Rich and Zesty Tamale Pie

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 50 min
Cooling Time:
Yields: 6 servings


Rich and Zesty Tamale Pie is a delicious dish to serve and enjoy family-style when you want the taste of tamales but prefer the ease of a casserole. Made with yellow or white corn meal, sliced ripe olives and diced green chiles, tamale pie is a Southwestern favorite.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cans (10 oz. each) enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pickled jalapeños (optional)


PREHEAT oven to 425° F. Grease 12 x 8-inch baking dish.

beef, onion and garlic in large skillet until beef is browned; drain. Stir in enchilada sauce, corn, olives and salt.

COMBINE corn meal, water, evaporated milk and salt in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thick. Stir in chiles. Reserve 2 cups corn meal mixture; cover with plastic wrap. Spread remaining corn meal mixture on bottom and up sides of prepared baking dish.

BAKE for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

SPOON meat filling into corn meal crust. Spread reserved corn meal mixture over meat filling.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes; sprinkle with cheese.

BAKE for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with pickled jalapeños.

what did I do wrong?

by L. Linda , Norwood, NC on Nov. 2009

This was tasty but it turned out mush. What did I do wrong

great recipe

by s. susan , ANDERSON, CA on Jan. 2008

I love this recipe it takes about an hour to make and bake it but I love to cook so it is so worth the wait. It is also something that my granddaughters can help me make. and they are 3 &5 and really enjoy being in the kitchen with me.

Our "New" Old Favorite

by v. valerie , las vegas, NV on Apr. 2007

I used to make this recipe yeeaaars ago for my family. My daughter was coming home to visit from college and asked if I could make it. I did. It brought back good memories...she even asked me to make one for the road! We absolutely love this recipe!

It's ZESTY alright!

by M. Michelle , Pine Valley, CA on Oct. 2006

That probably depends on the enchilada sauce and any spices you add, but my dish came out really ZIPPY! My Husband took a bite, cleared his throat a little, took another bite, cleared his throat again, took a third bite, looked at me and said "I need to take this to work tomorrow..." THAT was a 5 Star rating!

Awesome Tamale Pie

by S. Susan , Erlanger, KY on Jun. 2006

It was a hit. My family is hard to please, but this was a dish that they would request again.

rich and zesty tamale pie

by s. sally , Flint, MI on Dec. 2005

Wow! This recipe is heavenly! So easy and cheap to make. You can add alot of diff. ingreds. to it also to vary the hotness, such as cumin, extra chile peppers, cyan pepper, chili pepper jalapenos, etc. A quick meal to make too.

Great Tamale Pie

by C. Catherine , PLEASANTON, CA on Nov. 2005

I was looking for something different to make for my family with extra ground beef. This was a really great recipe and my family loved it. I put some of the diced chiles into the hamburger mix as well as the cornmeal crust. I also added some extra spice to this with some chipolte chili powder in both the crust and the beef mix. Was really good! Will make this recipe again.

Rich And Zest tamale Pie

by S. Summerr , vernon, TX on Nov. 2005


Down right tasty

by M. MARGARET , KANSAS CITY, MO on Oct. 2005

I made this even though I didn't have the chillies so I substituted pickled jalopenos and no one knew the difference. I aslo added fresh minced garlic to the cornmeal mixture. I will do this one again.

Yummy for sure!

by J. Jessica , WICHITA FALLS, TX on Sep. 2005

This recipe was very good--just make sure you bake it in the right size pan. I used a smaller one, and the cornmeal mixture didn't cook all the way toward the middle. If you like tamales, you'll like this recipe!!