Tamale Pie

When I was growing up, my mother used to make tamale pie. I enjoyed it, and I saw it as a kind of American/Mexican food, but I never learned from her how to make it.  When we lived in Texas, a Mexican lady who lived in our neighborhood used to make tamales and sell them to different people in the neighborhood. We bought them every time she came by because they were delicious!  I have looked up how to make them, and it looks a bit hard, and you cook them in corn shucks.  I don’t really have access to corn shucks.  I had a recipe for tamale pie once upon a time, but I don’t know where I got it or what I did with it, but I still remember how to make tamale pie. It is not exactly tamales, but it is good.  It is easier than making actual tamales.  I made tamale pie this evening for dinner, so I will tell you what I did.


I began by browning a package of hamburger.

I filled a sauce pan with water.

First, I put a package of hamburger in a skillet and chopped it with my spatula and separated it and then browned it.  While the meat was cooking, I got a sauce pan and filled it with water and put it on to heat.




I chopped up a bell pepper and a tomato.


I used a can of tomato sauce, a can of corn, and 1/2 of a tablespoon of chili spice.


While these things were cooking, I cut up a tomato and a bell pepper.  I opened a can of tomato sauce and a can of sweet corn.  When the hamburger was browned, I added the tomato sauce, the tomato, the pepper, and the corn to the hamburger and mixed it all around. I added about 1/2 of a tablespoon of chili spice, and I let it cook for a bit so the tastes would mingle, then I turned it off.



About this time, my sauce pan full of water began boiling. I used two cups of corn meal and a wire whip.  I slowly added the corn meal to the boiling water and beat it with the wire whip as I was slowly adding it so it wouldn’t lump.  After all the corn meal was in the water, I let it cook a little more until it thickened like a porridge.  It became corn meal mush.


Next, I got a big baking pan.  I spread the corn meal mush in the bottom as a bottom crust.  I put the hamburger, tomato sauce, tomato, pepper, and corn mixture on the corn meal in the baking pan.  Next, I covered the mixture with a layer of corn meal mush.


After that, I covered it with tin foil and put it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).  I left it in for about 30 minutes, and it turned into tamale pie.

After 30 minutes, we had tamale pie.

We had a nice dinner.  We all enjoyed it!  If you don’t feel like fixing any vegetables or bread on the side, that is fine.  This dish is a complete meal all in itself.  Maybe some day I will learn to make tamales too, but for now, we are eating well.

2 thoughts on “Tamale Pie”

  1. We make tamale pie here in Tucson. But we only cover it with mush. not top and bottom. And I like lots of olives. My sister does not.

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