Taco Tamale Pies

What do you get when you take the inside of a beef taco, top it with cornbread, and heat in the oven? Quick and tasty tamale pies! These are so easy to put together and you can substitute a number of items depending on what you love in your tacos! Some good ideas: corn, black or pinto beans, onions, and bell peppers. You can also top with cold ingredients like chopped avocado, salsa, and cilantro. I was even thinking you could make the beef (or substitute ground turkey) separate and then have everyone mix the beef with their favorite toppings before sticking in the oven. Kids would probably get a kick out of that and I could actually add bell peppers, which my husband despises. Enjoy!

*You will need small Au gratin or casserole dishes.


  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Dash olive oil
  • 1  lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • S/P
  • 3-4 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives (I like Lindsay Naturals brand because there are no color additives, which a lot of black olives contain)
  • One 8 1/2 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix
  • Toppings (optional): shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, avocado, cilantro, sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the garlic in a dash of olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat if necessary.
  2. Add the water, cumin, and cayenne pepper to the skillet and stir to blend. Season with S/P and add the tomatoes and black olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Adjust seasoning as needed and to suit your heat preference.
  3. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package instructions. Divide the hot beef among 4-6 small Au gratin dishes and top with a dollop of the corn muffin mix.
  4. Bake about 15 minutes until topping is golden and cooked through. Top with your favorite garnish and serve.

Serves: 4-6

Recipe source: Adapted from a Better Homes & Garden recipe

Time: 30 minutes