This hot tamale pie is dynamite!! Seriously. The crispy cornbread topping is so perfect with the savoury ground beef mixture hiding underneath it. My family is used to fluffy mashed potatoes on casserole dishes like my Shepherd’s Pie so the cornbread topping definitely threw them for a loop… for a whole minute or two before they completely gobbled it up in record time.
So this easy casserole recipe definitely DOES NOT fit in with my ‘healthy’ theme I was focusing on this month. Well, I guess it depends on your version of healthy. Anything homemade is way better then store bought processed meals so still a step in the right direction. But if you compare it to my Lime Shrimp Avocado Quinoa Salad or Mexican Ground Beef Zucchini Skillet I’ve been making for my family, I would recommend you don’t think about those delicious carbs you’re enjoying in your hot tamale pie.
This hot tamale pie DOES work with some of my goals for 2017 – to create a weekly meal plan using ingredients I have on hand in my pantry, fridge or freezer.
I’m slowly getting my grove back for meal planning by implementing new strategies. My daughter loves checking out the calendar each day to see what we’re going to have for supper that night. The entire family got involved by brainstorming dinner ideas. My husband? Pierogi… of course. I did switch up those tasty potato dumplings on him by making a pierogi skillet dish. Oh yeah. You heard me right… a pierogi skillet. All prepared in only one pan! So easy to clean up. (that recipe will be coming soon, I promise)
One thing I did decide to try do differently this year is to make a dedicated meal plan schedule. Instead of including it on the family calendar along with all the appointments and other important dates I needed to remember. (Like this Friday’s “Dress like your favourite book character” at school… any ideas? Harry Potter is the only one that is coming to mind right now.)
I love my new Weekly Meal Planner. I originally made one for just dinners but decided I wanted one that included snacks, lunches and breakfasts as well. This is going to prevent me from buying too much fresh produce. I find I do that too often. My family doesn’t eat all of it and it just ends up in the compost. Throwing out food makes me want to cry. I literally think… I’m tossing a dollar in the garbage when I throw out an avocado I didn’t eat in time.
I printed out a lovely colour copy of my weekly meal planner and laminated it so I can keep it on my fridge and reuse it each week. And if I decide to switch up my plan half way through the week, I can just erase the dry eraser marker and make my change.
The hot tamale pie would be a great way to use up green peppers (or other peppers) if they’re getting too soft to enjoy fresh. Everything else is canned or frozen. Did I mention my obsession with freezing garden fresh vegetables? Yes, I’m still dreaming of summer. Please hurry up and get here soon!
If you would like to download your own FREE Printable Weekly MEAL Planner, click here.
If you would like to use my FREE Printable Weekly DINNER Planner instead, click here.
Hot Tamale Pie
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 teaspoons garlic , minced
- 1 medium onion , diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups green pepper , diced (or poblano if you like heat)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 can diced tomatoes 540 ml
- Can of black beans (optional)
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese , shredded, divided
- 1 ½ cups Monterey jack cheese , shredded, divided
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup corn , defrosted if frozen
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until brown. Reduce the heat and add in the onion, garlic, green peppers, salt, pepper, oregano and chilli flakes. Cook for an additional 10 minutes until the beef is cooked through. Stir in the diced tomatoes and black beans right at the end. Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the middle of the ingredients and pour in the vegetable oil, egg and milk. Stir together with a fork. Add in half the cheese blend.
To assemble, scoop the ground beef mixture into your prepared casserole dish. Level out. Distribute the corn over the beef mixture. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over top of the corn. Spoon the corn meal batter on top of all of this. Carefully spread it out as best possible with the back of a fork to completely cover. Make sure there is enough room in the pan for the cornmeal batter to expand a bit.
Bake for about 1 hour, until golden brown.
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