Chicken Tamale Pie

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With a green chile cornbread base and a chicken enchilada top, this Chicken Tamale Pie is comfort food in a pie pan.

A pie pan filled with chicken, sauce, and cheese.

This week is going to be crazy busy.  Instead of working until 3:30 every day this week, I’ll be staying after to work with a group of students until 6pm.  

I’ve been looking for simple one pot meals that I can prepare quickly when I get home.  I always have pasta dishes ready to go and I had a slow cooker meal as well so I needed something different.  Chicken Tamale Pie was the answer.

I like the chicken tamale pie because the chicken can be cooked, shredded, and tossed with the fajita seasoning the day before.  That way everything just needs to be baked whenever we are ready for dinner.


  • milk (cows milk works best in this recipe)
  • egg
  • fajita seasoning (you can also use taco seasoning if you don’t have fajita seasoning)
  • cream style corn
  • corn muffin mix (I always use Jiffy because it’s good and cheap)
  • green chiles
  • red enchilada sauce
  • chicken breast, cooked and shredded (you can do this up to 24 hours in advance)
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Queso fresco cheese, crumbled (If you can’t find this use Cotija cheese)
  • Cilantro (must be fresh and it is optional)

The base of this pie is a spicy green chile cornbread crust.   To make this use a box of cornbread mix combined with chopped green chiles and creamed corn.

Once the cornbread comes out of the oven it needs to be pierced all over with it fork.  This will help it absorb all the enchilada sauce. 

A pie pan with cornbread in it.


What are tamales?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made from corn that is filled with a variety of ingredients.  They are then wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and are steamed.

Can I use a different protein?

You can use 2 cups of ground beef in place of the chicken.  Make sure it is cooked and drained first and then toss with the fajita seasoning.  You can also use pulled pork in the recipe the same way the chicken is used.

Can I make the tamale pie ahead of time?

You can make pieces of the tamale pie ahead of time but don’t make the entire thing ahead of time.  You can bake the cornbread in the pie pan up to 24 hours in advance.  Loosely cover and put in the refrigerator.   Make the chicken up to 24 hours ahead of time as well. 

When ready to make the dish poke the holes in the cornbread and then start the directions at putting the chicken on top.  You may need to bake for 20-25 minutes instead of 15 to make sure everything is heated thoroughly.

How do I store the chicken tamale pie?

Place any leftovers in an air tight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Heat in the microwave.

Once the cornbread has been poked all over top with the chicken.  Then pour the enchilada sauce over top of everything and sprinkle with the cheese.

Pin Image:   A pie pan filled with chicken, sauce, and cheese, text title, ingredients for the pie.

The pie goes back into the oven until it’s hot and bubbling.  Once it comes out you can sprinkle it with the queso fresco and cilantro if desired.

More Mexican Recipes:

The flavors in this dish just burst in my mouth. The cornbread was sweet but had a spicy kick to it.  The chicken, cheese, and sauce all melded together in a flavorful medley.  Then cilantro and queso fresco add a bit of color for a gorgeous presentation.

If you’ve tried my Chicken Tamale Pie or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:


A pie pan filled with chicken, sauce, and cheese.

Chicken Tamale Pie

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Sweet and spicy cornbread topped with chicken, enchilada sauce, and cheese.


  • ¼ c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons fajita seasoning, divided
  • 1 c. cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 c. cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • ½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and put it aside.
  2. Combine the milk, egg, 1 tablespoon of fajita seasoning, cream corn, corn muffin mix, and green chilies in a large bowl.  Stir just until moist.  Pour the mixture into the pie pan.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the chicken with the remaining fajita seasoning.
  4. Remove the cornbread from the oven and pierce the entire surface with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with the chicken; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Top with cilantro and Queso Fresco.


Recipe adapted from Prevention RD

A plate with tortilla chips and a scoop of chicken tamale pie.


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