Tamale Pie Casserole

April 23, 2013
Spicy ground turkey and vegetable filling, topped with a thick-and-delicious layer of golden cornbread.  Just perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, or everyday dinner!

Do you love casseroles?  Got a favorite?  Well, then it's your lucky day!  'Cause you can share that favorite casserole with Shedd's Spread Country Crock on their Facebook page to enter the Country Crock Stars contest.

By simply clicking this link, sharing a photo of you with your favorite casserole, and sharing in about 100 words how you demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen, you could WIN $5,000 and a trip to New York City for two!!  That's a pretty sweet deal, don't you think?  Pop on over {until May 31st, 2013} to enter!

Now, as for me and casseroles?  I love them.  I mean, we probably eat a casserole for dinner about 80% of the time in our house.  And, oh, do they hold many memories for me of our dinners together as a family growing up...

Yup, I think I got my love for casseroles from my Mom.

Except when ball games or other activities prevented it, our family ate dinner together at the dinner table every night.  My Mom made sure of that.  She had an arsenal of tasty casserole recipes to help her out with putting a delicious dinner on the table each night.  One of my all-time favorites was her Tamale Pie.

With a spicy meat-and-vegetable filling topped with a thick layer of cornbread, I couldn't wait to dig in when Mom brought this casserole to the table.  {Or, really, any casserole, for that matter ...  I told you I love them.}

Well, I've taken Mom's original Tamale Pie recipe and 'freshened' it up a little to share with you, changing up the cornbread topping a bit to incorporate my Mother-in-Law's cornbread recipe, replacing the ground beef filling with ground turkey, and adding a touch more spice.  Mmmm ... the cornbread and meaty-spicy filling make such a wonderfully tasty combination.

To create this family favorite, simply whip up a filling of ground turkey and sausage sauteed with some onion, green pepper, tomato, corn, black olives, and spices ... and spoon that into a baking dish.

{Sidenote:  I used to absolutely detest black olives and would beg my Mom to leave them out of this casserole ... to no avail.  She loved the things.  So, she'll crack up to see black olives in these photos.  While I still don't love them, I can now at least tolerate them.  We're working on our relationship.}    

Next, whip up a little cornbread batter, made extra yummy with a little shot of melted Shedd's Spread Country Crock mixed in ...

... I used Country Crock sticks, but either sticks or Country Crock Spread work great.

Spoon the cornbread batter over the filling ...

... covering the filling completely with a beautiful blanket of batter.

Then bake it up, and sprinkle the golden-baked cornbread with shredded cheddar when the casserole has just a few minutes left to bake.

Finally, dig on in to the magical layers of deliciousness!  I hope our family favorite will become one of your family's favorites, too.

{Oh, and psssst! ... have you headed over to enter the Country Crock Stars contest yet?  What are you waiting for?  I want to see your favorite casseroles, too!}

Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

casserole recipe, tamale pie casserole recipe, dinner recipes
Main Dishes
Yield: 8-10 Servings

Tamale Pie Casserole

Spicy ground turkey and vegetable filling, topped with a thick-and-delicious layer of golden cornbread. Just perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, or everyday dinner!
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 40 Mtotal time: 60 M


For the Cornbread Topping:
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. cornmeal
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 T. Country Crock spread or stick, melted
For the Filling:
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1/2 lb. mild pork sausage
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 c. sliced black olives
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese


How to cook Tamale Pie Casserole

Assemble the Cornbread Topping Ingredients:
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate small bowl, combine the lightly beaten egg and milk.
  2. Set aside, with the dry and wet ingredients still uncombined, while you prepare the casserole filling.
Prepare the Filling:
  1. In a skillet, brown the ground turkey and sausage with the chopped onion and garlic over medium heat; drain.
  2. Run a knife through the stewed tomatoes while they're still in the can to chop them. Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, green pepper, corn, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and black olives to the skillet. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Place filling in a 2-quart or 9x13" baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare the Cornbread Topping:
  1. Gradually add the milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Add the melted Country Crock; stir until just combined.
  2. Spread the cornbread batter evenly over the top of the filling.
  1. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the top with the shredded cheddar and continue baking for about 8 to 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and the cornbread is done.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. I love this casserole! That topping would be gone in a flash with me around. :)

    1. The cornbread topping is sooooooo good, Dorothy ... nice and light and fluffy!

  2. It sounds pretty easy to make and also very delicious. We both love cornbread and tacos are too bad either. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This casserole would be something my family would love!

  4. Black olives....ahh ha!!!!

    1. Yes, Mom ... black olives. Mark loves them, so I tolerate them for him. I knew you'd 'get' me for having the black olives in this!!

  5. This looks so yummy! I have been loving the casseroles being made from the Country Crock Stars campaign! :) Pinning this one to make soon.

  6. A delicious casserole perfect for a weeknight meal or a fun fiesta. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures

  7. This looks DELICIOUS!!!! I'm pinning it so I can make it sometime soon!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I've always wanted to try this... it looks delish! Thanks so much for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell last week... I hope you'll come back to party with me again tomorrow! http://www.whatscookingwithruthie.com Have a great night! xoxo~ Ruthie

  9. It made me smile to see that you used Country Crock, as I just did my post this week too! :) This is prefect for Cinco de Mayo; can't wait to share it with my readers! This is a recipe I hadn't thought of in years; thanks girl! I'm always loving on your recipes! :)
    Have a great weekend,
    Mackenzie :)

  10. Yum!

    I would love for you to share this and link up to my TGIF Link Party! Who knows, you just might be featured next week!


    Hugs, Cathy

  11. Oh this looks sooo good! I need just a dollop of sour cream and I'd be in heaven!

  12. This sounds easy to make and delicious. I can adjust the amount to be good for just the two of us. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Has anyone had luck freezing this recipe?

    1. I haven't tried freezing it ... though I don't see why you couldn't. You can freeze chili, which is similar to the filling. And you can freeze cornbread, which is the topping. The only question would be can you freeze them together? You could definitely freeze the filling, and then add the cornbread batter once it's thawed ... and bake as usual. Not sure if the cornbread would get soggy if frozen & then thawed post-baking. But as I always say ... try it and see! If you give it a go, please stop back by and let me know how it goes.

  14. I just made this recipe last night. Oh my goodness it is so good! It is definitely going to become a family favorite. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. I just found your blog today and I am loving it. I don't really care for country crock, but this recipe sounds delicious. I will try it with butter and see.

  16. Found your site via Chef-in-Training and I made the tamale pie tonight. It was a big time hit with my family! Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. LOVED THIS MEAL! Hearty and filling but I also loved that there was a good amount of veggies and I used turkey meat and turkey sausage to lighten it up a bit. Fabulous flavor and perfect for a very cold night.

  18. I can't have gluten, do you think I could make this with my own cornbread topping?

  19. hi. looks like a great recipe! can you tell me how many servings it makes? i'd like to make it for a crowd and need to know how many times to multiply the ingredients!


  20. Going to try this for Super Bowl Party. Loved the sour cream idea - Guacamole would be good too. Seems like it would be easy to expand for a crowd and would keep well on a hot plate on the buffet.

  21. All the photos show a square pan, but the directions say 9 x 13. Which is it?

    1. Either shape works, so long as the dimensions/pan capacity works out to roughly what a 9x13" pan would be. The pan in the photos just happens to be a large square casserole dish that I frequently use. Enjoy!

  22. oh my gosh! This was so amazingly delicious. I thought it would be okay and my family was skeptical yet it was wonderful and I didn't even have all of the ingredients. By far the best recipe I have ever got online!

  23. Tracey, just spotted this on Miz Helen's #FullPlateThursday. Looks delish! I've always loved a good tamale pie, and I'm sure this one will be no exception.

  24. Congratulations!
    Your Post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Thanks so much for sharing it with us and hope you have a great week!
    Miz Helen


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