clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Easy Tamale Pie (Skillet or Cast Iron)

Easy Tamale Pie

  • Author: Amy | Chew Out Loud
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This recipe is quick and easy for weeknights, making smart use of your favorite cornbread mix. It’s simply delicious for all your busy weeknights. 


  • 2 TB oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 23 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 any required ingredients listed on the package
  • Optional garnishes: Fresh Tomato Salsa, sour cream, sliced green onion, shredded cheese


  1. Preheat: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450F.
  2. Aromatics: 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.
  3. Cook: 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.
  4. Prepare Cornbread: According to package instructions, mix the cornbread batter. Spread cornbread batter evenly on top of the beef mixture in skillet.
  5. Bake: 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 rest 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. Bake time may need to be adjusted, depending on thickness of your cornbread in chosen baking dish. Also brands of boxed cornbread mixes vary, so adjust bake time as needed for center to bake through. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican American

Keywords: Tamale Pie, Tamale Casserole, Tamale Bake, Cornbread Chili Casserole