Chicken Tamale Pie Recipe (that tastes like tamales)

I recently was able to experience some homemade tamales now that we live in the South.  When I heard that they were just corn mush surrounding a meat filling I thought they might not be all that exciting, but I was wrong.

Those authentic homemade tamales are full of flavor, spice, and a lovely sweet corn contrast.  But, they are also a lot of work.  So I devised a recipe that brings together the delicious authentic flavor of tamales with the ease of a casserole.  It is not quite as authentic or exciting as the real deal but it tastes just as good.

Chicken Tamale Pie in baking dish, top view



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Tamale Pie (that tastes like tamales)


Course: Allergen-Friendly Main (Chicken)



  • 2 cups masa
  • 1-12 teaspoons baking power
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cup cold lard or butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken or turkey
  • 2 cups broth
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Cut in butter or lard.
  3. Add water and mix until a wet dough is formed. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  5. Saute onions in 2-3 Tablespoons of bacon grease
  6. Add paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of broth
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes
  8. Add rest of ingredients and simmer until thick and yummy
  9. Transfer filling to a 13″ x 9″ pan. Top with masa topping, spreading it evenly out on top of the filling. Don’t worry if the filling comes through the topping a bit.
  10. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown around edges and firm in the center.
  11. We like our served with salsa, cheese, and sour cream on top of a bed of lettuce.

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