Tamale Pie Recipe

This tamale pie recipe is a delicious Tex-Mex casserole made with beef and a beautiful masa harina crust. Masa harina is very finely ground corn flour which has been dried. It is also used to make corn tortillas and tamales. You can find it in Hispanic grocery stores or, perhaps, in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store.

You can use fine cornmeal instead of the masa harina if you would prefer or can not find it. That will work perfectly fine, although the flavor might be slightly different.

If you are not a big beef eater you can certainly make this tamale pie with chicken. Simply cube it finely.

Here is what you need to do for this scrumptious and exotic tamale pie recipe:

Serves eight

1 pound ground beef
2 TBS olive oil
1 large white onion – finely chopped
4 garlic cloves – minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo – finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper – finely chopped
3 tomatoes – peeled and chopped
1 cup yellow corn kernels
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Heat some oil in a skillet and brown the beef. Drain it in a metal colander inside a bowl.
Wipe down the skillet and add more oil. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes – until soft, translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and chipotle and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add the bell pepper and tomatoes. Stew the tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the skillet and add the corn. Add the tomato sauce and water. Mix. Add the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove cooked meat from skillet and place in a casserole dish.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

4 cups of water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 ¼ cups masa harina or fine cornmeal
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Place the water in a pot – preferably a heavy one. Add the salt and chili powder. Mix. Slowly add the masa harina – whisking well every time. Cook for about 4 minutes until it resembles a thick batter.

Lightly beat the egg. Add the sour cream and whisk well. Slowly incorporate 1 cup of the hot masa harina in order to temper the egg. Mix well and pour into the pot with the remaining masa. Add cheese if using.

Pour the mixture on top of the meat. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes – until meat is bubbly and masa is completely cooked through.
Remove from oven and allow sitting for about 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Casserole no cheese – CALORIES 342.57; FAT 21.75 grs (sat 8.04; mono 8.56; poly 1.1); PROTEIN 13.06 grs ; FIBER 4.73 grs; CARBS 26.44 grs; CHOLESTEROL 73.71 mg; IRON 2.89 mg; SODIUM 863.67 mg; CALCIUM 105.72 mg

Print the Tamale Pie Recipe Here

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!


  • September 4, 2013

    will dukeshire

    Oh my God my wife is going to love me for making this! I only wish your website had SMELL ABILITY! LOL you are awesome!

  • September 17, 2013


    Hi Will!
    I hope your wife did in fact love this! Thank you very much for giving it a try. I also wish we had smell ability! That would just be perfect! Thanks for stopping by!
    Mary Ann

  • October 30, 2013


    Made this tonight, and the filling was great if you like spicy (my husband loved it, i would probably do 1 chipotle pepper myself). The topping did not really turn out very well. I followed the directions to the T, although I did not add the optional cheese, and had to bake it for over 75 minutes at 350 and it was still wet although edible. Not sure if that was the intent, and my oven runs hot, I usually have to cut back time on recipes by at least 5 minutes. I think if I made this in the future, I would go with the recipe I usually use with the masa harina that does not include the sour cream and egg. But the filling on this recipe is really delicious!!!!!

  • November 4, 2013


    Hi Heidi!
    I am perplexed! I have no idea what could of gone wrong with the topping. I make this all the time so I don’t understand. I am sorry this did not work for you. Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know. Have a great week!
    Mary Ann

  • September 29, 2014


    I love all your recipes and videos! Thanks for everything!

  • September 30, 2014


    I really appreciate you stopping by! Thank you so much for your message. Have a great week!
    Mary Ann

  • October 20, 2015


    I plan on making this but in the instructions you say to add the tomato paste and water. In the ingredient list there isn’t an ingredient tomato paste. If indeed it needs to be added how much?

  • October 24, 2015

    mary ann allen

    Hi Caroline!
    Sorry for the delay. I meant tomato sauce. Sorry about that. I will correct it! I appreciate you stopping by!
    Mary Ann

  • November 13, 2015


    Just wanted to let you know that I did make this pie and we absolutely loved it. will definitely be making again. thank you so much for the recipe.

  • November 16, 2015

    mary ann allen

    You are so welcome Caroline! Thank you very much for letting me know. It makes me very happy that this turned out great for you. Take care!
    Mary Ann

  • November 8, 2018

    Terry F.

    What a fantastic recipe! I look forward to adding all fresh ingredients to my next one to improve the flavor even more! (I used a few canned items like corn and chipotle pepper.)