Tamale Pie

This recipe is an oldie but goodie and hails back to the early days of my marriage when John and I were living on a starving student’s budget. Those were good days for learning to stretch a dollar and to make every morsel of food count. Casserole style recipes were a particularly good investment because they took simple ingredients and turned them into tasty meals with  left-overs for the week. (For a family of two adults.)

The recipe presented here is slightly updated from my original recipe. I now use fire-roasted tomatoes and chipotle chile powder.

Tamale Pie

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained or 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder, (or less, depending on heat preference)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box cornbread mix, prepared according to package directions
  • For garnishes--sour cream, grated cheese, chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
  2. Brown the ground beef along with the onion and garlic. Drain the grease from the meat.
  3. Add the tomatoes, beans, black olives, green chiles, corn, chile powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and salt and pepper. Cook until heated through and very little liquid remains. Be careful not to burn ingredients.
  4. While the ground beef mixture is cooking, prepare the cornbread mix according to package directions.
  5. Pour the ground beef mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Top with cornbread mixture. Bake until cornbread is golden brown on top and ground beef filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes. It may take more or less time, so just start checking on the progress after about 20 minutes.
  6. Garnish with sour cream, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc. This is even good served on a bed of lettuce and topped with the listed garnishes.



  1. says

    I also love the olives in there! This sounds delish, and like one of those meals that’s filling but not too heavy in the stomach if you know what I mean.

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