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One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe

One-Pan Tamale Pie is a flavorful blend of delicious ingredients, combined in a way that is both simple and satisfying. This recipe is a twist on traditional tamale, using a topping of sweet cornbread mix to add a unique texture and taste. It's the perfect dish for those who crave homely Mexican cuisine but desire the convenience of one-pan cooking.

One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe
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Photos of One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe

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Most of the ingredients in this recipe can be found easily in any kitchen or local supermarket. However, you might want to pay special attention while purchasing the ground chipotle pepper, as it is not a common spice in some households. It adds a smoky, spicy kick to the dish, enhancing its flavor. Similarly, the sweet cornbread mix, which forms the delicious topping of the tamale pie, may also need to be bought if not readily available at home.

Essential Ingredients for One-Pan Tamale Pie

Sweet cornbread mix: This forms the top layer of the tamale pie, giving it a sweet and crusty finish.

Milk: Adds moisture to the cornbread mix.

Egg: Acts as a binding agent for the cornbread.

Ground beef: The primary protein in the recipe, making it hearty and filling.

Onion: Adds flavor and crunch.

Jalapeno pepper: Provides a spicy kick.

Enchilada sauce: Gives the dish a tangy and saucy texture.

Salsa: Enhances the overall flavor with its spicy and tangy taste.

Corn: Adds a slight sweetness and crunch.

Ground chipotle pepper: Imparts a smoky and spicy flavor.

Cheddar cheese: Melts to give a creamy and cheesy top layer.

One reader, Ebba Reddick says:

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This one-pan tamale pie recipe is a game-changer! It's so easy to make and the flavors are incredible. The cornbread topping is perfectly moist and pairs amazingly with the savory beef and spicy jalapeno. It's a definite crowd-pleaser and a new favorite in my household!

Ebba Reddick

Techniques Required for Making One-Pan Tamale Pie

Preheat the oven: Set the temperature to 350 degrees F.

Mix the cornbread batter: Combine the cornbread mix, milk, and egg in a bowl until smooth.

Cook the ground beef: In a large oven-proof skillet, cook the ground beef, onion, and jalapeno pepper for about 5 minutes until the beef is browned.

Incorporate the enchilada sauce and salsa: Stir in the enchilada sauce, salsa, corn, and chipotle pepper for about 5 minutes until heated through.

Bake the tamale pie: Place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Add the cheese topping: Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top and continue baking for about 5 minutes more until the cheese is melted.

Let the tamale pie stand: Allow the tamale pie to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

How To Make One-Pan Tamale Pie

Made with a crisp cornmeal crust, this one-pan recipe combines savory ground beef, tangy enchilada sauce, and chunky salsa for a flavorful baked tamale pie.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes



  • 16ozsweet cornbread mix,(1 pkg), such as Martha White
  • ½cupmilk
  • 1egg
  • 2lbextra lean ground beef
  • 1small onion,diced
  • 1jalapeno pepper,minced, or more to taste
  • 8ozenchilada sauce,(1 can)
  • 1cupchunky salsa
  • 1cupcorn,frozen
  • ¼tspground chipotle pepper
  • ½cupcheddar cheese,shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Mix the cornbread mix, milk, and egg together in a bowl until smooth.

  3. Combine the ground beef, onion, and jalapeno pepper in a large oven-proof skillet, then cook and stir for about 5 minutes until beef is browned.

  4. Stir in the enchilada sauce, salsa, corn, and chipotle pepper for about 5 minutes until heated through. Pour the cornbread batter on top.

  5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the top. Continue baking for about 5 minutes more until cheese is melted.

  6. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 476.42kcal
  • Fat: 16.70g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.35g
  • Trans Fat: 0.35g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.17g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.62g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.16g
  • Fiber: 5.31g
  • Sugar: 5.57g
  • Protein: 33.07g
  • Cholesterol: 101.38mg
  • Sodium: 1251.16mg
  • Calcium: 130.80mg
  • Potassium: 649.09mg
  • Iron: 3.56mg
  • Vitamin A: 56.15µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.26mg

Technique Tip for Perfect One-Pan Tamale Pie

When preparing the cornbread batter, avoid overmixing as it can result in a dense and heavy texture. Instead, stir the ingredients just until they are combined for a lighter, fluffier result. Additionally, when browning the ground beef, make sure to break it up into small crumbles to ensure even cooking and a better texture in the final dish.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Tamale Pie

Prep ahead: Prepare ingredients in advance, such as chopping vegetables or browning meat, to streamline the cooking process.

One-pan wonders: Opt for recipes that require minimal dishes and utilize one pan for easy cleanup.

Multitask: Utilize downtime, such as while waiting for water to boil, to prep ingredients or tidy up the kitchen.

Efficient tools: Use kitchen gadgets like food processors or mandolines to speed up prep work and save time.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the recipe to avoid mistakes that could lead to time-consuming fixes.

Organized workspace: Keep a tidy and organized kitchen to minimize time spent searching for tools and ingredients.

Substitute Ingredients For One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe

  • sweet cornbread mix - Substitute with cornmeal and sugar: Cornmeal and sugar can be mixed together to create a sweet cornbread mix, providing a similar flavor and texture.

  • milk - Substitute with almond milk: Almond milk can be used as a dairy-free alternative, providing a similar creamy texture and flavor.

  • egg - Substitute with flaxseed egg: A flaxseed egg can be used as a vegan alternative, providing binding properties similar to a regular egg.

  • extra lean ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef, offering a similar texture and flavor.

  • onion - Substitute with shallot: Shallots can be used as a milder alternative to onions, adding a subtle flavor to the dish.

  • jalapeno pepper - Substitute with green bell pepper: Green bell pepper can be used as a milder alternative to jalapeno, providing a similar crunch and color to the dish.

  • enchilada sauce - Substitute with homemade enchilada sauce: Homemade enchilada sauce can be made using tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, and other spices, providing a fresher alternative to store-bought sauce.

  • chunky salsa - Substitute with diced tomatoes and green chilies: Diced tomatoes and green chilies can be combined to create a chunky salsa alternative, adding a fresh and spicy flavor to the dish.

  • corn - Substitute with frozen corn: Frozen corn can be used as a convenient alternative to fresh corn, providing a similar sweet and crunchy texture.

  • ground chipotle pepper - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute for chipotle pepper, adding a smoky flavor to the dish.

  • cheddar cheese - Substitute with Monterey Jack cheese: Monterey Jack cheese can be used as a milder alternative to cheddar, providing a creamy and melty texture.

Best Way to Present One-Pan Tamale Pie

  1. Elevate the cornbread: Create a stunning presentation by shaping the cornbread into individual servings using a ring mold for a refined and elegant look.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Add a pop of color and freshness by sprinkling chopped cilantro or parsley on top of the tamale pie for a vibrant and appetizing finish.

  3. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce a touch of sophistication by delicately placing edible flowers such as marigold petals or nasturtium blooms on the plate for a visually stunning and gourmet touch.

  4. Utilize sauce drizzles: Elevate the plate by using a squeeze bottle to drizzle extra enchilada sauce in an artistic manner, adding both flavor and visual appeal to the dish.

  5. Plate with precision: Pay attention to the placement of each component, ensuring that the tamale pie is presented with precision and attention to detail, showcasing the layers and textures of the dish.

  6. Add a touch of heat: Sprinkle a pinch of finely chopped jalapeno on top of the tamale pie for a subtle hint of heat, adding a layer of complexity to the flavor profile.

  7. Enhance with microgreens: Finish the dish with a delicate scattering of microgreens, such as micro cilantro or micro arugula, to add a fresh and elegant touch to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Tamale Pie

  • Oven: Used for baking and roasting dishes.
  • Skillet: A frying pan with a wide, flat bottom and low sides, used for sautéing, frying, and searing.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining ingredients and mixing batters or dough.
  • Spatula: Used for flipping, spreading, and lifting foods.
  • Knife: Used for cutting and chopping ingredients.
  • Cutting board: Provides a stable surface for cutting and chopping ingredients.
  • Measuring cup: Used for accurately measuring liquid and dry ingredients.
  • Measuring spoon: Used for precise measurement of small amounts of ingredients.
  • Oven-proof skillet: A skillet that can be used in the oven, typically made of cast iron or stainless steel.
  • Baking dish: A dish used for baking casseroles, pies, and other baked dishes.

How To Store and Freeze Tamale Pie

  • Let the tamale pie cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the dish soggy.

  • To store in the refrigerator, cover the skillet tightly with plastic wrap or transfer the pie to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

  • For longer storage, freeze the tamale pie:

    • Cut the pie into individual portions and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil.
    • Place the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
    • Label the container with the date and contents for easy reference.
    • Frozen tamale pie will keep for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat refrigerated tamale pie, place the desired portion in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

  • To reheat frozen tamale pie:

    • Thaw the desired portion in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Remove the plastic wrap and foil, then place the pie in a microwave-safe dish.
    • Heat for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat the thawed portion in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Note that the cornbread topping may lose some of its texture after freezing and reheating, but the overall flavor of the dish will still be delicious.

How To Reheat Tamale Pie Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover tamale pie in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the top to crisp up slightly.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave. Place a slice of the tamale pie on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. The microwave method is quicker, but the oven method will help maintain the texture of the cornbread topping better.

  • For a crispy top, you can also reheat the tamale pie under the broiler. Place the leftover pie in an oven-safe dish and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

  • If the leftover tamale pie seems a bit dry, you can add a splash of enchilada sauce or salsa before reheating to help moisten it.

  • To reheat frozen tamale pie, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then follow one of the above reheating methods. If reheating directly from frozen, increase the baking time to 45-50 minutes, or until heated through.

Random Fact About One-Pan Tamale Pie

The tamale pie recipe is a delicious fusion of Mexican and American flavors. It combines the traditional tamale flavors with the convenience of a one-pan dish, making it a perfect option for a quick and satisfying meal. This dish is a great way to enjoy the flavors of tamales without the labor-intensive process of making individual tamales. It's a versatile recipe that can be customized with different toppings and fillings, making it a crowd-pleaser for any occasion. Whether you're a fan of Mexican cuisine or simply looking for a comforting and hearty meal, this tamale pie recipe is sure to hit the spot.

Is Making Tamale Pie at Home Economical?

This one-pan tamale pie recipe offers a cost-effective option for households. The combination of ground beef, cornbread mix, and vegetables creates a hearty and satisfying meal. With an approximate cost of $15, this dish provides a budget-friendly option for a family of four. The versatility of ingredients allows for easy customization, making it suitable for various dietary preferences. The overall verdict for this recipe is 8/10, considering its affordability, simplicity, and delicious flavors.

Is This Tamale Pie Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This one-pan tamale pie recipe, while delicious, leans towards the unhealthy side due to several factors:

  • The use of extra lean ground beef, while lower in fat compared to regular ground beef, is still a significant source of saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • The recipe includes processed ingredients like sweet cornbread mix and enchilada sauce, which may contain added sugars and sodium.
  • The addition of cheddar cheese contributes to the overall saturated fat and sodium content of the dish.

However, the recipe does include some healthy ingredients, such as onion, jalapeno pepper, salsa, and corn, which provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace the ground beef with a leaner protein source, such as ground turkey or chicken, or opt for a plant-based alternative like crumbled tofu or lentils.
  • Use a whole-grain cornbread mix or prepare your own cornbread batter using whole-grain cornmeal to increase the fiber content.
  • Choose a low-sodium enchilada sauce or prepare your own using fresh ingredients and herbs to reduce the sodium content.
  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the recipe by adding diced bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots to the beef mixture.
  • Reduce the amount of cheddar cheese used or opt for a lower-fat cheese like reduced-fat sharp cheddar or a sprinkle of cotija cheese for flavor.

Editor's Thoughts on This Tamale Pie Recipe

This one-pan tamale pie recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The combination of sweet cornbread, savory beef, and spicy jalapeno creates a harmonious balance that is sure to tantalize the taste buds. The simplicity of preparing everything in one skillet makes it a convenient and satisfying meal option for busy weeknights. The addition of chipotle pepper adds a smoky depth, while the cheddar cheese provides a rich and gooey finish. Overall, this dish is a comforting and hearty choice that is perfect for sharing with family and friends.

Enhance Your One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mexican Street Corn: Grilled corn on the cob smothered in a creamy, tangy sauce and sprinkled with cheese and spices.
Chili Lime Roasted Vegetables: Assorted vegetables roasted to perfection with a zesty chili lime seasoning.
Pineapple Salsa: A refreshing and tropical salsa made with fresh pineapple, tomatoes, and a hint of spice.
Tres Leches Cake: A decadent sponge cake soaked in three types of milk and topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Tamale Pie

Spicy Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry: This spicy beef and vegetable stir-fry is a quick and easy dish that is packed with flavor. The combination of tender beef, crisp vegetables, and a spicy sauce makes for a delicious meal that can be served over rice or noodles.
Mango Salsa Chicken: Mango salsa chicken is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is perfect for summer. The sweet and tangy mango salsa pairs perfectly with the tender and juicy chicken, creating a dish that is sure to impress.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Creamy tomato basil soup is a comforting and satisfying dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The rich and creamy soup is made with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a touch of cream, creating a delicious and comforting meal.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with One-Pan Tamale Pie

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Combine creamy spinach and artichoke dip with crispy tortilla chips for a perfect start to any meal. The rich and savory flavors will leave your guests wanting more.
Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are filled with a delicious mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The bite-sized appetizers are perfect for any gathering and are sure to impress your guests.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a decadent, velvety smooth chocolate mousse that will satisfy your sweet tooth. The rich and creamy texture of this dessert is perfect for any special occasion or just a cozy night in. Pair it with fresh berries or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra touch of elegance.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp. The combination of tender, cinnamon-spiced apples and a crispy, buttery topping is simply irresistible. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce for a delightful treat that will leave everyone wanting more.

Why trust this One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe:

This one-pan tamale pie recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, featuring sweet cornbread mix for a delightful base. The use of extra lean ground beef ensures a healthier option without compromising on flavor. The addition of jalapeno pepper and chipotle pepper brings a spicy kick, perfectly balanced by the sweetness of corn. The incorporation of enchilada sauce and chunky salsa infuses rich, authentic Mexican flavors. Topped with cheddar cheese, this dish promises a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, making it a trustworthy and irresistible choice for any occasion.

Have you tried this One-Pan Tamale Pie Recipe? Share your experience and any tweaks you made in the Recipe Sharing forum!
What is the best way to reheat the tamale pie?
The best way to reheat the tamale pie is to place it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes, or until it is heated through. This will help maintain the texture and flavor of the dish.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the tamale pie ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. Simply cover the skillet with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator. When you're ready to bake, remove the cover and bake according to the recipe instructions.
Can I use a different type of meat in this recipe?
Absolutely! You can use ground turkey, chicken, or even a meat substitute like crumbled tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian version. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time as needed based on the type of meat or meat substitute you choose.
Is it possible to make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free cornbread mix and ensuring that the enchilada sauce and salsa you use are also gluten-free. This will allow you to enjoy a delicious tamale pie without gluten.
Can I add other vegetables to the tamale pie?
Of course! You can customize the tamale pie by adding your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, black beans, or diced tomatoes. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time as needed to ensure that the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

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