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Good recipe, although I skip the raisins. My filling ends up being whatever kind of rich chile I can make from what’s on hand, but it’s good to have a recipe to acknowledge in departure. I’ve had good luck making cooking the chili in a big, ovenproof pot, mixing up the cornbread batter (usually make it a little thin) and pouring it on top of the filling before putting it in the oven. Less cleanup and the result is crustier.
Awesome a childhood favorite of mine too. Thanks!
Great recipe! I soaked the raisins in apple juice in the fridge for about 15 minutes, they plumped nicely and added a nice sweetness to the pie.
Its was delish my family ate it all up in 1 day no leftovers. What an awesome dish to make.
Made this last Friday. It was delicious and my husband loved it. I have to admit, though, I did make 2 changes. 1. I used regular canned diced tomatoes because our grocery store didn’t have the fire roasted ones.2. No raisins. Didn’t have any.
I have made this many times. I do use rotel tomatoes and green chilies, I also use black beans. I add Mexican cheese in the cornbread mix. So so good
Yes that’s how I did mine too
This is so yummy! Love an easy meal that the whole family will eat. I added a can of beans to stretch it further and threw in half of a roasted butternut squash (diced) that I had leftover in the fridge to sneak in more veggies. It worked! My one and three year old devoured it!
Made the chicken for my meal prep and I can’t wait to taste it. Easy recipe thanks for posting it!
Ragerds: Moses Brodin
Delicious!! Feeds a lot too, perfect for a big family. Before serving added few fritos to the bottom of the bowl and hot sauce w/ sour cream on top.
Loved the raisins, next time I’m adding more :)
Thank you, thank you for this terrific recipe. I have made it twice now, in as many weeks. The leftovers are great. I do leave out the raisins and bump up the spices just a bit.
Mix the cheese with the meat? Did I read that correctly? I’ve never made it before and I’m thinking of trying it tonight. I just thought that its strange that the cheese would be mixed with the meat and not the cornbread. will put the cheese in both and see how it turns out.
I actually doubled the recipe right off the bat – one to a potluck and one for home. It was a hit! I was a little skeptical about the raisins, but they add a nice sweet balance to the spicy (which I amped up slightly). Thanks again Elise – spot on!
My mom used to make tamale pie years ago.However it was from a packaged mix made by McCormick or lawry’s who don’t make it any more.
This recipe isn’t that hard to make, and the cornbread makes an easy topping. The mix my mom used had a corn topping I think you mixed with water, and it resembled a corn meal mush.
The mexicans have a dish called picadillo.It is ground meat,spices etc.and also has raisins and olives in it, so this is what the filling resembles, but you can leave the raisins out if you wish.
You can adjust the seasonings in this recipe to your likeing.As a single person you can also do this, and mix it up, and place it in small disposable alumninum pans,and freeze it.I plan to add some Green Giant southwestern corn,which has the corn peppers and black beans with it.
A good dish for a lot of guests, or for a potluck party at work.
Very simple. Very good. Use the ingredients you have. Substitute just about anything with ingredients you prefer.
Elise, this has become a family favorite! I just took it to a friend last night who is sick and her family loved it too. I love your entries and recipes, especially since I’m in Sacramento as well. Thanks (to you AND your dad!) for all the great recipes!
We made this for Christmas Eve dinner and everyone loved it! I did skip the olives and raisins as I don’t care for them and substituted a can of pintos instead, otherwise we followed the rest of the recipe as written. Ended up about doubling the seasonings in the “adjust seasonings” stage. My 5 year old actually cleaned his plate, which says A LOT! He even asked for it as leftovers for dinner Christmas night. Thanks for the great recipe, Elise!
I made this the other night as my first recipe from this site. I am very impressed and will definately make again. Instead of 1 1/2 lbs of gr. beef, I only had 1 lb, so I also pulled my last link of hot italian sausage out of the freezer and used it. Also, I was out of raisins so didn’t use them..I don’t think I will next time either..I thought the jiffy cornbread on top was plenty sweet. Also, I didn’t have a can of corn and I forgot to use the frozen that I had intended. Again, next time I don’t think I will use corn anyway as I thought the corn bread was corny enough. It wasn’t quite spicy enough for my taste, so next time I will do something more to satisfy my hot-tooth, as it were… Good stuff !
This is the first recipe I’ve tried from this site, it turned out great! I pretty much followed the recipe verbatim, but have thought about two things I’ll try on the next go around. I’m going to try using the fire roasted corn from Trader Joe’s freezer section in place of the canned corn, and I’m going to try mixing some shredded cheese into the cornbread batter. I don’t know if the cheese thing will work?
Anyway, thank you so much for your wonderful site and especially for all of the beautiful photos, those really help novices like me!
For the fire roasted tomotoes – should they be diced or whole?
Hi Marilyn – tamale pie is a pretty flexible recipe, open to lots of interpretation. If it is coming out dry, you may want to add a bit more liquid to the batter or filling.
Hi Elise, or anyone reading this. I wondered if you could help me. I live in South Africa and have a lot of English friends who love traditional cottage pie (as you know, minced meat with mash potato on top). I want to introduce them to knew flavors (as I was raised in California) and made this Tamale Pie recipe because it has mince and a topping (like cottage pie). I found the cornbread recipe a bit dry though, even with a can of creamed corn. Do you think this would be good with a Corn Souffle on top or would that be too gooey? I just thought the consitancy of Corn souffle would be similar to Mash potatoe and might be good. If so, do you have a Corn Souffle recipe?
Thank you for a fabulous site all the way from Cape Town!!