Chicken Tamale Pie


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This chicken tamale pie is the easiest recipe to enjoy tamales–none of the rolling, and all of the flavor of restaurant-style tamales in minutes!

And, frankly, who has time for making tamales?! Honestly, it’s so much faster for a single dinner to just make tamale casserole.

Chicken Tamale Pie in a white baking dish

Plus, it’s a great way to make homemade tamales if you’ve never made them before. No learning curve and no need to mess with the corn husks.

Just yummy tamales without the whole wrapping thing. Sweet. Or, well, savory. Ha!

closeup of Chicken Tamale Pie next to rice and half an avocado on a black plate

What You Need

This is a very simple chicken recipe that’s no-fail. Seriously, anyone can make a tamale casserole, as long as you can follow some basic cooking instructions. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups masa corn meal
  • 1 tsp paprika powder (optional– I ran out)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs and legs, deboned (so about 2 lbs bone-in)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can no-bean chili
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chicken tamale pie in a white baking dish

How to make Chicken Tamale Pie

Step 1

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.

half an onion and chopped onions next to a knife

Step 2

Remove chicken and shred using a hand mixer (makes short work of it!) and add the seasoning, then stir well.

a hand mixer being used to shred chicken in a glass mixing bowl

Step 3

Combine the reserved chicken broth and masa corn meal until completely combined.

chicken and masa corn meal being mixed together in a glass mixing bowl

Step 4

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.

masa mixture being spooned onto the bottom of a white baking dish

Step 5

Add the chicken on top of the masa in an even layer.

Step 6

Add the remaining masa in an even layer over the top of the chicken.

Then spread the chili over this last layer of masa.

chili being spread over the masa mixture in a white baking dish

Step 7

Sprinkle entire dish with cheese, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes before enjoying!

shredded cheese on top of the chicken tamale pie in a white baking dish

More Easy Chicken Recipes You’ll Love

If you love this easy chicken recipe, but you’re not quite ready to bust out your cutting board, just pin this to your favorite easy Mexican dinner ideas board on Pinterest so you can find it quick later!

top image is of some Chicken Tamale Pie next to rice and half an avocado on a black plate, in the middle is the text Chicken Tamale Pie, bottom image is Chicken Tamale Pie in a white baking dish
Yield: 6 Servings Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie

You're not going to believe how easy it is to make this easy chicken tamale pie. It's just like the real thing--without the mess of rolling tamales!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa corn meal
  • 1 tsp paprika powder (optional-- I ran out)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs and legs, deboned (so about 2 lbs bone-in)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can no-bean chili
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Remove chicken and shred using a hand mixer (makes short work of it!) and add the seasoning, then stir well.
  3. Combine the reserved chicken broth and masa corn meal until completely combined.
  4. In an 8x8 baking dish, make a layer of masa, using about half of the masa mixture, to cover the entire baking dish's bottom surface.
  5. Add the chicken on top of the masa in an even layer.
  6. Add the remaining masa in an even layer over the top of the chicken.
  7. Then spread the chili over this last layer of masa.
  8. Sprinkle entire dish with cheese, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes before enjoying!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 979mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 3gProtein: 37g

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