Tamale Pie

One of my favorite dishes that I make probably at least once a month is this tamale pie. Since I gave up meat some time ago, I haven't really been able to find and therefor eat a traditional tamale, and let's be honest, tamale making is no joke. It's definitely not something I'd want to do since I tend to be pretty lazy when it comes to cooking. So, when I saw a recipe that converted the tamale into a skillet bake, I knew I had to give it a shot.

The recipes I was finding online all had meat products in them and even though vegetables aren't normally in tamales, I wanted to incorporate more sustenance. So, I did some tweaking and kind of made my own tamale pie. One thing that I love about this dish is that it's so easy to make and yet it's bursting with flavor. It's also versatile and ingredients can be swapped out. For instance, if you don't want beans and in fact want meat, then use a pound of meat of your choosing. If you don't like bell peppers and instead want to use mushrooms, or omit all vegetables from the dish, you can do that, too. Like I said, I make this dish just about once a month and every month I made it a little different depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I use plain diced tomatoes (not as flavorful as the tomatoes with chilies in them), sometimes I add a diced jalapeno, sometimes I've even added a mixture of beans because I didn't have enough of one kind on hand. You can also change the ratio of toppings as well, as long as the cornbread base stays the same, the ingredients you put on top can be changed around to your liking.

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt (sour cream also works)
  • 1 cup corn, thawed if frozen and if canned be sure to drain and rinse the corn
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced tomato with chilies (I use habaneo but they have other varieties)
  • 1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans (or 2 cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Mix the first nine ingredients (from flour to diced tomatoes) and pour into a 14 in round skillet or cast iron pan. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onion and bell pepper, add the cumin and chili powder, and saute for another minute.
  4. Stir in cooked beans and cook until vegetables start to get tender. Mix in the salsa and removed from the heat.
  5. Poke holes in cornbread with a fork and pour the enchilada sauce over the top.
  6. Pour bean mixture on top of the cornbread and spread it out to evenly cover the cornbread.
  7. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

No comments: