Tamale Pie

tamale pieThis recipe is set up for freezer cooking. It creates two 8×8 casseroles. I came up with it one day when I had the idea to make tamales. I’d already bought a couple of bags of masa and then when looking up recipes I realized there was no way I was going to make real tamales. I can’t eat the lard and grease. So I had to figure out something to do with the masa and a dish was born.

making tamale pieOne cool thing is you can adapt this recipe. If you have leftover taco meat go with that. Don’t feel like red enchilada sauce? Try a green sauce or even a creamy white and chicken. Possibilities are pretty limitless.

I served this with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, shredded cheddar and avocado. Basically anything you would use in your tacos. I used them as toppings.  Then we also had refried beans as a side.

Tamale Pie


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 8

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups shredded beef or pork
  • 4 cups masa
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 8x8 baking pans
  1. In a large bowl combine, tomato sauce, paste, broth, oregano, cumin, garlic and onion. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Add meat and onion to sauce and gently stir.
  3. If you are freezing this in bags, divide meat mixture in half and put in two bags. You can now freeze it. Then when you go to cook day you will continue with the masa directions below.
  4. In a medium bowl mix masa, salt and water. Knead to form a soft, smooth dough. Separate the dough in quarters.
  5. Put one quarter of dough in each pan.
  6. Spread dough out to cover bottom and sides of pans. You may need to grab just a little more from the other quarters. This "crust" doesn't need to be very thick.
  7. Pour meat mixture into each pan so it's even.
  8. Take the remaining dough quarters and quarter them again.
  9. Use a rolling pin to get them thin. Then piece them on top of the pie. It's fine if it doesn't cover completely. You can see me piecing top together in above picture.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and masa has browned.


Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.

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