Busy weeknights are no match for this Easy Skillet Tamale Pie. It comes together quickly and is fuss-free. The family will devour this delicious tamale bake.
It’s been such a long time since we’ve had a tamale pie. It used to be on regular dinner rotation, but somehow I’ve forgotten all about how much we love a good tamale pie.
Even better is how easy and quick this one comes together. No need to transfer to a casserole dish; everything is done from start to finish in the same big skillet.
One less big pan to wash. I’ll take it.
The family devoured this tamale pie so quickly and completely.
This past year, dinnertime has somehow gotten later and later for us, given the increasing daily grind every afternoon.
Whether it’s soccer season, baseball season, or homework galore, dinner hour is rush hour in our home.
Which is why I have been embracing no-fuss meals everyone will want to eat. Easy is good. Deliciousness is a requirement.
Simply stir together some onions, garlic, olive oil, and chili powder. It might seem like a lot of chili powder, but after all is said and done, it’s just the right amount of little kick. Just enough to taste the zing, but not overly so.
Don’t skimp on the garlic. Garlic makes everything better. And it’s a super food.
Add in diced tomatoes, black beans, and lean ground beef to the aromatics already sizzling in the skillet.
Stir in the shredded cheese. Cheddar, monterey-jack, or Mexican blend cheese all work well here. Now a good time to season with kosher salt and add more chili powder if you prefer more kick.
Stir all that goodness together until nice and hot. Smooth beef mixture in an even layer, as you’ll want an evenly thick layer of cornbread on top.
Keeping with the easy ‘n quick dinner theme, we use our favorite all-natural cornbread mix from Trader Joes. Feel free to use your favorite brand, as long as the package is about 15 oz.
If you don’t mind making your own cornbread batter from scratch, this one is truly unbeatable.
Viola! A complete meal in one. Underneath that moist cornbread layer rests a mouthwatering lean beef filling.
I served generous wedges, one at a time. By the time I got to slicing a piece for Hubby, our Littlest had finished his entire big piece. His plate was empty. Both shocked, Hubby and I looked around the floor. Like The Littlest must have dropped it or the dog ate it. But no crumbs on the floor and no dog around. The only tamale smudges were on the boy’s face. True story.Print
This recipe is quick and easy for weeknights, making use of a store bought cornbread mix. However, feel free to make your own cornbread batter for a totally homemade dinner! See below for the link to my popular/moist homemade cornbread.
- 2 TB oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 2–3 TB chili powder
- kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- 1 (15oz) box of your favorite cornbread mix, plus ingredients listed on package (or 1 homemade recipe for similar amount of cornbread batter)
- Optional garnishes: Fresh Tomato Salsa, sour cream, sliced green onion, shredded cheese
- Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450F.
- In a 12 inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat, warm up the oil until hot. Add onion, chili powder, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook just until onion is soft. Stir in garlic and cook 30 more seconds.
- Stir in ground beef, drained beans, and drained tomatoes. Cook and break up the meat with a spatula until fully browned, about 5 min. Off heat, stir in cheese. Season with kosher salt to taste. Add more chili powder if desired. Smooth beef mixture into an even layer in the skillet.
- According to package instructions, mix the cornbread batter. Spread cornbread batter evenly on top of the beef mixture in skillet.
- Bake until edges are golden brown, 15-20 min. Check center of cornbread for doneness. If needed, cover loosely with foil and bake another 5 minutes or until center is cooked through. Let cool at room temperature 10 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired.
If you don’t have an oven-proof 12-inch skillet, you can layer casserole into an oven-safe baking dish instead.
Because brands of boxed cornbread mixes vary, adjust bake time as needed for center to bake through.
Keywords: Tamale Pie, Tamale Casserole, Tamale Bake
Here are a few quick ‘n easy favorite dinners our family really likes.
- This Easy Mexican Pasta is a delicious way to twist things up from the usual boring pasta nights.
- Probably nothing is easier than this One Pot Wonder Pasta. It’s everything you love, in one pot, quick ‘n yummy!
- Breakfast for Dinner? Yes, please! We love this Enchilada Breakfast Bake so much, and it’s packed with everything in the food pyramid. Enchiladas, breakfast style… any meal of the day.