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Easy Skillet Tamale Pie

  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


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
  • 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 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


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450F.
  2. 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. 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. According to package instructions, mix the cornbread batter. Spread cornbread batter evenly on top of the beef mixture in skillet.
  5. 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. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican American

Keywords: Tamale Pie, Tamale Casserole, Tamale Bake