Get Ready to Dig In: Taco Cornbread Tamale Pie Recipe

Get Ready to Dig In: Taco Cornbread Tamale Pie Recipe

Are you craving a comforting yet exciting meal that'll tantalize your taste buds? Get ready to spice up your dinner routine with a mouthwatering Tex-Mex twist on a beloved classic, inspired by the rich culinary traditions of the American Southwest! 

Dive into the irresistible flavors of our Cornbread Tamale Pie recipe, featuring the bold flavors of From Lex's Pantry Taco Spice. Packed with savory goodness and Tex-Mex flair, this dish is sure to  become a family favourite. 

What is Cornbread Tamale Pie? 

Cornbread tamale pie, also known as tamale casserole or Mexican cornbread casserole, is a hearty and comforting dish with roots in both American and Mexican cuisine. Think Tex-Mex Shepherd's Pie and you'll be on the right track!

Cornbread tamale pie is a fusion dish that combines elements of traditional tamales with American-style cornbread. It is a quick and tasty way to enjoy the flavors of tamales without the labor-intensive process of making individual corn husk-wrapped parcels.

Cornbread Tamale Pie Using From Lex's Pantry Taco Mix

Lex's version leans heavily to Tex-Mex taco flavours and gives you a heartier dish with less cleanup and fuss than taco night usually does. Using our Taco Spice mix, or for a different kick, our Fajita Spice, you can quickly make up this cornbread tamale pie for a tasty and flavourful treat. 

Lex's version leaves lots of room for you to customize based on your personal preference by adding corn kernels, black beans, bell peppers, jalapeños, cheese, and olives.  



This can be made using left over taco meat or prepared in advance and frozen. We often make extra taco meat and freeze it for quick and easy tacos & cornbread tamale pie.

  • 2T Taco Spice or Fajita Spice
  • 1lb of your favourite:
    • beef, chicken, turkey, cooked lentils, textured vegetable protein (TVP), or meat alternative, . 
  • 1t oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1c tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes
  • 1c broth
    • we always prefer low-sodium broth
  • 1/2c pepper diced 
    • red or green bell, or use a jalapeno or poblano for a bit more kick)
  • optional:
    • 1c corn kernels (optional)
    • 1/2c cooked black beans
    • 1/2c cheese - cheddar, monterey jack, cojita

Cornbread topping

You can use a cornbread mix like Jiffy or Bob's Red Mill cornbread, just follow their instructions for making the cornbread batter.

  • 3/4c corn meal
  • 1T flour
  • 1T sugar
  • 1.5t baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c milk
  • 1T vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 425°
  • Select an oven-safe deep frying pan, like a cast iron pan.
  • Sauté your onions until soft.  
  • Add and brown your ground beef (or alternative). 
  • Drain off any fat produced in cooking. 
  • Add  Taco Spice or Fajita Spice
  • Mix thoroughly with the onions and meat.
  • Add broth, tomato sauce, peppers and corn.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Set aside the filling, still in the oven-safe pan, as you prepare the cornbread topping
    • at this stage you can freeze the filling for later.
  • Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl 
  • Create a well in the center, then add the egg, milk, and vegetable oil. 
  • Mix together until everything is combined into a batter. It can be a little lumpy. 
  • Optional: if you want an extra kick - you can add things to your cornbread now - like corn, cheese, extra spice or diced peppers. 
  • Spoon the cornbread mixture on top of the filling and spread it out evenly across the top of the pan. 
  • bake for 20-25 minutes until the cornbread is golden and baked through. 
  • let rest for 5 minutes, just to cool down a bit, before serving.

Serving Cornbread Tamale Pie

You don't have to get fancy serving this dish, it's great as it is.

BUT it never hurts to serve with a little extra flair.  Try adding a dollop of creamy sour cream, a sprinkle of extra shredded cheese, a generous spoonful of zesty salsa, and a garnish of fresh cilantro, all the other sides you love with your Tex-Mex dishes. These classic Tex-Mex accompaniments perfectly complement the savory flavors of the dish, adding a contrast of creaminess, tanginess, and freshness to work with this hearty dish.

We also like a nice crispy green salad on the side too.  (I just always forget to photograph that!) 

Tips & Tricks

  • To make the dish vegetarian, simply omit the meat or replace it with cooked lentils, textured vegetable protein (TVP), or meat alternatives.
  • Making the dish gluten-free is easy, since all our spice blends are already gluten-free, just omit the flour and use corn-flour or alternative. Or use your favourite gluten-free cornbread mix. 
  • It's fun to play with your cornbread batter and added extra flavour. 
  • Spice it UP! You can easily customize the level of heat by adjusting the amount of Taco Spice or Fajita Spice you add (or use one of our extra spice blends) but you can also add diced jalapeños or other hot peppers.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated for easy meals throughout the week.

We love to see what you are making.

If you make Lex's Cornbread Tamale Pie, we'd love to see how it turned out. Just tag us @FromLexsPantry #FromLexsPantry, follow us on social @FromLexsPantry 
We'd also love to hear what you though through a review for the spice blend you used: Taco Spice or Fajita Spice


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