Chipotle Tamale Pie

plated pie

I’ve been making this dish for years and it’s always been a big hit with my family and amigos. We enjoy spicy foods, so I go chubby on the chipotle and add more than the recipe calls for. I also like to make it vegetarian sometimes, so I substitute a pound of cooked pinto beans for the beef.

Chipotle Tamale Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3½ cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn kernels (frozen is acceptable if fresh is unavailable)
  • 1 6 oz. can sliced black ripe olives, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili (seeds removed)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 12-inch ovenproof pan (2 to 3 in. deep, 2½- to 3-quart capacity) over high heat, stir onion, beef (or beans), chili powder, and cumin seeds until beef is crumbled and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes (including juices), corn, and olives; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, ½ cup cheese, milk, cornmeal, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt until well blended (mixture will be thin). Distribute evenly over hot meat mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the top feels firm when lightly touched. Scoop out servings with a large spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve this up with a nice cool salad. Toss in some toasted pumpkin seeds, diced cucumber and homemade croutons. This zippy dish pairs well with Edna Valley Vineyards Chardonnay or Curtis Winery Viognier.
Movie Night suggestion: Three Amigos, of course!