnish it with minced fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeos, sour cream, and/or salsa to add flavor and a hint of heat.
  • Now, your homemade Tamale Pie with Cornbread is ready to be enjoyed! This crowd-pleasing dish combines the comforting flavors of tamales and cornmeal.
  • It’s ideal for family dinners, potlucks, or whenever you’re in the mood for a substantial, flavorful meal.


This is a standard recipe for tamale pie, but you can change the ingredients to make it taste the way you like.

  • Protein: Try minced turkey instead of ground beef for protein. Shredded chicken or beef are also excellent substantial options.
  • Beans: While I typically use black beans, you can also use pinto beans or blend in a can of refried beans.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add roasted green chilies, diced zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, or spinach.
  • Cheese: Instead of cheddar, try pepper jack for a flavorful enhancement.
  • Toppings: You can serve your pie plain or with garnishes, including sour cream, olives, avocado, and pico de gallo.

This delectable Tamale Pie incorporates the flavors of tamales and the comforting warmth of cornbread into your next meal. With a flavorful filling and a flawlessly baked cornbread topping, this dish is crowd-pleasing and simple to prepare.

Thanks for reading.

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