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.
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.
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.
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.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Chicken Tamale Pie
Servings: 6 servings
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper chopped
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 oz light whipped cream cheese
- 1 ½ cup salsa
- ¾ cup half & half
- 3 cups chopped roasted chicken
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon quality taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon 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
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon 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 ½ 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