Impossible Tamale Pie

by Erin

It’s not impossible to make tamales at home, at least not in pie form! This tamale pie is like a Mexican version of pot pie.

Impossible Tamale Pie 2

If you are familiar with “impossible” pies you know that they are normally made with Bisquick (I think naming them “impossible” was meant to mean impossibly easy). Sure enough the recipe my mom gave to me on a traditional recipe card called for just that. But after recently taking a class on how to make actual tamales I couldn’t bring myself to make a tamale pie with Bisquick – instead I used masa flour. The only other thing I changed was the addition of corn and chopped peppers to the filling to beef it up – or would that be “beef it down” since by adding them I technically diluted the ratio of beef in the filling? I digress…

Impossible Tamale Pie 1

Impossible Tamale Pie 4

I sadly have no memory of this recipe ever being served to me growing up (which likely means I was too damn picky to even try it), so I cannot say that it was nostalgic. What I can say however is that it was delicious! And since it serves 6-8 that means the two of us had some delicious leftovers for our packed lunches. But obviously also great for a family or gathering – are you hosting anything for Cinco de Mayo this weekend? Because this would be perfect. As for me, I am actually headed to Italy tomorrow for the honeymoon we originally wanted to plan last year but didn’t have enough time off (or money) so we took a quick trip to New Orleans instead. It also happens to overlap with my 34th birthday ;-).

Impossible Tamale Pie 3

One year ago: Breakfast Thumbprint Cookies

Two years ago: Monthly Meal Plan: May

Four years ago: Kiwi Margaritas

Five years ago: Gluten-Free Avocado Brownies

Seven years ago: Baked Banana Almond Pancakes


Serves 6-8



2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

1 lb. ground beef

2 Tbsp taco seasoning

1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen/canned/fresh)

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned/fresh)


3/4 cup masa flour (or 1/2 cup cornmeal 1/4 cup flour)

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sour cream and lettuce for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a deep 10-inch pie plate and set aside,
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and peppers. Saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet add the remaining tablespoon of oil oil and turn down to medium heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Add the onion mixture back to the pan along with the corn, tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat, the spread evenly into the prepared pie pan.
  4. For the topping, in a medium bowl whisk together the masa flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk and eggs, whisking until just combined. Pour evenly over filling.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes more, or until melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving topping with sour cream and lettuce.

Source: My mom via one of her former clients


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Mom’s Favorite Recipes October 22, 2021 - 10:20 am

[…] Impossible Tamale Pie […]

Susan April 30, 2019 - 7:23 pm

Since you will be traveling, I will wish you a very happy birthday now. It’s taken me several years to realize that you are exactly 40 years younger than I am. I hope you have a wonderful trip to Italy.

This recipe sounds excellent, even though I am trying to do lower carb, to stave off the possibility of diabetes (my lab tests show I’m way too close to that possibility). The one thing I would change is to use a poblano pepper in place of the bell pepper, because I have come to detest green bell peppers.

spiffycookie April 30, 2019 - 7:35 pm

Ooo a poblano would be wonderful! I will change that for next time.

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I will have some scheduled posts during my absence I just won’t be responding.


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