recipe: tamale pie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You like comfort food?  Who would actually answer no to that question?  A fool.  Anyway, yes, we all like comfort food and the best kind of comfort food is the kind that's actually decent for you too.  Folks, I give you the tamale pie.  My dear friend, Jenny, brought me this when Parker was about a week old and I was like, "MARRY ME."  It's so good and food for the postpartum Mom is the best thing ever.  It feels a bit decadent too because of the corn bread topping.  Anyway, my pictures suck (nighttime!  no flash!) but trust me when I say it's real good and you should give it a try.  It's a highly adaptable recipe so I'm going to tell you how I made it and I'll include variations.

Tamale Pie
serves 5-6
15 oz. corn bread box (or the equivalent of your homemade version)
1 lb. ground beef (you could use more but I always go light on the meat)
2 red peppers, diced (any color and amount would do)
1 onion, diced
half bag of frozen corn (this is just how much I had... a can, a bag, whatever)
salsa (any amount to give it some liquid)
sour cream (a couple spoonfuls, again, to moisten it)
cheddar cheese, grated (however much you want)
1 can black beans (if you don't like beans, skip it... or pinto, kidney... all would do)
optional: 1 can of condensed tomato soup (I didn't have any this time and didn't miss it)
optional: chili powder

It's easy.  Cook beef.  Add peppers + onion and sautee.  Add corn to warm it up.  Take off heat and add your sour cream, cheese, salsa, beans.  Put it all in a 9x12 casserole dish.  Take your favorite corn bread (ours is Trader Joes boxed.  I will never attempt to make it myself because I'm in love with theirs) mix (already mixed up with the oil + eggs, etc.) and add it right to the top, uncooked, spreading it out evenly.  Yeah, it seems weird to add raw corn bread mix to the top of the cooked meat + veggies but that's how it's done, people!  Then cook it for 400 degrees for like 20-25 minutes or so.  This is probably different than the corn bread baking directions but it still works.  Just make sure the corn bread is truly cooked on top or the underside can be really undercooked since it's right on top of the casserole fixings.    

Like I said, there are a ton of variations.  I did it totally different this time then I did the last (it didn't call for cheese or sour cream or beans... but they work.) and I loved it.  The kids all asked for seconds and it made my man go, "Mmmm."  Winning!


  1. This shit is right up Mike's alley.

  2. HELLS YES FIRST COMMENT. It was purposely lame because I was all *heart pumping be the first*!

    Anyway, now that I'm at my leisure, this has almost all the same ingredients as our favorite Sante Fe soup, which we ate a little too much of when I was preg, so now I can't stomach it.

    Maybe a casserole I can do?

  3. This looks SO good. I'll definitely have to try it sometime!

  4. Has food ever tasted better than when you're newly not-pregnant, engorged like a mofo, and covered in partially digested milk?

    I think not.

    I'm none of those things, but I am hungry and tired. That'll do.

  5. welp I know what is on the menu for tomorrow now.

    thank bridget!

  6. yumm-o!! i will for sure be giving this recipe a try soon. i love recipes that can have some variation..thanks for sharing!

  7. okay, i'm going to make this tonight. question. do i understand correctly that i should cook the beef first and THEN add the veggies and continue to sautee? doesn't the beef get over-cooked? or does it just work? thanks for this recipe! i'm totally in need of something new in my repertoire! xo

  8. @rita, put the veggies in before the meat is done done- like med/med well. unless you like them on the raw-er end then sautee them only for a couple minutes when the meat is pretty much cooked.

    @erin, hungry and tired will do just fine!

    @ladylee, drew jones will be pleased.

  9. @maggie, i'd do the whole meat/veg thing, then freeze that. when you're ready to make it, add the cornbread right then.

  10. this sounds delicious and easy. can't wait to try it out.

    last night's "try out" recipe was a flop. i'm hoping this one is fool proof. the husband is losing faith in me...

  11. You make the best comfort foods.

  12. Tamale pie speaks to me. My mom makes a different variation and it is food that makes me want to live a long life just so I can have it again next week.

    This cornbread version? It's on this weekend.

  13. I love your measurements. A little of this, a little of that. Omit this, add that.

    My kind of woman.

    Justin thanks you in advance.

  14. Yum! Guess what we'll be having for Sunday night dinner? ;) And, as a Texan, I will be adding at least one fresh jalepeno (sans seeds) along with the red pepper.

  15. Looks sooo yummy!! I am making it this weekend!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  16. this is a perfect meal for a new mama! Oh I made your mac 'n cheese lastnight and it was delish...I couldn't get over the amount of butter but it made it taste like the "ideal, creamy mac 'n cheese" you'd get at a restaraunt! Soo good and sooo many leftovers! Now I need to get some this of tamale pie into my life! Have you ever used TJ's cornbread mix? It's amazing and would save you some time when making this!

  17. one word - DEELISH!!!!!!!!!!

  18. I just picked up some cornbread. Making this tonight! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. okay, bridget...question! are you talking a 15oz box of cornbread mix or a 7.5oz box? i've got the rest of it made ahead and hopefully will hear back from you before this needs to go in the oven around 6:30! thanks!!!!!

  20. Rita, love the urgency of your question! That is serious dedication.

    Bridget, this is totally going into the rotation? Too early to feed to Behr?

  21. One word--YUM. We basically made that last night and dumped it on chips calling it nachos. But the cornbread? Takes it over the top. Winner.

  22. yummo! I just wrote a post yesterday about some of my favorite , semi-healthy, comfort food! :) i will have to try this!

  23. holy yum, bridget. that looks amazing. and i pretty much hate tamales. so there you go. a winner!

  24. i made this last night! although i should have known dutch cornbread would be different...everything else about the dish was delish! will definitely be making again, thanks for sharing.

    - elz

  25. Potential double post - I think Blogger ate my first post. In any event... Made this for dinner last night, and my husband declared that I could make it every night for a week and he wouldn't complain. High praise, considering he is usually the chef. :) Next time I'm going to add a diced jalapeno, because I like me some fire (though my in-utero companion does not and retaliates with heartburn, I've deemed it occasionally worth it). Thanks for sharing! Delish!

  26. i'm loving that so many of you guys made it and experienced this deliciousness yourselves. and made your husbands happy--cause that's what it's all about right?

    WRONG. we like it too.


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