Tamale Pie

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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For the filling: 

3 poblano peppers

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds ground pork

1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed

Kosher salt

1 white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the topping:

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)


  1. Make the filling: Roast the poblanos directly over the flame of a gas burner or under the broiler, turning with tongs, until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Scrape off the charred skin with a paring knife, then chop, discarding the stems and seeds; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork, chorizo and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes; transfer to a bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon and cloves and cook, stirring, until the spices are toasted, 1 minute. Return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, corn, Worcestershire sauce and the roasted poblanos. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes; season with kosher salt and stir in the cilantro. Pour the mixture into a 3-quart baking dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Make the topping: Whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a bowl. Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk and eggs in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until incorporated; stir in the cheese.
  5. Dollop the cornbread mixture over the filling and smooth into an even layer with the back of a spoon. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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