Gluten Free Corn Free Tamale Pie Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on April 22, 2014

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I love a good casserole! And tamale pie is one of my favorites. What potluck would be complete without tamale pie?

Traditionally tamale pie is made by topping a yummy meat filling with a layer of cornbread topping – hinting at the flavors of a real tamale. And while I adore the traditional, I got to thinking – would it be possible to make a tamale pie without corn?

As corn is sort of essential to the dish, this was a challenge. But you know me, I love a challenge almost as much as I love a good casserole!

Instead of a cornmeal topping I used Chebe bread mix which is made from tapioca starch. I added some grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and a touch of sugar to give it a tamale-like flavor.

While you can bake this dish in a lasagna pan, if you use a cast iron skillet, you can cook the beef and bake the casserole all in one pan, saving yourself the trouble of having to wash an extra dish.

If you can’t or choose not to eat corn but have been craving tamale pie, give this recipe a try! I think you will be happy you did.

Gluten Free Corn Free Tamale Pie

Gluten Free Corn Free Tamale Pie Recipe


3 tablespoons olive oil, use divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can mild green chilies, diced
1 (4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
1 (7.5-ounce) box Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix
2 large eggs
¼ cup water
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese, use divided
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar

Optional garnishes:
Sour cream
Avocado slices


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and cook until fully browned. Drain any fat from the pan. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, and ground cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the canned tomatoes (with the juices), chilies, and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Put mixture into a 9 by 12 inch baking dish (or if using a cast iron skillet, leave in the pan).

In a mixing bowl, combine the bread mix with 2 tablespoons oil, the eggs, water, 1 cup cheese, green onions, and sugar. Mix to combine – mixture may be clumpy, that’s OK.

Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and knead until smooth. Pat into a size that will fit the dish using to bake and place on top of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup cheese and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the dough crust is browned.


A gluten free recipe that serves 6 – 8

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