A Tamale Pie for my Dutch Friends

Tamale Pie Post.jpg

We recently had houseguests from Holland who have been our friends since I was a goofy 17-yr-old exchange student staying at his parent’s house one summer.  I  prepared this recipe because it is Tex-Mex spicy deliciousness at its best. It’s easy to make ahead of time and holds for hours, if necessary. Makes a lot but it’s wonderful leftover too.  Bert and his son, Roelof loved it and I promised to post the recipe here. Hope the ingredients are available in the Netherlands.

I’m not much for processed foods, but I will make exceptions.  This is made easier with canned soup and beans.  No need to add extra salt. You’ll get plenty out of the cans.  Adjust seasonings to your personal tastes, especially the chili powder.  I like to substitute smoky chipotle powder for some of the chili powder.  Serve this with chips, salsa and guacamole.  A salad (out of a jar, of course) on the side completes the meal.


tamale pie in skillet.jpg

tamale pie with serving spoon.jpg

A Tamale Pie
Serves: 10
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Spicy Mexican vegetable and bean mixture topped with cornbread.
  • 1-2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cans condensed tomato soup or 4 small cans tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (negotiable)
  • ½ cup ripe olives, sliced
  • 1½ cup canned or frozen corn
  • 2 cans ranch style or pinto beans
Cornbread Batter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon soda
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup buttermilk or thinned unflavored yogurt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil
Meat Mixture:
  1. Brown onion and meat. Drain off any fat. Add remaining ingredients and pour into two, 2-quart greased casseroles and cover.
  2. Bake at 325 degrees for 1¼ hours.
Cornbread Layer:
  1. Combine first five ingredients in small bowl. Add buttermilk or yogurt, egg and salad oil and stir just until combined. Remove casserole from oven and spread corn bread batter evenly over the top. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.
*May be doubled for a large crowd. *Want to use a crock pot? Prepare the meat and vegetable mixture and place in crock pot on LOW anywhere from 3-8 hours. When you walk in the door, preheat the oven, mix up the cornbread mixture and pop into the oven to finish baking.


Texas Fiesta Bowls
Green Chili Enchiladas
Beefy Refried Beans


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie July 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm

As soon as I saw this picture on the ‘Texas Fiesta Bowls’ (Which I made, & really loved, served with yellow rice and really kept me full) I had to click the link! I will be making this soon, I love any cornbread and any kind of bean. I’ve only click a few recipes of yours but I love how they are so simple and never really ask for anything extravagant that I don’t already have. Your site is awesome! Take care!


Paula July 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Thanks Stephanie, so glad you found some recipes you like. Great to hear from you.


Ann Hastings October 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

I’ll have to make this recipe when it actaully gets cold here! Looks fantastic.


Nina October 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Paula–this looks *wonderful*. I am sure your guests appreciated it much! What a terrific dish to make for them. The cornbread layer looks really good. I *love* cornbread that is made with buttermilk…its the southern in me! 😉


FRESH LOCAL AND BEST October 25, 2009 at 9:12 pm


I love how straightforward this recipe is and all of the spices you added to the chili! I’m looking forward to making this in the future. This is a wonderfully hearty Tex-Mex dish!



Debbie October 25, 2009 at 12:13 pm

One question-how do you thin the yogurt?


Romaine October 25, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Good question. With milk to the consistency of buttermilk.


Debbie October 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Had something similar to this at work this past week although I am sure yours is better. Will have to try it now that I have a recipe. Looks great!


Pam October 25, 2009 at 7:54 am

Wow…that looks SO great!


Danielle October 24, 2009 at 11:29 pm

What a wonderful dish! I am going to have to try it out!

Great photography!


Staci October 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Yummmm! I printed this one to make when it’s cold this winter. Sounds delicious!


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