Chicken Tamale Pie Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Chicken Tamale Pie

134 reviews / 4.7 average

Today’s lesson is on healing foods.

You might be thinking of brightly colored veggies and lean proteins, and I can dig that. Most of the time.

But today I’m thinking of chicken tamale pie: creamy corn bread, spicy enchilada sauce, seasoned chicken, and melted cheese baked into a pie dish. A PIE DISH. That right there is healing.

Chicken tamale pie ingredients on a cutting board.

I've had a rough go of it the last few days. After my embarrassing gas station encounter, there was the life-altering iPhone incident, and now there’s this.

The Pistachios.

Let me tell you something about myself. I like free food, and I like it a lot. Especially like it when it's shelled, salted pistachios in an extra humongo bag.

So in an effort not to eat the whole bag of pistachios in between lunch and dinner, I've been spending my evenings making one bazillion types of pistachio baked goods. And I have privately eaten thrown away all one bazillion attempts.

No pistachios were thrown at the kitchen wall. Nope. None at all.

Chicken tamale pie in a clear baking dish.

Just when I was about to throw in the towel on baking for the rest of my life, Bjork asked for this tamale pie. And the moment it came out of the oven, hot and saucy with bubbling cheese, I was healed. Hallelujah Amen.

One last thing:

Tamale Pie

Chicken tamale pie slice on a plate.


Chicken tamale pie in a clear baking dish.

the camera.

Like, whoa.

Watch How To Make This Recipe:

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A picture of Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie


This chicken tamale pie is a huge crowd pleaser and so easy to make! A corn cake bottom layer topped with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, and cheese.


  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce - I recommend going with an authentic Mexican brand
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheese (I used Raclette - random, I know, but it's what I had on hand, and it ended up being delicious!)
  • cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  2. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done - it will be just barely set and golden brown - pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (it might stick a little bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with cilantro and Cotija cheese.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: chicken tamale pie, tamale crust

May the healing powers be with you as you pull this out of the oven tonight.

UPDATE: Thanks for all your feedback on this recipe! Some of you have mentioned the cornbread crust was a bit mushy - this is normal. The consistency should be similar to a masa type corn cake or corn pudding - enough to hold together, but not dry like a cornbread. I did update the baking time to 20-30 minutes after making it for the second time. 🙂

This chicken tamale pie is a huge crowd pleaser and so easy to make!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I want this for dinner.
    I have been baking and failing lately too. Four times. SO frustrating. And you’re right – the simple joys of a photographic food!! It’s so bizarre that we wonder how well a food will photograph before we make it. That’s not a normal food-thought. Then again, we’re not normal food people!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It’s a normal food thought for you and me!! 🙂 This one is hilarious because I have a picture that I took of it from when I first started blogging… it looks like a totally different dish! I had no idea what I was doing…

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        hi lindsay….this recipe looks great. i’ve been wanting to make this but i can’t find corn muffin mix where i there a substitute i could use?

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Making this tonight! If taking this to a friend, after a baby or death in the family, I like to use disposable pans so they don’t have to worry about returning a dish. Which size foil pan do you recommend? I think a pie plate is too small!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    There’s nothing like a big plate of bubbling cheesy deliciousness to make up for several kitchen fails. Definitely good soul food.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Did you have the most amazing food? I’m jealous! My Minnesota-Tex-Mex can only go so far compared to authentic, fresh Mexican!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I actually thought about if there was a way I could do that! I was worried about the corn bread part getting soggy, though. Hmm. We’ll be in touch when one of us figures out a good way to freeze it, I’m sure. 😉

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I know this is a really old post but I’m making a double batch of this right now, one for dinner tonight and one to deliver to a friend who just had a baby. I think if you bake the corn cake completely, let it cool and then either spread butter or spray oil over the top that should sort of seal it from the sauce hopefully keeping it from getting soggy.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Did that work for you? I too know that this is an old post. But, I’m also doubling it – dinner tonight and one for a friend with a baby! I don’t want to fail them and it turns out soggy… 🙁

        2. Skillful Cook Logo

          Also wanted to make for a friend with a baby. Did this work? How long did you freeze it? Did you recommend a certain time/temp for them to reheat it at?

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            I too am making it for a friend who just had a baby……going to try the above comments and report back!

      2. Skillful Cook Logo

        I’ve frozen this it turned out fine was just as good as when I made it…. I put it in small containers with one or two servings in each container I made it for my elderly grandparents they enjoyed it each time they had it.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I have made something similar to this but poured the corn bread mixture on top and then covered with cheese. I froze lunch containers and the cornbread retained its texture after freezing and then microwaving at work.

      I can’t wait to try your version, Lindsay!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks yummy but I’m confused with the ingredients/directions. You say combine the first 7 ingredients but if you combine through the green chilis then there are 8 ingredients. So I guess what I’m wondering is the white cheese listed first – is it to go in the corn meal mix or is it the cheese which tops the chicken prior to final bake? Please help so I can get it right – thanks!!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Fixed! Thanks again for letting me know.

        (And to answer your question – you CAN put cheese in the crust, but I didn’t. I just put it on top prior to the final bake to keep it a little “lighter”!)

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Hi, Lindsay. I finally made the chicken tamale pie last night and my husband and I both loved it. It was SO easy and tasty. The cilantro was a must for us as it added a bright freshness to the dish. Thanks so much for your recipe!

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            Thanks for your nice comment Jenny! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂 We love it, too – my husband put it in his “top 5” homemade dinners category.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        At what stage did you freeze it? After you cooked the bread portion? I was thinking that and then adding chicken and freezing like that. Thoughts?

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Hi, Katie! I think there’s a couple ways you could go about freezing it. You could definitely bake the cornbread part, add the rest of the ingredients, and then freeze. You could also complete the recipe (add the rest of the ingredients to the cornbread and bake it all) and then freeze it that way. I think both ways would work fine. 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    omgosh. totally bookmarking this. i love the colors of this dish and everything in here sounds amazing. i love mexican food and it’s so funny too cause i have been craving mexican all week! this is definitely going on the menu plan for next week!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It’ll be on my meal plan again, too! My husband will not let me forget how much he loved it!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks delish! However, I live in Northern Canada and am pretty sure the corn muffin mix will not be available at the local store, could it possibly be substituted by anything?

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks amazing. I just read all your posts about how your blog makes money and what you use it for. So awesome!!!!! I loved your blog before, and I love it even more now. What a blessing!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Kevin! It reminded me a little bit of your taco stuffed shells… with all the colors and everything. 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Adapted from cooking light? We make this all the time, it’s our families favorite!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Loved this recipe….but I made my masa recipe for the base (you can also purchase pre-made masa in the frozen food section at grocery store). It was delish and the family loved it. Also, I now do not have to make the dozen of tamales at one time. Thank you soooo much!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Making it with pre made masa store bought, is it still same cooking time? Any adjustments?

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve been making this one for years and it is a family favorite! I double it and bake it in a 13×9 pan for my big group. Everyone who has made it and reviewed it on Tasty Kitchen have said very positive things. It’s a keeper!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      If I use regular eggs instead of the egg substitute, how many eggs should
      I use? Is there a benefit to using the egg substitute or was this just for dietary reasons?

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    So glad I saw this on food gawker it looks so yummy!! Plus I made a ton of salsa verde, so I’m going to have to try this recipe out with it. Thanks for the idea!!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Tamale pie is hammin’ it UP for the camera!!!!
    I read some of the comments, and about the freezing part, do it! I’ve made something similar to this and it froze/reheated REALLY well!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Did you freeze it after it was cooked? Or with just the cornbread cooked but not the cheese? I feel inept when it comes to freezing. 🙂

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I know this is super old, but wondering what exactly you did to freeze it and have it turn out 🙂

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Baked the crust, topped with sauce and chicken and cheese, then froze it so it was ready for the oven once it got thawed out.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    in the first step do you add the corn muffin mix and the egg substitute too? i did not see it in the recipe –thanks–let me know asap cause the recipe looks great

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yup – add the first seven ingredients, milk through green chiles, which includes the corn muffin mix. Hope you like it! 🙂