Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

After a long busy day, when I get hungry and realize it's already dinner time but I'm still at my desk, want to know what makes me happy? Remembering that I have dinner all ready in the fridge and it just needs a quick re-heating. Really happy.

Tamale Pie
The key to this kind of weeknight happiness, of course, is a little time spent in the kitchen on Sunday. But this casserole is easy to make so it really is only a little time.

It's packed with flavor thanks to some good spices and your favorite salsa. And, of course, a cheesy topping always adds to the happiness. The cilantro gives it more of a Southwest feeling but feel free to use parsley instead if cilantro is not your thing. This dinner will be your thing, though. In fact, I have a feeling I'll be making it again next Sunday. Enjoy!

Tamale Pie
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ingredients (6 Servings)
  • Cornmeal Base:
  • 1 Cup polenta
  • 1 1/2 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • Salt to taste

  • Beef Topping:
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 Cups salsa (heat level of your choice)
  • 1 Can (approx. 15 oz.) red kidney beans
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for topping
  • 3/4 Cup cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Tamale Pie
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Brown the beef in a large skillet and season with the oregano, cumin and salt. Stir in the salsa, beans and cilantro. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes so that the flavors can come together.

While the beef is cooking, add the polenta, water and milk to a pot and cook on medium heat (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. When it starts to thicken, stir in the cheese and season. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to firm up.

Spread the polenta in an even layer at the bottom of a casserole dish. The one I used is a 2 quart pan. Add the beef and bean mixture and top with the cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle on a bit of extra cilantro before serving, if desired.

Powered by Recipage


  1. This looks amazing and I imagine the leftovers are just as good!

  2. Gosh, it looks delicious! It's a must try for me! Yum!

    I'm cooking on youtube and I've just uploaded a recipe for homemade falafels, hope you will check it out! Thank you! :-)

    Thank you for an awesome recipe!

  3. I do love polenta.. so this recipe is perfect for me to try out. Looks incredibly comforting, hearty and delicious!

  4. My mouth was watering so much when I saw that photo I almost choked. OH MY LAWD Anita!!! Pinned.

  5. Hello! I've got a question for you if you don't you think the dish would work with the polenta layered on top of the meat similar to Shepard's Pie? Thank you!

    1. The polenta on the bottom gets the benefit of extra moisture from the meat layer on top. However, I'm sure it would be fine on top as well.

    2. Made it tonight exactly per your recipe with the polenta on the bottom. Everyone loved the dish and the flavors. I'm looking forward to exploring your blog and thank you for replying to my question and for sharing your recipe.


We'd love to hear from you!