Cornbread Tamale Pie Recipe (2024)



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Sheila Flory

Use a dutch oven for browning the meat and for cooking the pie - one less pan the wash.


This is a favorite dish in my house. I needed a dairy free alternative, so I substituted 1/3 cup water and an extra teaspoon of oil for the milk. Also, I think the salt in the cornbread perhaps should be 1/2 tsp - the recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp salt, and if 1 tsp goes into the chili, that leaves 1/2 for the cornbread (which comes out a little salty if you add a whole tsp). I have also been know to throw a can of chopped green chiles into the meat, which is a nice addition.

shore cook

This was a big hit, I will definitely make it again. Cornbread was perfect texture, spices in the meat and bean mixture not too spicy, just right.

I sprinkled grated cheddar on top of the meat-bean mixture before topping with the cornbread mixture. I also added some to the cornbread before baking.

Because the recipe calls for one cup of a few items, leaving me with leftover canned ingredients, I decided to double the recipe, which gave me an extra pie to freeze for another night. Perfect!


To those concerned re the leftover beans and can just throw the whole can in. The proportions aren't crucial.


I add a heaping teaspoon of dark bitter cocoa to the meat mixture...makes it extra good!


I took the advice of another person who made this dish and substituted salsa for the tomato sauce, making it perfectly spicy. I also used more of a real cornbread recipe by increasing the flour to one cup and the milk to about 2/3 cup or so. I would give this five stars for taste and ease of cooking. I gave it four stars because the cornmeal part of the recipe needed work.


I've made Joy of Cooking recipe several times, using meatless, soy-based crumbles in place of beef. Always satisfying. If I lack tomato sauce, I use an equivalent of diced tomatoes, or mix tomato paste and water. Water may also be used in place of broth.


I've learned over the last few years to read the comments BEFORE cooking the recipe the first time. I noted the comments about dry cornbread, and used a half recipe of my own recipe instead. I also added extra chile powder, and saluted the spices before adding the wet ingredients. My husband really enjoyed the final product. I would add a jalapeño next time, and there will be a next time.


I had to make dinner for 18, including man young men with big appetites. I tripled the recipe and baked it in two large dutch overs. HUGE hit, served with sour cream, cheddar cheese and pickled jalapenos.
I emptied all of the cans into the filling, and used 1 can of tomato sauce, one jar of medium salsa, and one can of tomate/chiles blend for the tomato sauce.
I made the filling the night before, and reheated. then topped with crust and baked. An easy, hearty , crowd pleasing dinner.


Add grated cheese to top of cornmeal


Delicious! Used ground dark turkey (1.3lb) and 2 Italian hot turkey links. Plus cocoa from another reviewer. The flavors were melded together fabulously. Plenty for 5 with leftovers. When my daughter walked in she remarked about the great smell. PS used Jiffy cornbread mix for the topping. Quick and easy.


M, as you deduced, letting "quick breads" batter sit will reduce rise in oven. Have everything ready, oven preheated to full baking temp, pan (pref. well-seasoned cast iron) can also preheat in the oven w/out oil or butter until you take it out and pour in the butter or oil, take 1 minute to add liquids to dry ingr. Do not over mix batter, put into hot oven right away. Once cooked place on a cooling rack after 5 minutes rest in pan. Reheat and you will still have great cornbread.


Hi Jennifer - we made this last night - delicious flavors and we would like to make it again, but the amount of cornbread on top seems off, there was barely enough cornbread batter to put a skim coat across the top of the meat mixture, and it dried out before it could completely cook. Can you check the proportions for me?

Lori B

If you don’t care to make cornbread, cover the filling wit a layer of cheese, and sprinkle a generous amount of crushed corn chips, cover with cheese. Bake at 375 for 25 min.


I this whole recipe in a dutch oven. Love the idea of combining the chile and cornbread in one pot. This was not nearly spicy enough for me though. Next time I will use a poblano pepper instead of a bell pepper. Don't worry about measurements for beans and corn, I used whole cans and proportions were fine. Ground turkey instead of beef worked well too. I halfed the salt and it was seasoned enough - just needed more heat. Served with arugula, avocado and red onion salad. Excellent leftovers!


The perfect brunch with a green salad.


I was underwhelmed. The filling was quite good but the cornbread topping added nothing IMHO. We’ll be making tacos with the leftover filling instead


Super flexible. Used 2lbs ground chicken, 1 can garbanzos, 1 can toms puréed, added chopped frozen kale. Used corn bread recipe saved in Pinterest. Next time use only 2/3 recipe. Cooked for 30 min because corn bread was so thick. Plain Kite Hill yogurt would have been nice.

more cornbread!

The casserole in the picture has at least 2x to 3x the cornbread that this recipe calls for!


Very good, I believe I'll back off on the amount of cornbread topping next time.


I doubled recipe, to freeze a casserole for a later date. In lieu of some tomato sauce, I used one can of rotel, added green Chiles. I also added a little Mexican oregano, cayenne, and epazote to the spice mix for added flavor. Then over the cornbread topping, which I quadrupled due to making in a large shallow vs deep casserole, I covered it with sharp cheddar cheese…approx 1 cup. Cheese is the most important thing to add. Surprised the recipe did not include!


I have to agree with several other comments - the cornbread is so, so dry and doesn’t make enough to cover the chili. I’ve tried it twice thinking maybe my ingredients weren’t fresh enough, and the second result was just as dense and dry. The dimensions for the cornbread have to be off somewhere. I’d recommend either using a go-to cornbread recipe or using a box of Jiffy. The chili was terrific though!

Pam M.

I've made this a few times - it's a solid recipe as is, but I started adding some swaps/additions: Swap chicken italian sausage for the beef; add minced garlic and a mix of poblano and jalapeno peppers to the onions; three ears of fresh corn and the entire can of beans; extra tomato sauce to make up for the extra veggies; a combo of ancho and chipotle instead of regular chili powder; and lastly some shredded cheddar in the cornmeal mix. Results in deeper flavor and some nice spice. Delicious!


Used Jiffy corn muffin mix instead of the cornbread mix recipe since comments implied the mix wasn’t enough cornbread vs filling, but the one box of Jiffy was maybe a little too much bread vs filling, next time I’d probably do 1.5 or 2x the normal filling amount and keep the box, loved the taste regardless. Will make again for sure.


Add black olives. I used the full can of tomatoes sauce, black beans, and corn.


Add black olives, use entire can of tomatoes sauce and black beans, and corn. Toppings: cilantro and avocado


Needs more spice


I followed some of the suggestions to include replacing the tomato sauce with salsa and adding more cumin. I also used ground turkey and sautéed mushrooms. The filling turned out delicious. The cornbread recipe was too dry for my taste.


We loved the filling on this recipe. Dumped in the whole can of black beans because, why not? As other cooks noted, it's not spicy, which works for our family. Wasn't a fan of the cornbread recipe, though it does a good job at evoking the outside of a tamale. Will replace it with another cornbread next time.


I used the whole cans of beans and sauce, probably 1.3 lb beef, plus some mixed peppers. Also took advice of someone about increasing the cornbread flour to a cup and milk to 2/3 cup. It’s probably too much of the meat mixture and I should have saved half.

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Cornbread Tamale Pie Recipe (2024)


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