Go Back
+ servings
skillet of tamale pie with a spoon

Tamale Pie Recipe (Tamale Casserole)

Much easier to make than traditional tamales, this Tamale Pie recipe has all the flavors of tamales wrapped up in one easy-to-make dish! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 556kcal



Beef Filling:


Masa Dough:

  • In large mixing bowl, combine the masa harina with the salt and baking powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the chicken broth and mix until a dough forms.
  • Add the lard and beat with a mixer on medium for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture doubles (or comes close). It should have a whipped creamy texture.  
  • Cover and refrigerate for (at least) one hour or up to overnight

Ground Beef Filling:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Add the beef to a skillet over medium heat and brown. If there is a lot of grease in the pan, drain it before going on to the next step.
  • Add the onions to the beef and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add the green chilies, salt, pepper and cumin and cook for 1 minute. 
  • Add enchilada sauce and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the Velveeta to the beef mixture and continue heating until it is fully melted. Mixture should be thick and cheesy when done.
  • Grease the cast iron skillet with shortening, lard, or non-stick spray. 
  • Spread one quarter of the chilled masa on the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add the beef mixture. 
  • Spread the remaining masa dough on top (see notes if having difficulty)
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the masa is golden brown. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving


  1. Use your hand to break up the raw beef into small pieces. Also continue breaking it into small pieces while cooking for a more uniform filling.
  2. To make it spicier, add 1-2 diced jalapenos, or even a diced habanero pepper for some extreme heat!
  3. The salt in the masa dough will need to be adjusted based on whether you are using salted stock. Start with half the amount and taste it as you go along to see if it needs more.
  4. If the masa dough is difficult to spread over the beef mixture, just place pieces of it on top with your fingers.
  5. You can substitute ground pork, chicken or turkey for the beef if desired. I personally prefer the taste of beef, but the other will work as well!
  6. You can make the tamale pie in an oven-proof dish and freeze for later (DO NOT BAKE FIRST). Place directly in the freezer for 3 hours, then wrap in plastic and foil and freeze until ready for use. When you're ready to bake the frozen pie, cook it in a 400 degree oven for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (clean of masa dough, not the filling). 


Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1734mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 4mg