Tamale Pie Recipe

Spicy, savory ground pork, corn, and peppers are blanketed in a fluffy, cheesy cornbread in this ode to the tamale fit for a crowd.
October 12, 2020, 11:00am
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time:  1 hour and 15 minutes


for the filling:
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ pounds|680 grams ground pork
3 poblano peppers, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons epazote, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
3 ears of corn, shucked, kernels removed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup|250 ml beef stock
1 cup|250 ml of your favorite salsa
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


for the cornbread:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
½ cup|125 ml whole milk
1 large egg
¾ cup|150 grams yellow cornmeal
½ cup|85 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup|65 grams granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces|60 grams shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 ounces|60 grams shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided


  1. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the pork and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until brown all over, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the pepper and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the epazote and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in the oregano, chipotle, and corn and cook 1 minute longer. Stir the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons stock in a small bowl and add to the skillet along with the remaining stock and the salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thick, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Make the cornbread: Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease a deep 8-inch round cake pan with butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, and egg until combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and half of each cheese. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and spread the cornbread mixture over the top in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top and bake until the cornbread is golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving.

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