Chili Tamale Pie

Photo of Tamale Pie on a plate

Traditionally, Tamale Pie is usually a mix of seasoned ground beef with onions and corn, topped with a cornbread batter.   Here I’ve replaced the ground beef with chili and topped it with corn pudding, more of a “custardy” corn bread batter flavored with minced chilis.  While it doesn’t take long to make, you could just as easily use your favorite chili (homemade or doctored up canned) as the base layer.

Two of us ate all that…It’s THAT good!

Chili Tamale Pie

Yield:  6-8 servings

Kosher salt

½ lb. ground beef

½ lb. chorizo sausage (bulk or squeezed from casing)

1 medium onion, ¼” dice

1 bell pepper, ¼” dice

2 tablespoons chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 14-oz. can red kidney beans

1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 ½ cups tomato juice or V-8 juice

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

6 green onions, thinly sliced


½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 eggs

½ cup milk

1 15-oz. can creamed corn

1 fresh red chili, finely minced (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection)

Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle a scattering of salt over the bottom of the skillet to minimize sticking and splatter from the meat.  Add the ground beef and the chorizo sausage.  As the meat begins to brown, break it up into smaller pieces.  As the meat begins to brown and render out fat, add the diced yellow onions and bell pepper to the pan along with the spices.  Cook until the meat is brown and vegetables are softened.

Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato or V-8 juice to the skillet and simmer for about 15 minutes to blend flavors.

Prepare topping while chili is simmering:

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir to blend.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients by pull them up on the side of the bowl.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the milk, creamed corn, and the minced chili, if using.  Mix liquid ingredients together and pour into the center of the dry ingredients.  Fold the dry and liquid ingredients together until combined.

Taste chili and season with additional seasonings, if desired.  Turn heat off under the chili and transfer skillet to a parchment lined baking sheet to catch any drippings.  Scatter green onions and cheese over the top of the chili and pour the corn mixture over the top.  Place tray in preheated oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the corn mixture has set up.    Serve with sour cream, additional chopped green onions, cilantro or other desired garnishes.


Substitute 3 tablespoons of Halladay’s Harvest Barn’s Chipotle & Garlic Dip and Cooking blend in place of the chili powder

Before baking, sprinkle French fried onions or corn chips across the top of the corn mixture for a flavorful and textural crunch.


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