Delicious and Easy to Make Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie cornmeal on top

Tamale Pie

One of my favorite “go to” dinners to make for my family is my Mom’s recipe for Tamale Pie.  It is so easy to assemble, and tastes great every time.

The cornmeal is so tasty on top of the meat and veggie mixture.  You will cook the pie until the cornmeal is slightly crisp at the top.

Everyone is happy with this dinner in my household, and if there are any leftovers, it heats up again very well.

I remember my Mom always making this dish on Halloween night.  We would have a piece before trick or treating, then have another piece in between rounds of our trick or treating outings.  :)  It was nice to have a little nutrition in between all of the heavy sugar rounds.

Below are the steps to making this yummy pie:

Tamale pie ingredients

Gather Tamale Pie ingredients:  Note that I used sliced cheese this time, but shredded works better.

Tamale Pie Recipe

Saute chopped green peppers and onions until soft.

Brown Turkey Meat for Tamale Pie

Brown Turkey Meat with sauteed peppers and onions

Tamale Pie Ingredients

Add the next 4ingredients including: olives, corn, 2 cans of tomato sauce, dash of pepper.

Tamale Pie Ingredients

Simmer for 20 minutes until the ingredients thicken.

Cornmeal Topping for Tamale Pie

Meanwhile, while meat mixture is thickening, stir 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, 1/2t salt and 2 cups cold water until starts to thicken, then add 1T butter and stir

Tamale Pie Recipe

Place meat mixture in 13×9 inch pan

Tamale Pie cornmeal on top

Spread Cornmeal mixture on top of meat mixture

Cheese on cornmeal

Place cheese on top of cornmeal layer now or you can wait until there is 10 minutes left of cooking time to put the cheese on.  If you put it on before putting in the oven, the cheese will be crispier in the end.

place tamale pie in oven

Place Tamale Pie in 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes

finished tamale pie

Finished Tamale Pie

piece of tamale pie

Piece of Tamale Pie Ready to be Enjoyed!

You can always add extra ingredients, like garlic and chili powder to spice things up a bit.  If it were just Mountain Man and I, I would add chili powder, cumin and garlic, but with the little ones, they like everything as non-spicy as possible, so I restrain from those ingredients.  Sometimes, I will sprinkle chili powder on the grown ups plates of the pie.

Also, I have added green chili peppers in the past which are really yummy as well.

Here is the recipe for print out:

Delicious and Easy to Make Tamale Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 2 cans (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (12oz) yellow corn
  • 1 can (8oz) sliced olives
  • 12 oz of shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½t salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1T butter
  1. Saute onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender.
  2. Add meat and brown lightly.
  3. Add next four ingredients and simmer until thick for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the cornmeal topper by stirring ¾ cup cornmeal with 2 cups cold water and ½t salt.
  5. Cook and stir until thick.
  6. Add 1T butter and mix well until melted.
  7. After simmering for 20 minutes, place meat mixture in 13x9 inch pan.
  8. Spoon the cornmeal mixture on top of the meat mixture and spread.
  9. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  10. When there are 10 minutes left of cooking time, sprinkle cheese on top of the cornmeal mixture.
  11. Voila! The perfect tamale pie. Enjoy!!



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