New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CrockPot Tamale Pie Recipe

Day 115.

I am so excited to share this recipe---it worked really well, and was incredibly easy. I was thrilled that the cornbread topping set so nicely and it complimented the flavor of the filling perfectly.

I was inspired by this post from Lorie a month ago or so during slow-cooking Thursday. I get the best ideas from reading blogs!

The Ingredients.

Cornbread topping:
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I used Pamela's baking mix because we happen to be gluten-free)
1 cup milk (any variety is fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder (use even if your gluten-free mix contains baking powder; this helps with rising)

The Filling.

I chose to make this vegetarian because I put this on at 6am and had no interest whatsoever in browning meat that early in the morning. I was lucky my slippers were on the right feet. You, however, can add 1 pound of your favorite browned meat if you'd like.

--1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed black beans
--1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
--1 (15-ounce) can drained corn
--1 tablespoon chili powder
--1 teaspoon cumin
--1/2 teaspoon paprika
--1/4 cup diced onion (I had some leftover in the fridge from a previous dish)
--1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

The Directions.

Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. Dump in the filling ingredients--cheese, too!-- and stir well to distribute the spices. You will not be able to stir this again, so please check to see that the spices aren't in a clump anywhere.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cornbread topping. When finished, pour evenly over the filling, spreading with a spatula if needed.

Cover and cook on low for 4-7 hours or on high for 2-4. I was shocked at how quickly this cooked. I set it on low and expected it to take about 8, but it was all brown and golden and perfectly crispy at the 6hr mark. So we ate it for lunch!

The Verdict.

The kids at first only ate the cornbread topping, but then discovered that the beans and the corn were tasty and ate the rest. This was a nice, hearty meal that didn't leave me over-full. I am totally going to make this again.

next year. :-)


Louise said...

I just wanted to thank you for your blog - which i only found recently. You have inspired me to pull my crockpot out every Tuesday. It has been wonderful.
I work full time and it is really nice not to have to start cooking dinner for two boys and a husband at 5:00. Usually we eat about 6:15 but on Tuesday we have time to do other things because we eat before 5:30. It has been GREAT!
Thank You. I'll let you know if I find anything extraordinary to cook.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Mmm, this sounds like my favorite taco soup topped with tamale batter. Why haven't I thought of this before?

LN- Nickers and Ink said...

This sounds delicious. I love how you included real photos, particularly of the ingredients. So helpful!

Practically at Home - on blogspot

HICCUPS on Practically at Home

April in CT said...

I'm so happy to see this doesn't involve a boxed cornbread mix! I love tamales, but would never have the nerve to actually make some so this will be a great alternative. It looks so good!

Erin said...

A friend tuned me into your blog. I have been looking for tasty, healthy crock pot recipes since I work part time and am a mother of an infant and 5 year old. Tonight I'll be trying this recipe and have marked many others that I would like to try. Crockpots are great! Thanks for all the recipes and your humor.

JANE4girls said...

OMG! this looks great...too bad in my vast stockpile I don't have a single container of cornmeal...guess who is running to the store?

Christine @ Serenity How? said...

This looks great! I was recently looking at a conventional tamale pie recipe but didn't want to heat up the oven.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this blog!!!

P. S. I like that I recognize the ingredients/brands you use. You must have the same stores around that I do. Plus anything that makes me "need" to go to Trader Joe's is okay in my book LOL!

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

We both had mexican on the mind - sounds yummy!

Michelle said...

Hi Steph. this sounds so good and am glad to hear that it wasn't heavy..thanks for the well wishes for McKenna ;) and for the blog visit..have a great weekend.

Sandra said...

Love it, I've tried this recipe before and it's so good.

Jungles Wife said...

I've made a similar recipe a couple of times but never thought of making it in the crockpot. I will give this a try. Thanks for being the guinea pig ;-)

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

Steph, a thought on browning beef: I have started buying the Laura's brand extra lean *four percent) ground beef, and I find you can actually put it straight in the crockpot with no worries.
For tamale pie, i'd chunk it up into the veggie mixture and let it go. I SWEAR it is not greasy if you use the extra lean stuff (also works with turkey breast and ground bison).

LOVE love love this recipe. WIll try it next week when Randy is here!

JANE4girls said...

this was so good and easy. i even used silk milk in mine and it came out great...wish I wouldn't have forgotten the corn though, lol.

The Apron Queen said...

This sounds wonderful! Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing! :D

Ever wonder why people collect roosters? It's becasue they're good luck! Stop by to read the Legend of the Rooster.

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen, the home of Vintage Thingies Thursdays.

mj said...

i am going to try this tamale recipe today and have a good feeling about it. thanks, i really like your blog and have bookamrked it.

Liz said...

Just wanted to delurk and tell you that we had this last night and it was DELISH! I cheated and used a cornbread mix (from Trader Joes), but it was really yummy anyway. My husband the carnivore didn't even realize that it was vegetarian. Thanks so much!

Zimms Zoo said...

I found this last night. I put the ground beef in the crock this morning on high. It was cooked through in about 3 hours on high. Now I am just going to add all the other stuff. It has saved so much time.
thanks again for all the recipes

Lorie said...

I love this recipe and that I can have it on weight Watchers!

Anna said...

No peppers??!! That is a rare treat, for mexican food. My pepper-intolerant family thanks you.

mrsblocko said...

I made this for dinner last night with the addition of browned ground turkey. At 4.5 hrs on low the cornbread topping was still mushy so i turned it up to high. I cooked it on high for 2 more hrs. The darn thing was still mushy and gummy. The bottom part was delicious though. I tossed out the gummy cornbread mess and made cornbread muffins for the leftovers. I plan on making this again without the topping.

Lisa said...

I am preparing the topping right now and am wondering where the vegetable oil is in the recipe. Is it meant to have a different texture than cornbread? Does it come out dry. The topping recipe is similar to a cornbread recipe I use except for the lack of 1/4 cup veg oil. So far, the filling smells great and I am looking forward to having dinner ready following an afternoon dr's appt!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Lisa,

I didn't add any veg oil. It will end up with the same corn-bready texture after cooking. it doesn't need the oil as moisture since it can't dry out the way it could in the oven.


"J" said...

This sounds YUMMY!!!!
I'm always looking for new things to cook!!!

kandikane2 said...

I saw you on the Rachael Ray show, and immediately checked out your blog. I think you had a great and very ambitious idea. I made this for my family and my parents last night and everybody loved it! I can't wait to try some more of your recipes. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Could I use ground beef or ground turkey in this? And would I leave out anything because of it? My husband loved Tamale pie but also loves meat.



Crockpot Lady said...

Hi DeAnne,

absolutely. I would brown either ground turkey or beef on the stove, drain, and then add to the mixture. I think the meat would create too much juice and oil if it cooked in the crockpot with the vegetables and the cornbread wouldn't set properly.


Anonymous said...

oops, I'm so sorry that I didn't read the first part of the blog, I now saw that you said to put meat. Sorry I took up your time. And I read that while at the store and read your reply after I put it in the pot. Any how, I used ground beef from my fathers ranch so I didn't drain it but it's not fat at all, there was maybe 2-4T of liquid in the bottom of the pot, and when I mixed it, it appeared to look pretty thick.

Well, time will tell. I was so excited that my husband asked for a crock pot meal because I haven't really had the urge until he asked.

I'll give the verdict later....


thanks again.


Crockpot Lady said...

no worries, DeAnne. I hope it works out well for you two!

simonselmira said...

Oh your going to love this, my husband said that it took him back 40 years to his childhood when someone in his family made tamale pie. He gave it a "G" rating for gluttony. Thanks again for another great meal. And all three of the kids ate it, they are 4, 3 and 11 mo.


Sarah said...

I made this for dinner last night. It did take the full time to cook k(6 hours) but it turned out GREAT!

Anonymous said...

Made this the other day and it was great. It was done in 4 hours on low! The cornbread was done, but moist. For leftovers, I separated the cornbread from the meat-bean mixture and made soup by adding a can of tomatoes and some water. Had some sour cream on hand to put a spoonful on top. We reheated the cornbread in the microwave. Really good eating!

heidi said...

Thanks for another great recipe. I made this last night and it was so yummy. I did overcook the cornbread because I forgot to call home and have my boyfriend check on it. It was still delicious. Next time I will only cook for 4 hours.

Colin & Casey said...

i am planning on making this tomorrow. what size crockpot should i use? i have a 7 quart and a 3 quart. suggestions? thanks!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi there,

I used a 4 quart when I made it. If you use the 7, you'll need to up the amount of ingredients. I am pretty sure everything will fit in the 3 quart okay; but I haven't tried it personally.

--steph said...

I doubled this recipe for my office pot-luck (to serve 12), and added 1lb lean ground beef, 1lb pork sausage and 1 can diced grren was a huge hit! I blended all the incredients (with exception of cornbread mixture) the night before and stored in fridge..flavors melded nicely! Thanks for a great, easy and de-lish recipe :)

Erika said...

Anyway to make this without eggs? My son has an egg allergy and I'd really like to make this. I haven't had much success with the Ener-G egg replacer in the past.

Netta said...

Hey, I just made this tonight and the fam loved it!

Erin Koble said...

Ohhh my gosh, I made this today for my boyfriend and I.... it was AMAZING! Took 5.5 hours to cook on low, and the topping was like SOOO super perfect and delicious and the bottom stuff was sooo good. We are vegetarians, next time I think I am going to add some soy crumbles at the bottom... I wanted more stuff at the bottom too since the top was so nice and thick! Thanks for a great recipe.

Stacy said...

Dear CrockPot Lady - I am very excited to try crock pot cooking for the first time (new-working-mom). I wanted to try the tamale pie, but it seems like i need to be home to watch for it to be done - would you agree with that? (especially since i have no experience with the crock pot). I hope you are still answering questions and i am excited to have found your site as I begin my crock pot journey....

Stephanie O'Dea said...

hi Stacy, I'd agree with you, that if you're using the crock for the first time, this might not be the best recipe for you to begin with.

I'd recommend a roast, stew, or soup as one of your first adventures.


alli said...

The flavor was good but it didn't come together the way it was supposed to for me... I think my crockpot is too deep and narrow because the topping was really thick, around 1" at the edge to 2" at the center. Also, when I got home (it had been on low for about 4.5 hours at this point), the topping was cooked but there was a lot of liquid all around the edges. I drained some off worried it would be gummy but then cut a slit between the topping and the side of the pot. It hissed like a geyser and all the remaining liquid rushed back under, it was really odd! I had to cook it a lot longer so the topping wasn't mushy on the edges so the filling was dry. :(

No one else reported their topping making a complete seal and trapping the liquid on top?

simone/ thebubbledies said...

Mine actually came out a little dry. Unlike the taco soup, which is just about right. Did cheat and used Jiffy cornbread mix, but think next time I will add about a cup of chicken broth to filling. Still tasty and delish w/ some sour cream on top! Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I used a mix, skipped the oil, and cooked it at High for 2.5 h in an oval pot. The cornbread wasn't bread-y at all, but had the texture of the cornmeal in tamales. I wonder if that was because I started it at home, then had to transport it for 40 mins, then plugged it in again? It was a hit, at any rate!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

This was the first I tried from the cookbook, which I just bought... great flavor, but like a pp, my crockpot must be too narrow, because it seemed like there was way too much cornbread. It was thick and dry!

Jamie in IL said...

I made this one tonight & it turned out great!!

Danie said...

This looks great! I want to make this for a potluck that I'm attending on Wednesday night, so I was wondering if I'd have to double the recipe... How many servings did this make as is? Thanks in advance for the feedback!


KeriLynn said...

I'm making this right now, I forgot to add the corn but I added ground turkey, so I will probably just make a cream cheese corn to go along with this. Smells so good, Thanks!!

Domo's Mom said...

I just discovered your blog this past week and i've been eyeing this recipe for a few days. I love that all of the ingredients were in my cabinet already. My husband enjoyed it and so did I.Next time I may just add a tablespoon of sugar instead of the full 1/4.You have saved this mom to a newborn a few headaches when it comes to dinner.

Becky said...

I made this last night! Added some browned extra lean ground beef to the bottom, and a chopped up jalapeno to the cornbread. The BF loved it, he ate it with a bit of salsa. Cooked it for 3.5 hrs on high. You're the best Steph!

Unknown said...

Love this. My wife sometimes makes something similar to this in the oven, but I've been experimenting with the Slow cooker (and glad I came across your blog...heard you on NPR).

I cheated and used a Trader Joes cornbread mix. I also added a lb of browned lean ground beef. I think I could have added another can of tomatoes or even another can of beans, cause there was a lot more cornbread than I thought. I really like how well the cornbread cooked in the slow cooker. When my wife makes this in the oven she sometimes runs the risk of having a few undercooked portions of bread in the mix.

Carrie B said...

I made this tonight. Struggled to find black beans and fire roasted tomatoes so used normal canned tomatoes and smoked paprika and some black eyed beans and it was AMAZING! My boyfriend and 4 yr old demolished it. Took me a while to convert everything from cups to grams as we don't use cups here in the UK but it was so so worth it. Thank you!

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