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Lunch / Dinner

Tamale Pie with Cornbread Topping

Cast-iron cookware is a favorite in our Test Kitchen due to its supreme heat retention, the nonstick properties of the cooking surface, plus its durability. For dinner, check out the Tamale Pie, a savory southwestern casserole that’s just waiting to get devoured. If you love tamales, but don’t want to bother with corn husks and fussy assembly, this Tamale Pie, baked in a cast-iron skillet, will be right up your alley.


8 servings

Total Time

1 hour

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Preheat oven to 425°.

For the filling, brown chuck in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, crushing with a potato masher, until it’s no longer pink, 810 minutes.

Drain chuck in a sieve, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings.

Sauté onions, poblano, and jalapeño in drippings over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cocoa powder, and cumin; cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, broth, olives, and chuck; heat to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper. Off heat, top filling with Cheddar.

For the topping, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in egg, chiles, Cheddar, and milk just until combined. Spread topping evenly over pie.

Bake Tamale Pie until topping is golden brown, 2025 minutes.


Don’t drain the canned chiles, both the chiles and the liquid add tons of flavor.

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