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Cornbread Tamale Pie

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This Cornbread Tamale Pie starts with a simple baked cornbread and is topped with a delicious cheesy meat mixture. Serve this pie with some sliced jalapeños, black olives, avocado, and a drizzle of enchilada sauce! A perfect Tex-Mex meal for any night of the week!

It’s time to eat Tex-Mex and I’ve got lots of delicious ideas for you! Try the best Carne Asada Burrito Bowls, some Easy Fish Tacos (with Avocado Crema), and these amazing Shrimp Tostadas with Avocado.

Overhead view of the cornbread tamale skillet.

Beef Tamale Skillet

I love a good skillet meal. For others, try my Sausage and Gnocchi Skillet, Parmesan Chicken Orzo Skillet, or my Cheesy Turkey Taco Skillet!

While I use a square skillet for this meal, round definitely works too. I’ve got one linked at the bottom of this post! I believe this particular square one came from an antique store!

Why This Recipe Works

  1. Simple to make. You simply make the cornbread, pour it in the pan, and bake. Then make the beef portion, and add it to the baked cornbread. A pretty quick meal to make, even for weeknights!
  2. Super tasty. I love the combo of cornbread with the spicy sauce and beef mixture. And of course, the cheese and other toppings!
  3. Pretty healthy too. A nice sized portion of this skillet meal filled me up, along with a green salad. There is plenty of protein to keep you full, and one piece has less than 500 calories (if you’re paying attention to that).
Side view of a piece of cornbread tamale pie with a skillet in the background.
A Freaky Friday banner.

Freaky Friday Blog Hop

Why is today so special you ask? Well, that is because today is Freaky Friday, hosted by Michaela at An Affair from the Heart!  No, not the movie where the mom and daughter switch places, but a good old fashioned blog hop with some of my favorite food blogger buddies!

We secretly get assigned one another’s blogs to make a recipe from, and then we all reveal who we had and what we made on the same Friday, and that is today! See below for ALL the fun Freaky Friday recipes created by my blog hop friends!

An Affair from the Heart

Guess who I got? Michaela from An Affair from the Heart! As in the organizer of this event! So while she knows of my assignment, she doesn’t know which recipe I chose! Ta-da!

I’ve never actually met Michaela in person, but I feel like I know her from following along with her on socials. She’s a Midwesterner, which is where my heart is after growing up in Iowa, and she is a mother to SIX children (plus two doggies)! Also, she travels to Lake Okoboji frequently, which was our summer vacay every summer as kids. LOVE those memories!

Entertaining is Michaela’s thing, and she got a very early start to blogging – which is simply amazing! I had such a great time looking through her recipes, trying to decide which one to feature here. LOVE all of her German recipes, especially her rueben creations. From Rueben Sheet Pan Totchos to Slow Cooked Rueben Style Brats to a Rueben Burger, you really can’t go wrong!

Oh, and let’s talk about her post about the Rueben Sandwich and how to Rueben-ize EVERYTHING! Pure genius!

But the reason that I chose this Tex-Mex creation is because I was craving it after looking at her post for Skillet Tamale Pie. But I promise – I WILL be making a rueben soon too!

Side view of a portion of the tamale skillet.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cornbread Mix – This box of Jiffy is super convenient to use for this recipe. I like to keep them on hand for this meal and my Creamy Corn Casserole.
  • Enchilada Sauce – You can use a can of red sauce or make my homemade enchilada sauce (freezes well too!).
  • Ground Beef – I use a lean beef, but you could use ground turkey too.
  • Jalapeño – A jalapeño is always included in my Tex-Mex, but you can totally skip it too.

How to make Cornbread Tamale Pie

Step 1
Combine cornbread ingredients. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornbread ingredient – the Jiffy mix, egg, sour cream, and creamed corn. Mix well and spread in a greased skillet. (You can use any shape – round is fine!) Or use an 8×8 baking dish.

Step 2
Bake cornbread. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Step 3
Meanwhile, make meat mixture. Heat skillet or pan to medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, chopped onions, jalapeños, chili powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until meat is browned and cooked through, stirring frequently. Then add the green chilies and minced garlic. Cook for another minute or so.

Step 4
Poke holes in the cornbread. Remove cornbread from oven and poke holes all over (not quite through to the bottom of pan) with the end of a wooden spoon.

Step 5
Add enchilada sauce and meat. Drizzle half of the enchilada sauce (reserve the remainder for serving) over the cornbread, making sure some of it goes inside the holes. Then spread the meat mixture evenly over the top

Step 6
Top with cheese and bake. Top the casserole with shredded cheese. Bake for another 18-20 minutes, or until crispy on the edges.

Step 7
Serve tamale pie. Serve the tamale pie with the extra enchilada sauce, some fresh jalapeño slices, sliced black olives, and avocado slices.

A wooden spoon serving a portion of tamale pie on a plate.

Sides to go with tamale pie

  • Chunky Guacamole – You can never go wrong with a side of chips and guacamole!
  • Easy Refried Beans – These refried beans are delicious as a side and make a simple taco too.
  • Spanish Rice and Beans – This side is a little bit spicy, and makes great leftovers!
  • Or a simple green salad is nice too.

How about a margarita? Try my Swirl Margaritas, some Orange Jalapeño Margaritas, or these gorgeous Blackberry Peach Frozen Margaritas!

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a different pan to make this tamale pie?

You can use a different shaped cast iron pan, but make sure it’s about 9-10 inch in size. You can also use a regular baking dish that’s about 9×9 or similar.

Is it ok to bake it all together, instead of steps?

No! You’ll want to bake the cornbread first, poke holes, and then add remaining ingredients.

Is this spicy?

My version is, of course, always a little bit spicy. But you can skip the jalapeños, and use mild chilies and mild enchilada sauce.

Is tamale pie good leftover?

Yes, it’s really good leftover. Just heat up in the microwave and extra enchilada sauce, if desired.

Can I freeze tamale pie?

You can freeze the tamale pie after baking and cooling. Slice and remove to an airtight container.

Overhead view of two plates of beef tamale pie.

Take a look at all of our 2022 Freaky Friday Winter Edition Recipes:

  1. An Affair from the Heart – Homemade German Chocolate Cake
  2. Aunt Bee’s Recipes – Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
  3. Devour Dinner – Sweetie Pie’s Mac and Cheese
  4. Family Around the Table – Easy Garlic Knots
  5. Feast + West – Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Buttercream
  6. Fresh April Flours – Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
  7. The Fresh Cooky – Easy Mini King Cake Recipe with Crescent Rolls
  8. Hostess at Heart – Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
  9. House of Nash Eats – Pizza Casserole
  10. Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog – Cheesy Garlic Bread
  11. Lemoine Family Kitchen – Breakfast Chorizo Enchilada Bake 
  12. Life, Love & Good Food – Cheddar Cheese Popcorn
  13. The Speckled Palate – Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
  14. Sue Bee Homemaker – Cornbread Tamale Pie
  15. Take Two Tapas – Whipped Feta Dip
  16. The Wimpy Vegetarian – Spinach Madeline

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

Side view of a slice of cornbread tamale pie.

Skillet Tamale Pie

This Cornbread Tamale Pie starts with a simple baked cornbread and is topped with a delicious cheesy meat mixture. Serve this pie with some sliced jalapeños, black olives, avocado, and a drizzle of enchilada sauce! A perfect Tex-Mex meal for any night of the week!
4.9 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 484kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup creamed corn
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno – diced (with or without seeds)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 4 oz. can diced green chiles – drained
  • 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce – or use my homemade recipe
  • 6 oz. cheddar jack cheese – shredded
  • garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced black olives, and fresh jalapeno

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onion, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat is browned and cooked through. Then add the minced garlic and green chilies, and cook for another minute or so.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the Jiffy mix, egg, sour cream, and creamed corn. Pour this into a greased cast iron skillet and smooth evenly to all edges.
  • Bake cornbread layer for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove pan from the oven and set aside. Use the handle of a wooden spoon and poke holes in the cornbread. Then pour half of the enchilada sauce over the top, making sure it fills up the holes. (Reserve remaining enchilada sauce for serving.)
  • Spoon the meat mixture over the top and then cover with the shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 20 more minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are brown.
  • Serve tamale pie with the remaining enchilada sauce, fresh cilantro, sliced black olives, avocado, and jalapeno (if desired).

Notes

  • You can use a different shaped cast iron pan for this recipe, but make sure it’s about 9-10 inch in size. You can also use a regular baking dish that’s about 9×9 or similar
  • Leftover tamale pie is good for several days. Just heat up in the microwave and extra enchilada sauce, if desired.
  • You can freeze the tamale pie after baking and cooling. Slice and remove to an airtight container.
 
Recipe from An Affair from the Heart

Nutrition

Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1333mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1082IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 281mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

26 Comments

  1. I am a Tex-Mex girl and love anything with cornbread. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix takes me to my childhood, with Karo syrup. This new twist is simple to make and so flavorful. I love the spice of the jalepeno and added extra hot sauce for extra spice. Will make this often for yummy leftovers.

  2. I made this for my work lunches this week (easy meal prep) and this will definitely be in my rotation going forward! I also made the homemade enchilada sauce in the recipe = delicious combo!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Great idea to use the homemade sauce, Josh! 🙂

  3. Sue! We loved this recipe, my boys thought it was fantastic and it was so easy to make too. Definitely a keeper recipe. A++

  4. We love this Cornbread Tamale Pie so much I made it to bring to a friend that had just had a baby. They loved it so much they asked me for the recipe!

  5. I could eat this for dinner every single night! So very good.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Awww thanks Susannah! 🙂

  6. Cathy Hanson says:

    Sue, thanks for sharing this recipe! It was VERY good! Everyone loved it and I even ate some cold for breakfast this morning! 🙂

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Cathy! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  7. This sounds amazing and I love the cornbread crust on top! I can’t wait to make it this week 🙂 I know it will be a hit!

  8. This is one of those recipes you will make over and over and over again. It’s easy, so full of flavor and crowd-pleasing.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      So true! Thanks for your feedback, Ellen!

  9. YUM! It’s like a savory poke cake for dinner! I have a feeling I’m going to have to fight my husband for the leftovers.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Haha! I hope you win, Amy!

  10. susan | the wimpy vegetarian says:

    I’m in love with this recipe! It’s kind of like the opposite of a chili I make that’s topped with cornbread. This would be a HUGE hit in my family since we love all Mexican food. And (YAY!) I have all the ingredients for it!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Let me know how it turns out for you, Susan!

      1. susan | the wimpy vegetarian says:

        I made a vegetarian version with Beyond Beef and added a little whole milk to the cornbread because we live at 7100 feet where it’s super dry. We absolutely loved it! My husband had seconds, which doesn’t happen often with a vegetarian dinner, LOL.

  11. What a BRILLIANT combination of flavors and an easy meal to make on a weeknight. My family is obsessed with cornbread and tamales… so I cannot wait to serve this to them!

  12. This is fabulous! I love layered dishes that start with cornbread– YUM! I also love that you got Michaela. That’s like getting paired with your BOSS! (LOLOLOL) I think you did her proud– excellent choice!

  13. Sheila Thigpen says:

    One of my favorite meals as a kid and I still love it today! Delicious!

  14. I just loved how easy this recipe was to put together and my family absolutely devoured it. This is going on our table regularly!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Julie!

  15. Love, love, love this! So tasty, delicious as leftovers! We love anything Mexican related!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. Sue – I am so excited that you chose this recipe!! I feel like I know you, too, and love how similar our blogs are. (I had no idea that you went to Okoboji every summer!! My home away from home! 🙂 ) You did a beautiful job with this recipe and I am tickled you and yours loved it as much as we do!

  17. Drooling!! I love an easy Tex-Mex meal like this!! My family is sure to LOVE this one! Thanks for sharing. PS, beautiful photos!

  18. I made this last night and it was a huge hit!! No leftovers which means I need to make it again!

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