Tamale Pie

Yield: Makes 1.2 kg (6 x 1 cup servings of 200 g each)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Keyword Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6 cups
Calories 345 kcal


  • 250 g cornmeal (1 1/2 cups / 9 oz)
  • 600 ml water (cold. 2 1/2 cups / 20 oz / 1 UK pint )
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (OR salt sub)
  • 1 litre home-canned chili (2 x 1/2 litre / pint jars)
  • 30 g cheddar (grated. 1 oz. After grating 1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons)
Metric - US Customary


  1. Mix together the ingredients from the cornmeal down to and including the salt sub. Zap on high in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Zap for a final 3 minutes. (OR, cook in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the cornmeal thickens. You must stir constantly or it may scorch on you.)
  2. Spray a baking dish that is about 20 to 25 cm square (8" x 8" or 9" x 9").
  3. Put one half the dough in the bottom of the pan. Press out flat.
  4. Empty the 2 jars of chili on top of that base, and spread out equally.
  5. Use the remaining cornmeal dough to form a top crust. (You can make small rounds in the palm of your hands and place them on, if that is easier.)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 175 C / 350 F.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese on, and bake for a final 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

If you have a jar of home canned plain or pickled jalapenos, a layer of those (drained) on top the chili layer can be nice.

Inspiration source: Tamale Pie. In: Robertson, Laurel, Carol Flanders and Bronwen Godfrey. Laurel's Kitchen. Petaluma, California: Nilgiri Press. 1983. Page 270.