Mexican Tamale Pie (Easy Casserole Recipe)

This Mexican Tamale Pie is a cross between two favorites – enchiladas and tamales. A delicious layer of jiffy cornbread baked then topped with a layer of meat, corn, black olives, diced green chilies in enchilada sauce and covered with cheese. So good and requested often.

A white shallow bowl filled with a serving of Mexican tamale pie.

Texas is the home of Tex-Mex. I think we can all agree on that. The delicious flavors of Mexican food combined with just about anything you can think of are what make Tex-Mex so good. These recipes are unexpected, unique, and so good. That’s why I love making this delicious tamale pie. It combines all the delicious flavors we love in Mexican food with a distinctly American dish – casserole. It’s easy to make, it’s totally delicious, and it makes the perfect meal to feed a family on Taco Tuesday or to bring to any potluck or get-together.

I’ve been making this particular dish for a while now for just the reasons I just listed. When I make this simple recipe, I’m able to put together a feast in no time flat. It only takes me a few minutes of light cooking, and I’m off to the Tex-Mex races. It’s one of the best recipes you’ll find when you need to feed several people something that’s absolutely exploding with flavor.

Mexican Tamale Pie

This delicious casserole is overflowing with delicious Mexican flavors. Ground beef, onions, taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, green chilies, and much more come together with cornbread mix to create a rich, meaty, cheesy casserole that has all the flavors we love in our favorite south-of-the-border foods. And the best part is that it’s so quick and easy to make! You can’t beat that combo, especially on busy weeknights.

A white square plate with a serving of tamale pie on it.

Why You’ll Love This Tamale Pie Recipe

  • It’s made with a layer of cornbread topped with deliciously seasoned meat, corn, olives, diced green chiles, and cheese.
  • It’s a hearty and delicious dinner recipe that’s so easy to make and that everyone enjoys.
  • And, it’s super versatile, allowing you to switch up the ingredients to your liking.

Mexican Tamale Pie Tips and Variations

This is a very easy recipe to make, but even recipes have little things that can help you make them the best they can be. I have some tips here to help you do just that. I also have some great variations that I think you’ll enjoy.


  • Always drain your ground beef, no matter how lean it is, to ensure you don’t have excess grease in your casserole.
  • Keep the heat at medium when cooking the beef and onions. You want to soften the onions, not brown them.
  • Although I usually recommend shredding your own cheese, in a recipe like this there’s no need.
  • And, make sure to use a large, deep 13×9 baking dish.


  • You can use ground turkey or chicken or chorizo in this recipe.
  • For a kick of heat, add diced jalapeno peppers and some cayenne pepper.
  • Add any of your favorite Tex-Mex ingredients to this casserole.
A close up photo of a spoonful of tamale pie on it.

Toppings Ideas

This delicious tamale pie is loaded with your favorite Mexican ingredients, so you can top it with any of your favorite Mexican toppings. Some great ideas include:

  • Taco sauce
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Guacamole
  • Refried beans

What to Serve with Mexican Tamale Pie

This delicious recipe pairs well with almost any of your favorite Mexican side dishes. Some of my favorites are:

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about this recipe, then read on. The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about tamale pie.

What is tamale pie?

Tamale pie is Tex-Mex comfort food that combines a cornmeal crust and ingredients typically used in tamales. It can be served as a pie or casserole.

Where did tamale pie originate?

No one knows exactly where or when tamale pie came into being, but the prevailing theory is that it was invented in Texas sometime in the 1900s. It quickly became popular in high school cafeterias to feed the students and then spread across the country.

A horizontal photo of a white plate with a serving of Mexican Tamale Pie on it.

Can tamale pie be frozen?

It sure can! Store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. If you’re making it ahead of time for a future event, you can also simply wrap the original dish in a double layer of clingwrap and then a layer of heavy-duty foil.

How long will tamale pie last in the fridge?

You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

How do you reheat tamale pie?

Simply place the original dish in a 325-degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through. You can also microwave individual portions at 1-minute intervals until heated through – about 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your microwave.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Tamale Pie

You can store leftover tamale pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can freeze as described in the FAQ for up to 3 months. To reheat the pie, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it in a 325-degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Mexican Tamale Pie Ingredients

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. You’ll find them all easily at your local grocery store.

  • Lean ground beef
  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • Smoked paprika
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Diced green chilies
  • Black olives
  • Whole kernel corn, drained
  • Creamed corn
  • Jiffy cornbread mix
  • Sour cream
  • Large eggs
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Colby jack or pepper jack
A casserole dish with Mexican Tamale Pie in it showing the different layers, cornbread, meat mixture, cheese.

How to Make Mexican Tamale Pie

Making this delicious recipe is just as easy as shopping for the ingredients. It only takes a few simple steps and a few minutes to make it!

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a large 9×13 deep baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Cornbread Mixture

In a large bowl, mix the cornbread mix, sour cream, creamed corn and eggs together until combined. Then, spoon it into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the Beef and Onions

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onions until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are tender. Drain and return to the pan. Then, sprinkle with seasonings, stir, and cook for a few more minutes.

Step 4: Complete the Beef Mixture

Pour the enchilada sauce, whole kernel corn, black olives, and diced green chilies into the pan and stir. Then add the sharp cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Step 5: Bake

Pour the beef mixture over the cornbread and top with Colby jack cheese. Then, cover with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

A double collage photo of tamale pie on a white plate.

Try This Delicious Tamale Pie Casserole Today

This Mexican tamale pie is loaded with all the delicious flavors we love in tamales and served up in a casserole form. It comes together so quickly and easily, and it’s so delicious. There’s really no reason not to give it a try. Make this hearty, beefy, and cheesy recipe just once, and I know you’ll find yourself making it again and again.

A three photo collage of tamale pie on a white plate.

More Delicious Mexican Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad – This delicious side dish recipe has all the flavors of our favorite street corn made into a pasta salad. Easy and delicious.

Fried Burritos – These hearty burritos are filled with deliciously seasoned beef, pork, three types of bean, two types of cheese, and more, then fried to perfection. Absolutely delicious and has been a family favorite burrito recipe for over 40 years.

Ground Beef Quesadillas – These quesadillas are loaded with perfectly seasoned ground beef, black beans, two types of cheese and more. Easy, delicious and budget friendly.

And, here is an Easy Beef and Bean Enchiladas recipe from our other blog, Deliciously Seasoned, that you might enjoy as well.

Mexican Tamale Pie

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

This is a delicious and hearty Mexican Tamale Pie recipe that is packed with flavor. A layer of cornbread topped with a layer of deliciously seasoned meat, cheese and more, and baked until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 45 mins

Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine Mexican

Servings 8 Servings

Calories 560 kcal


For the Meat Mixture

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 19 ounce red enchilada sauce
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • 15 ounce Can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • cups Colby jack or pepper jack

For the Cornbread

  • 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2- 15 ounce cans creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs


For the Cornbread

  • In a large bowl, mix cornbread mix, sour cream, creamed corn and eggs together until combined.

  • Spoon into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.

For the Meat Mixture

  • In a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat, add ground beef and onions. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions are tender. Drain and return to pan.

  • Sprinkle with seasonings, stir to combine and cook for a few minutes.

  • Pour enchilada sauce, whole kernel corn, black olives and diced green chilies into pan. Stir.

  • Add sharp cheddar cheese to meat mixture, stir until melted.

  • Pour ground beef mixture over cornbread, top with shredded Colby jack cheese.

  • Cover with foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

  • Serve with your favorite toppings.


Nutritional values are approximate.


Please note that these values can change with different brands and any modifications made to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements.



Calories: 560kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 41gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1422mgPotassium: 669mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1518IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 422mgIron: 4mg

Keyword Mexican Tamale Pie, Tamale Pie, Tamale Pie Recipe

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A close up of a serving of tamale pie on it.
A close up of a spoonful of Mexican tamale pie on it.

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