Monday, June 17, 2013

Cooking From the Pantry--Taco Tamale Pie

Ever have those days where you suddenly wake up and realize that it's getting close to 5;00 p.m. and you have no idea what you're going to make for dinner?  I hate to admit it, but sometimes I have those days two or three days a week. Luckily, I have a family that's easily pleased, but you still want to have something that's not only edible but tastes good, too!

So on one of those days last week, I was standing in the middle of my kitchen mumbling to myself thinking out loud--"let's see, I have a pound of ground meat that's about half thawed, what do I have that I add to it to make something nutritious that my family will eat?" And I came up with this, a cross between taco casserole and tamale pie, I call it "Taco Tamale Pie".  Clever, right?

It was super easy and big hit, and is now enthroned on my list of last-minute go-to meals. 

  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 or 2 pkg taco seasoning (I started with 1 and added an additional 1/2 pkg)
  • 1 pkg cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c milk (enough to make the cornbread)
  • cheese

Step 1: Brown the ground meat, and drain if necessary.  We have farm-raised beef, so all of the water usually cooks out by the time the meat browns, and there's very little fat to drain.  If you're using commercial ground meat, you will almost definitely need to drain it.

 Step 2:  Add the corn and taco seasoning (I ended up adding and additional 1/2 envelope to off-set some of the sweetness from the corn) and just enough water to mix it all thoroughly.  (If you don't use commercial taco seasoning, use the equivalent of your homemade seasoning blend) Bring to a bubble, cover and simmer for a few minutes. 

Step 3: Mix the cornbread according to package directions.  Mine called for one egg and 1/3 cup of milk.  If you want to whip up cornbread from scratch, I'd recommend about a half recipe.   

Step 4: Take the lid off of the skillet and allow the liquid to evaporate until the meat mixture is almost dry.  Pour into a greased 9 x 9 inch casserole dish.

Step 5: Add cheese.  I realized I didn't have enough grated cheese, so I grabbed some sliced cheese and threw it on top.  We like lots of cheese.

Step 6: Pour the cornbread batter on top of the meat and cheese, and spread to the edges. 

Step 7:  Bake at 375-400 degrees for20-25 minutes, or until the cornbread is beginning to brown and seems "set" in the middle.  

I served this with fresh sliced cucumber and carrot sticks, I think it would also go nicely with a green salad. 
We all liked this, a lot.  Even the leftovers disappeared by the time everyone made it to bed. 

Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!

This post is linked to:

See Ya in the Gumbo at Ms enPlace
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Melt in Your Mouth Monday at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands
Make, Bake, and Create at Hope in Every Season
Wonderful Food Wednesday Mom's Test Kitchen
Foodie Friday At Rattlebridge Farm


  1. That looks really good Charlene. And I think I could substitute black beans for the meat. I use real cheese now, because the vegan stuff is just nasty! I have those days a lot also. After 35 years of marriage, I've become quite bored with cooking.

  2. Hi, Charlene! This looks perfect for my family. I like pantry (and freezer) cooking. If you are interested, The Law Student's Cookbook has a "Pantry Party" every month. This month's theme is cheese-your dish would be awesome for this month! Here's the info:

    Thank you for linking with See Ya in the Gumbo!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Charlene I love love it's recipe I added some roasted chiles and black beans to the recipe and it came out so good this is something I most definitely make it again for my family thanks for sharing

    1. I did the same thing and added some sliced black olives...Yummmmmmm

  5. Made this recipe exactly as written and it was great! Family loved it. Served with a tossed salad. Your hint to only make a half batch of cornbread if making from scratch was spot on! Thank you for sharing this one.

  6. Has anyone baked this and reheated later?

    1. Yes, it reheats well in the microwave or in the oven.

  7. Can you put this together in the afternoon and bake it later that day?

  8. Do you drain the corn, or just pour corn and juice all in?

    1. It depends on the corn--if I use one like Green Giant Niblets, I just dump the whole thing in. If it's an inexpensive store brand, they tend to have more juice so I drain about half of the juice off.

  9. Trying this tonight! I love another idea for quick, yummy dinners! Thanks so much for sharing! This looks fabulous! 😊

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