Chicken Tamale Pie is the easiest way to prepare and enjoy tamales – no more struggling with trying to roll corn husks!
For me at least, it’s so much faster and easier to make a chicken tamale casserole rather than making your traditional tamales. Plus, this tamale pie still has that restaurant-style tamale flavor!
Besides, this recipe is a great way to make homemade tamales if you’ve never made them before! No learning curve and no need to mess with corn husks, which can be tricky if you’ve never done it before!
MORE MEXICAN INSPIRED CHICKEN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
What We Love About This Chicken Tamale Casserole Recipe
- 45 Minute Meal: From start to finish, this tamale pie will be ready in 45 minutes!
- Family Friendly: This fun take on tamales is a family favorite!
- Adaptable: Can easily substitute ingredients to make it your own!
- Makes Great Leftovers: So easy to reheat and have for lunch the next day!
- Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Broth
- Masa – If you don’t know, masa harina is sort of like corn flour. It’s most commonly used to make homemade tortillas!
- Shredded Chicken – I’m using deboned chicken thighs and legs. If your family likes a different cut of chicken, use that!
- Chicken Broth – I’m also using the broth from when I cooked my chicken but if you want you can use store bought broth. Homemade broth is going to have more flavor.
How to Make Chicken Tamale Pie with Masa
These are the basic steps for making Chicken Tamale Pie. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
STEP 1: Prep
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Now is a good time to chop your onion and boil it with the deboned chicken in about 6 cups of water. Save 2 cups of the resulting broth!
STEP 2: Shred
Remove chicken and shred using a hand mixer (it takes less time than shredding by hand!) and add the seasoning. Stir well.
STEP 3: Make the Masa
Combine the reserved chicken broth and masa corn meal until completely combined.
STEP 4: Layer
In an 8×8 baking dish, use about half of the masa mixture, to cover the entire baking dish’s bottom surface.
Add the cooked chicken in an even layer. Next, add the remaining masa in an even layer over the top of the chicken. Then, spread the chili over this last layer of masa.
STEP 5: Bake
Top with shredded cheese. Sprinkle over the entire dish as the final layer. Then, throw into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE AHEAD OF TIME
To help make this ahead of time you can cook and shred your chicken, make the broth, and combine the broth and masa!
HOW TO STORE THIS CASSEROLE
Store in the fridge! If you’re planning on eating it the next day, wrap the baking dish in foil. For a more extended life, transfer to airtight containers. Chicken tamale pie will last for up to 5 days.
HOW TO FREEZE THIS RECIPE
I like to transfer to freezer bags so I can stack them in my freezer! This dish will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
HOW TO REHEAT TAMALE PIE
You can either microwave or reheat in the oven! For the microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time stirring in-between. For the oven, preheat to 325 degrees and let bake for about 20 minutes. Just make sure your dish is oven safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Easy! Use your favorite meat substitute in place of the chicken. Also, use a non-meat broth like vegetable broth!
Yes. If your family likes beef more than chicken, go ahead and use a beef broth and beef instead!
Absolutely! This recipe is super easy to double or half, just use the appropriate casserole dish.
Sure. If you use rotisserie chicken you won’t have to make broth (which can either be a pro or con) so you’ll have to either make some or buy some.
Sure! I think refried beans would work really well instead of beanless chili. It would give it more of a burrito/taco taste.
Whether you mean that literally or not you could add some chopped spicy peppers, sour cream, different cheeses… whatever you want!
Chicken Tamale Pie
- 2 cups masa corn meal
- 1 tsp paprika powder, optional– I ran out
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ lbs chicken thighs and legs, deboned (so about 2 lbs bone-in)
- 1 cup chicken broth, reserved from cooking chicken
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 can no-bean chili
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, then chop onion and boil with deboned chicken in about 6 cups of water. Reserve 2 cups of the resulting broth.
- Remove chicken and shred using a hand mixer (makes short work of it!) and add the seasoning, then stir well.
- Combine the reserved chicken broth and masa corn meal until completely combined.
- In an 8×8 baking dish, make a layer of masa, using about half of the masa mixture, to cover the entire baking dish’s bottom surface.
- Add the chicken on top of the masa in an even layer.
- Add the remaining masa in an even layer over the top of the chicken.
- Then spread the chili over this last layer of masa.
- Sprinkle entire dish with cheese, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes before enjoying!