My Tex-Mex Tamale Pie recipe is an easy, delicious family-friendly recipe using mostly prepackaged ingredients. Browning the beef, chorizo, and onions are probably the most difficult part of my tamale pie recipe. If you look at most of my other recipes you’ll see that I like to make everything from scratch, but this recipe is comfort food at its finest. And to be able to put dinner together with a minimal amount of time and effort is sometimes a blessing in itself.
What is Tex-Mex?
Tex-Mex is an Americanized version of Mexican food. It originated with the Tejanos, Texans with Mexican heritage. Unlike the relatively healthy, authentic Mexican cuisine, Tex-Mex is heavy and dense. Entrees are typically served along with a side of rice and refried beans. Tex-Mex recipes typically using vast quantities of yellow cheeses, cumin, chips, salsa, and crispy tacos.
All that to say, Tex-Mex is my soul food and this tamale pie is exactly what I was craving. We live in a city outside of Dallas that has a very diverse population. The restaurants have cooks and chefs from representing pretty much every Latin American country as well as the Caribbean. Needless to say, my local Tex-Mex scene has a wide variety of influences and ingredients.
Mexican Chorizo vs Spanish Chorizo
- Mexican Chorizo is perfect for tamale pie. It is a raw, ground pork or beef sausage that must be cooked before eating. It is made with very fatty cuts of meat and is highly seasoned with a variety of spices including vinegar, chili pepper, and cumin, and is typically a dark red color.
- Spanish Chorizo is a cured, ready to eat pork sausage. Seasoned mainly with paprika it may be sweet or spicy, depending on the variety. Typically served sliced on meat tray, charcuterie or cheese plates or used as an ingredient in stew or paella
Mexican chorizo is made with fatty cuts of pork or beef. Therefore, I like to dab up the excess oil with paper towels when browning the meat.
What are Tamales?
Mexican tamales are made from a type of corn flour called ‘masa’. Tamale dough is usually filled with a precooked meat filling, typically chicken or pork. The tamale is then wrapped in a corn husk which is then steamed to complete the cooking process.
Tamale Pies are a larger casserole version of the classic tamale. Tamale Pies are any type of casserole with a Tex-Mex filling that has a cornbread topping.
Here is my Tex-Mex Tamale Pie recipe:
Tex-Mex Tamale Pie
- 1 Pound Ground Beef
- 1/2 Pound Mexican Chorizo
- 1 Cup White Onion Diced
- 1 10-Ounce Can Rotel Tomatoes
- 1 10-Ounce Can Red Enchilada Sauce
- 1 15-Ounce Can Black Beans Drained and Rinsed
- 1 15-Ounce Can Corn Drained
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
Corn Bread Topping
- 1 8.5-Ounce Box Corn Muffin Mix
- 1 4-Ounce Can Green Chilies
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
- Milk and eggs for the corn muffin mix
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a large 12-inch skillet, brown beef, chorizo, and diced onions. Use paper towels to dab up some of the excess greases once browning is complete
- Add all the ingredients except the cheese and bring to a boil
- Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese
Corn Bread Topping
- Combine the ingredients per manufacturers instructions
- Add additional milk the mix so that it is liquid enough to spoon over the top of the filling. It's roughly double the milk that the manufacturer suggests
- Gently spoon the mixture evenly over the top of the filling and spread to fill in the gaps
- Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes until the topping is set and lightly browned