Cast Iron Tamale Pie

Got A hankering for tamales but maybe don’t want to put in all the work? Woooaahhh…. have I got you fixed up. We’re sharing a Mexican casserole tamale pie, and you won’t have to be rolling any corn husks. Come on folks I got the fire hot and I’ll be pulling you up a chair.

You may have seen this recipe done a couple different ways. Some folks will used canned tamales, leftover tamales or cornbread mix for the topping. Now, if  you want to make tamales from scratch, you can check out our homemade tamales video.

One Pot Wonder

The deal I really like about this- is it’s a one pot deal.

To start this off, I like to begin browning 2 pounds of hamburger meat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.

If you don’t have either of those, you can easily start this recipe in a large skillet, then transfer it all to a large casserole dish before baking.

Once that gets to cooking a bit stir in the bell pepper, fresh jalapeños and some garlic cloves. Cook this down until everything is good and tender. I then season it with Red River Ranch Mesquite Seasoning.

Now we’re going to add some heartiness and great Mexican flavors here! Stir in some Hatch green chiles, drained hominy and crushed tomatoes. I also like to add in cumin, oregano and chile powder for those classic flavors.

I’m also adding a little cornstarch to the mix. That’s going to help thicken this mixture up a bit. 

At this point stir in some shredded cheese- you can take your pick! Go ahead and put it aside and keep warm while we mix up the masa.


Mix Up The Masa

As I mentioned, a lot of folks will use different tamales or cornbread for the topping. However, today we’re making up a Masa mixture that is going to give this tamale pie a more authentic flavor!

For this I’m using corn masa flour, salt and baking powder. You then want to mix in some chicken broth, and melted butter. Like always I prefer to mix my dry ingredients together prior to adding in the wet.

You want the consistency of the corn batter to stick together and hold on to the spoon fairly well, but it also needs to be easily spreadable on the casserole. Add a little more chicken broth if needed to get the desired consistency.


Back To One Pot

Once you have your masa all good and mixed,  go ahead and dollop and spread the masa around on top of the beef mixture.


Bake It Up

You know this ol’ cowboy is cooking this up outside over hardwood coals. Be sure to check out the video to see our how-to, but you can also easily bake this in the house.

In the house, it will bake about 30 to 40 minutes. Just long enough to where an inserted toothpick through the center of the masa topping comes out clean.

Hold Yp- We Need More Cheese!

Don’t forget- we need to add some more cheese! When you have about 10 minutes left in the baking sprinkle on that remaining cheese about 1/2 to 1 cup and let it get good and melted.



There you have a recipe to cure that tamale craving all in one easy pot.


Click the recipe below for all the steps and ingredients and we sure appreciate y’all stopping by the wagon today!


Tamale Pie - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalepeno diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • Red River Ranch Mesquite Seasoning or favorite all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 15.5 oz can yellow hominy drained
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 4 oz cans Hatch chopped green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 2 1/4 cups corn flour masa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 stick butter melted


  • Add the ground beef to a 12-in cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until the beef begins to brown. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, jalepeno and garlic. Season to taste with the Mesquite seasoning, or salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the meat has completely browned and the onions are tender.
  • Stir in the hominy, tomatoes, green chiles, cornstarch, chile powder, cumin, oregano. Stir in 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese just until combined. Set aside in a warm place.
  • In a large bowl, combine the corn flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chicken broth and butter. You want the mixture to hold together but spread easily. Add more chicken broth, if needed.
  • Spread the masa batter evenly over the top of the meat mixtures. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the corn batter comes out clean. Serve warm.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!