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Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie is a family friendly South-of-the-border inspired dish made with ingredients that are easy to find. A chicken filling is sprinkled with cheese then covered with a layer of cornbread and baked until golden. While it bakes, whip-up a batch of homemade pico de gallo to go on top and it’s a homestyle fiesta that won’t break the bank.
Chicken Tamale Pie with sour cream

Easy Chicken Tamale Pie Recipe is a Riff on Tamales

Tamales are a traditional Spanish dish that are made using Masa, a starchy dough, usually corn based. The “tamal” is then boiled or steamed in dried corn husks. The flavor of a genuine, made from scratch tamale is truly out-of-this-world and one of our favorite Mexican dishes. They’re often sold by street vendors in Mexico, and filled with pork or chicken and then served with a green or red mole sauce.
ingredients to make Chicken Tamale Pie

How to Make the Best Chicken Tamale Pie Recipe

This tamale pie, takes a simpler approach than hand made tamales cooked in corn husks but, it hits all of the same flavor points with a sweet and spicy explosion of taste. The cornbread topping is sweet, and the spice and traditional flavors are in the creamy chicken filling. In this dish,  I used chicken instead of pork, but the flavor  palate is still intense and uniquely Mexican.
  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Chicken Tamale Pie: Two boxes of corn muffin mix, rotisserie chicken, olive oil, jalapeno pepper, diced onion, salsa, whipped cream cheese, shredded Monterey jack, pepper jack or cheddar cheese, minced garlic, half and half, salsa, taco seasoning, seasoned salt, cream style corn, buttermilk and chopped cilantro.
  • I use rotisserie chicken in this recipe. That said, you can use any precooked chicken either roasted, grilled or poached. You could also use leftover holiday turkey for a round two meal.
  • It’s best to use a corn muffin mix that isn’t terribly sweet for this tamale pie recipe. I used Martha White brand but it’s perfectly fine to use a brand you already enjoy.
  • If you’d like to make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning see how here.
  • You can top this tamale pie anyway you like. A big batch of homemade pico de gallo is a nice touch with sour cream or a drizzle of crema.
  • Store leftover chicken tamale pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave in single servings.
baked Chicken Tamale Pie

More South of the Border Inspired Recipes to Make

You may also like to try these easy recipes for your next homestyle fiesta:

  • You may like to serve a delicious Roasted Mexican Corn on the side of this tamale pie recipe.
  • These flavorful and Easy Refried Beans goes perfectly with any Mexican food meal.
  • Just before serving, top my Chicken Tamale Pie with a generous serving of fresh pico de gallo.
  • You may also enjoy topping this tamale pie with spicy verde sauce from Peas and Crayons.


easy Chicken Tamale Pie


plated Chicken Tamale Pie

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Chicken Tamale Pie

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican Inspired, Tex-Mex
Keyword: chicken-tamale-pie
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 650kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 oz light whipped cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • 3 cups chopped roasted chicken
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp quality taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend OR Monterey Jack cheese divided
  • 2 7.5 oz box corn muffin mix
  • 1 cup cream style corn
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp butter melted
  • pico de gallo for garnishing


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 3 quart baking dish or oven safe skillet with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • To make the filling: In a stove top saute pan, over medium-high heat, cook the onion and jalapeno in a couple drizzles of oil until softened and are beginning to brown. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute longer.
  • To the pan add whipped cream cheese and salsa. Cook on medium-low just until the cream cheese has melted.
  • Add half & half, chicken, cilantro, taco seasoning and seasoned salt to the pan. Stir just until the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup cheese.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix together corn muffin mix, cream style corn, buttermilk and butter until the ingredients are evenly moistened. Spread over filling. Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly. Test the center with a toothpick looking for moist crumbs. 
  • Serve with fresh pico de gallo and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.


  • Use mild, medium or hot salsa, your personal preference. 
  • This tamale pie may be served with a mole sauce drizzled on top just before serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1767mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 1086IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 397mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


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