Best Tamale Pie Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Published: April 7, 2020 Modified: September 7, 2021
Best Tamale Pie Recipe

Tamales are a traditional South American dish. They are made of dough and steamed in the husks of corn. Did you know tamales can be both a dessert and a main course? In this recipe, we are teaching you how to make savory tamales without the traditional corn husk wrap.

Best Tamale Pie Recipe Video

How To Make Best Tamale Pie

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If you love tamales, then you'll love this yummy tamale pie recipe that cooks in the slow cooker!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
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  • oz cornbread mix, (1 box)
  • 1 egg, large
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup creamed corn, canned
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • oz yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup beer of your choice
  • cup red enchilada sauce, (recipe below)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • salt & ground black pepper , to taste
  • cooking spray

For the Red Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic , finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 beef bouillon cube, or chicken, and tomato bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef stock , or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup beer of your choice
  • 15 oz tomato sauce , (1 can)
  • salt & ground black pepper , to taste


For the enchilada sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and saute briefly.

  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and bouillon cube. Roast briefly.

  3. Add the flour, stir to combine and cook it for another minute.

  4. Deglaze with beer and reduce briefly.

  5. Add the beef stock and tomato sauce, stir then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and continue simmering for about 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick and reduced by about a third.

  6. Adjust the taste accordingly with salt and pepper, then allow the sauce to cool slightly.

  7. Transfer to a blender then puree the sauce until smooth. Set aside. You can prepare the enchilada sauce a day ahead and can either be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen.

For the cornbread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a baking casserole.

  2. In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix, egg, sour cream, and creamed corn. Whisk until a batter is formed.

  3. Transfer to the baking casserole and bake for roughly 20 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool briefly.

For the beef filling:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Saute until vegetables turn translucent.

  2. Add ground beef and saute, breaking up meat while sauteing for about 6 minutes.

  3. Deglaze with beer & reduce briefly.

  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Adjust accordingly & set aside. Drain any excess fat if necessary.

  5. Poke the entire surface of cornbread with a fork and pour over the enchilada sauce. Add beef and top with cheeses.

  6. Bake for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted, then broil for another 5 minutes until the cheese turns golden. Serve immediately!

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Commonly Asked Questions

I want to add meat to my tamale pie, how can I do this?

You can always add meat instead of the soy burger patty. If you’re using minced meat, we just cooking your meat first with some oil. Fry until brown and cooked through before adding to your slow cooker.


This Tamale Pie recipe is a shortcut to enjoying the traditional tamale. Without the corn husk wrap, you cut the effort needed to make this dish. While it does need time in the slow cooker, you're also free to go about your other tasks while this cooks!

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