Tamale Casserole

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I found and adapted this recipe from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook called “The Best Simple Recipes”.  This recipe is loosely based on corn tamales and has a crumbled corn bread topping which you can either purchase already made from the store, or you can make your own ahead of time.  I chose to make mine ahead of time from a “Jiffy” box mix…two to be exact because I wanted A LOT of cornbread topping! Is that so wrong?

Tamale Casserole Recipe

Feeds 8-10 hungry mouths or leaves you with plenty of left-overs
Prep time – 20 minutes    Bake time 15-20 minutes

2 packages cornbread mix, prepared as directed on the package, set aside to cool and then crumble.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 cans pinto beans (16 ounce), drained
2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 small can fire roasted chilies
1 teaspoon smoked cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef in the olive oil.
-Half way through the browning of the meat, add the onion and green pepper and continue cooking until the meat is fully browned and the veggies are slightly soft.
-Reduce the heat to low and add the beans, tomatoes, corn, chipotle chilies and the fire roasted chilies.
-Add the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and cilantro and stir well to combine.
-Spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
-Add the ground beef mixture evenly into the prepared casserole dish.
-Top the ground beef mixture with an even layer of the Mexican cheese.
-Top the ground beef and cheese mixture with a nice, thick layer of the cornbread crumbles.
-Bake until the cornbread is nicely golden brown (approximately 15-20 minutes) and you’re ready to serve.

Tamale Casserole Recipe

Tamale Casserole Recipe

 My husband and I loved the flavor of this casserole. Sadly it seems that we’re the only two sitting at the dinner table these days but somehow I always cook like I’m feeding a small army 🙂   The good news about that is that there are always plenty of left-overs for him to take to work the next day and for me to have a few nights off from cooking when this casserole was served again…and again.  Good thing we liked it so much. LOL

I have found many good recipes out of this particular cookbook so I recommend that you look for it if you’re like me and enjoy reading cookbooks as much as you do a good novel!  It’s a keeper!!!

Until we eat again,


  1. This sounds great and super easy to make. Love tamales but have never made them, really like the crumbled cornbread topping.

  2. This is my kind of comfort food!!!

  3. If this isn't a dish for eating in front of the NFL televised games I don't know what is!

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