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Homemade Cornbread Tamale Pie in All-Clad skillet with gold spoon held in hand on white marble close up

Homemade Cornbread Tamale Pie

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  • Author: Aberdeen
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


A Mexican cuisine inspired classic skillet dinner with a flavorful seasoned ground beef filling topped with cheesy cornbread made from scratch!


Units Scale

For the Tamale Filling

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounce can green chiles, drained
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can fire roasted corn, drained
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend (or 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Sliced green onion for garnish

For the Cornbread Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend (or 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese)


Make the Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large, oven safe skillet with tall sides, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion is somewhat softened, stirring frequently.
  2. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add ground beef to the skillet.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked through. If there is a lot of beef fat, drain or spoon it out of the skillet and discard (not down your drain!).
  4. Stir in all remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and fresh cilantro. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Make the Cornbread Topping

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly mixed.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, egg and buttermilk.
  3. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined.
  4. Add cheeses and stir until completely combined.

Assemble and Bake

  1. Level out the tamale pie filling in the skillet. Spoon the cornbread topping into an even(-ish) layer on top.
  2. Place skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread topping comes out clean.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced green onion and any remaining cilantro and serve!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes