Tamale Pie

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while, but couldn’t settle on one in particular. I love tamales and a lot of the recipes had cornbread on top, which isn’t quite a tamale to me.  I made a mishmash of a several recipes and then made it vegetarian so that John could partake in it as well. You could sub ground turkey or beef.




For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onions
  • 12 ounces (1 package) of Grillers Crumbles or ground turkey/beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) of petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (2 oz) of diced green chilis
  • 1/2 cup of corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the tamale topping:

  • 3/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (hold for later)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  In a large saute pan, saute the onion and pepper in the tablespoon of oil until soft. Then add the veggie crumbles (or meat).


If you are using meat, you would want to brown it at this stage. I just needed to heat up the crumbles since they are precooked.  Then add the diced tomatoes, diced chilis, corn, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper.


Stir to combine and simmer over medium-high heat while you prepare the cornmeal.  No pictures of this step (John was making this while I did the filling), but just bring the water to a boil in the saucepan, whisk in the cornmeal, the salt and the cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

Now you have a bubbly filling:


Taste this for salt and pepper seasoning and adjust.  This is actually pretty good itself just to put in a bowl and sprinkle some cheese on it 😀  Pour this into a 9×9 pan sprayed with cooking spray.


Pour the cornmeal on top:


Now it is ready for the oven:


Bake at 375 F for about 30 minutes.  It will be bubbling hot. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and let it sit for about 10 minutes before eating to thicken up – and cool. It’s very hot!


This will let it thicken up just a bit.  Then serve!

Tamale Pie



The verdict? This was pretty tasty!  What I really liked about it was that the cornmeal was still soft like a tamale is and not like cornbread.  Although I think that would be an interesting variation to try.


The nutritional stats are good on this as well.  Of course, this is using the veggie crumbles, which are a little bit less than turkey.

If divided into 6 servings (shown above): 246 calories, 25 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber

I was actually pretty hungry, so I had another half serving with this and now I am full 😀  I bet the leftovers will be really good, too!

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