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Tamale Pie

Author: Susan Reid

Since this recipe was posted last week, it's come to our attention that there was a serious typo when the ingredients were entered into the nutritional analysis: as originally published, the nutritionals recorded 2 CUPS of butter instead of 2 OUNCES. Corrected nutritionals are now posted, including saturated fat (3/27/09).
This recipe made its debut in The Baking Sheet, our subscription baking newsletter. Susan Reid, the editor, described it this way: "Greg, my other half, is always happy when the answer to 'what's for dinner?' is 'a casserole'. Being a true child of the Donna Reed era, the idea of a warm covered dish with meat and cheese and starch all together makes him feel right at home. The tamale topping for this dish is moist and tender, studded with flecks of corn. You can add herbs or cheese if you like. Partly because of my restaurant training, I tend to make the filling for this dish in double batches, one for now and one for the freezer. That way I'm halfway there later on when I come home late and want to get dinner on the table without starting from scratch. If you want to make the filling ahead, you can do so and tuck it in its casserole dish in the refrigerator. When you get home, turn the oven on, plunk the casserole in the microwave for 10 minutes to heat through while you put together the topping, scoop it out, put it in the oven. Your total time from start to dinner? 35 minutes."

At a glance

8 servings, 12 ounces each
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or beef
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper or cayenne to taste
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) black or dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Tamale Topping


  1. To make the filling: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the meat.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned. Add the onions, garlic, and spices, and cook for 3 minutes more, until the onions soften.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and diced tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the kidney beans, stir to combine, and transfer the mixture to a covered 2 1/2 to 3-quart casserole dish.
  4. For the topping: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
  6. Beat together the egg, creamed corn, and buttermilk, and stir into the dry ingredients until evenly moistened.
  7. If you're adding cheese, stir it in now.
  8. Scoop the batter on top of the hot filling, leaving plenty of space around each one: the tamale dumplings will double in size as they cook. Cover the dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 332g; 12 ounces
  • Servings Per Batch 8
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 362
  • Calories from Fat 140
  • Total Fat 16g
  • Saturated Fat 6g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 182mg
  • Sodium 1018 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 39
  • Dietary Fiber 7g
  • Sugars 9g
  • Protein 21g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.