beef tamale pie

the beef tamale pie finale

Growing Up, Christmastime Meant “Tamaletime” For The Kikers

And living in San Antonio meant we had easy access to some of the best hand-made tamales on the planet.

This tamale pie recipe is a variation on the handmade tamales we enjoyed during the holidays. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do; you’ll find this savory pie won’t last long … In fact …

… Here today, gone tamale!

i. ingredientssome of the ingredients for mom's beef tamale pie

1½ pounds | lean ground beef
1 | white onion, chopped
½ cup | chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon | lawry’s brand seasoned salt
1 package | chili seasoning mix
1 pound | tomatoes, chopped
1½ cups | cooked and drained whole-kernel corn
1 cup | pitted black olives, sliced
1 cup | yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon | salt
2½ cups | cold water
1 cup | shredded cheddar cheese

ii. what to dobeef tamale pie in the works

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Brown the beef in a medium skillet, breaking up meat with spoon; drain and return meat to skillet.

2. And the next 5 ingredients and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the corn and olives; transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.

4. In a separate pot, combine the corn meal, salt and water, stirring until thick over medium heat.

the corn meal mixture atop the beef tamale pie5. Spread corn meal mixture over the beef mixture and bake about 40 minutes.

6. Remove your pie from oven briefly to sprinkle with cheese then return to bake for another 5 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Foodie Tip ~

 Let’s go all the way – why not garnish your pie with sour cream, chopped scallions, guacamole and jalapeño?!

a close-up view of the pie fresh from the oven. me? about to dive in!

I found the original recipe (below) in mom’s 3-ring black binder. I think mom was more likely to “clip” recipes in her early days until she learned the art of freestyle cooking; the green index card file contains many of the recipes that are handwritten indicating they were favorite creations of hers… or her friends.

mom's favorite beef tamale pie recipe

11 Comments on “beef tamale pie”

  1. Barbara Boerner says:

    Thank You this sounds like the reciepe I had and loved but lost it. I can hardly wait to try it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anita says:

    With the exception of adding cheese, this looks like a recipe I had years ago. I made it and it’s now in the oven. Smells wonderful. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Amelia says:

    I made this tonight and the meat mixture was excellent, but the tamale part was very wet , almost like it never cooked. I expected it to be more like a corn bread consistency. Not happy. I was so looking forward to it too.


    • Sous Chef says:

      Hi – Thanks for writing. Sorry you didn’t enjoy the beef tamale pie especially since this is the first negative comment I’ve received after 7 years of sharing my Mom’s favorite recipes.

      I don’t remember my tamale pie cornbread being wet but I’ll make this again and see if I can reproduce what you experienced.

      From what I can tell this recipe was likely from the 1960 or 1970s. If I can reproduce the wet cornbread I’ll definitely make a tasting note to caution folks who may like a crispier consistency.



  4. ernestche2 says:

    in my 40 plus years of cooking I have never made this dish,I have tasted others recipes and loved them. I work for a assistant living community part time and I know they would love this,thanks I’ll let you know my results soon.
    Chef Ernie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The “pie” tastes soooooo good when you line the baking dish (bottom and sides) with the cornmeal mixture and fill with the meat mixture, top with any leftover cornmeal and bake. Then add the cheese and heat until bubbly.
    The cornmeal must cook until thick and starts popping out on you. Then you know it’s thick enough to line the baking dish. It gets a little bit crispy and

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan E Stanush says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I looked and looked for this recipe as my mother use to make it and we loved it so much!! My Mother use to make this for guests and I never could understand a Texas meal with Olives!! But now I think they taste great and can’t imagine this recipe with out them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sous Chef says:

      Thanks for writing, Susan! I’m glad you’ve been reunited with this ol’ family favorite. If you have any recipe tips I’m all ears! I need to try this dish again with sour cream, chopped scallions, guacamole, and jalapeños sprinkled on top!

      Based on the comments that flow in around the holidays I’m thinking a lot of folks loved tamales at this time of year, just like my family did. But living in Texas means tamales are a thing 365 days/year! Enjoy!


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