Chicken Tamale Pie

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This Chicken Tamale Pie is an easy and flavorful dish that makes a great weeknight dinner! A cornbread base topped with chicken, green chile, and cheese!

This super easy weeknight dinner is definitely a winner. And some other easy suggestions you may want to try is this Mexican Casserole, Taco Pasta (one pot meal!!), and this Easy Taco Soup (a family favorite!).

Top down view of chicken tamale pie.

Folks……this chicken tamale pie is my new found obsession! I sometimes have a little leftover chicken and it’s not enough to feed my crew so I need something to stretch it and make it a meal.

This skillet does just that!


What is a tamale?

Tamales are a Mexican dish made of seasoned meat wrapped in a starchy corn based dough.

They are then wrapped in corn husks and steamed. They can be a little labor intensive but oh so tasty!

This is a much simpler version but by no means authentic. I am just using some of the same flavors and giving it a Tex Mex flair.

Mixing up the cornbread base.
Cornbread base mixed.


  • Chicken: any cooked chicken will do here….leftover poached, rotisserie, or even canned.
  • Green Chile: use your favorite brand or a homemade! We really like 505 Southwestern Green Chile.
  • Canned Green Chiles: any heat level you like
  • Spices: chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Baking powder
  • Creamed corn
  • Egg
  • Sour Cream: Can also use plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt
  • Butter
  • Shredded Cheese: We like to shred our own cheese because it melts better. Use any cheese that melts well….colby, co-jack, monterey jack, pepper jack, cheddar are all great choices
Ingredients for the topping of the chicken tamale pie.
Starting to assemble the tamale pie.
Topping the tamale pie with cheese.

How to Make Chicken Tamale Pie

  1. Cornbread Base: Mix everything for the cornbread base in a large bowl. You can replace the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt with a box of Jiffy Cornbread Mix if you prefer. Spread into a 9×13 casserole dish or a 12″ cast iron skillet.
  2. Bake: Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until cornbread is done.
  3. Chicken topping: While the base is baking prepare the topping by combining the chicken, spices, green chile sauce, and green chiles.
  4. Top base: When cornbread is finished remove from oven and top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake: Pop it back in the oven just long enough to heat the chicken mixture through and melt the cheese.
  6. Top with desired toppings and chow down!
Close up of chicken tamale pie.

Freezer Friendly!

This is a great dish to have in your freezer. Simply cool the baked dish completely and wrap well. Store in your freezer for up to 3 months.

To thaw place in your refrigerator and reheat as needed. I like to pop it back in the oven to reheat.

Can store in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Spoonful of tamale pie being served.

What about the toppings?

Don’t forget about the toppings!! Top with whatever you like such as:

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Spoonful of tamale pie being served.

Chicken Tamale Pie

Course: Chicken, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken tamale pie, easy dinner
This Chicken Tamale Pie is an easy and flavorful dish! A cornbread base topped with chicken, green chile, and cheese!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 492kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe



  • 1 cup (175g) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.25oz)(404g) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream
  • ½ cup (113g) butter, melted
  • 1 large egg


  • cups (475g) cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 (10oz)(283g) can green chile sauce or green enchilada sauce
  • 2 (4oz)(113g) cans chopped green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder and onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano and cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (115g) shredded cheddar



  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or 12" cast iron skillet; set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the creamed corn, sour cream, melted butter, and egg just until combined. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


  • While the cornbread is baking make filling. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, enchilada sauce, green chiles, and spices.
  • Spoon on top of baked cornbread and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with desired toppings.


  1. Freezer Friendly: Cool completely and wrap well. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as desired. I like to reheat in the oven. 
  2. Storage: Can store baked dish in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  3. Nutrition facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate. The nutrition is not calculated with toppings.


Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 754mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 5mg

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