Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

My mother used to make a dish she called Tamale Pie that had a wonderful cornmeal masa topping that was baked on top.  I just loved this dish.  Well cornmeal is so carb-pricey I just won’t use it anymore.  But I tinkered around with my Mom’s old recipe and came up with a tasty low-carb version.  This casserole was pretty darn close to the original recipe in flavor.  This recipe is not suitable until the nuts rung of the OWL ladder. The nutritional info is so impressive for this dish (considering there is baby corn in it) and is well worth serving.

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14 oz. lean ground beef

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or half of a 15-oz can crushed tomatoes,drained)

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried ancho or guajillo chiles (both are mild), seeded and chopped

2¼-oz, pitted black olives, sliced and drained

6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

¼ tsp. salt

15 oz. canned baby corn, drained, divided (I use Dynasty brand)

2 large eggs

½ c. almond flour

2 T. flax meal

1 T. corn bran (I order from Honeyvillegrains.com)

¼ c. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  You will need a medium casserole dish for this recipe, but no greasing will be necessary.

For the bottom meat layer:  brown meat over med-high heat until it releases its grease.  Add onion, garlic, salt, chili powder and crushed ancho chiles.  Saute until onion is getting tender.  Add tomatoes, olives and half of the baby corn, sliced or chopped coarsely.  Saute until tomatoes are getting soft and releasing their juice.

For the “masa” topping:  Blend or pulse the remaining half of the baby corn until smooth.  Add almond flour, flaxmeal, corn bran, cream and eggs and pulse until a smooth batter.

Pour the bottom meat layer into a ceramic casserole dish.  Sprinkle the cheese over the meat layer.  Then gently spoon the topping over the meat mixture.  Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until topping is just cooked in the middle (just dry to the touch) but not really browned.   Serve with a nice sliced avocado lightly dusted with garlic powder or your favorite guacamole salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

625 calories

43.6 g  fat

15.7 g  carbs, 6.78 g fiber, 8.92 g NET CARBS

43 g protein

1322 mg sodium (mostly from the cheese)

By Peggy Posted in Beef

12 comments on “Tamale Pie

  1. I have made this dish 4 times now and it has turned out really great. I made a few modifications – like adding fresh cilantro, increasing the spices and putting some additional spices in the masa topping (I used Penzeys Arizona Dreaming). Also cut back the tomatoes and added 7-8 ounces of Enchilada Sauce. Added some chopped green onions between the cheese layer and the topping. I’m still trying to figure out some other uses for the Corn Bran though! Thanks for your culinary expertise. I had been missing corn and this recipe is great!


    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying this, RP. Once I discovered that baby corn is lower in carbs than mature corn, I’m starting to experiment with it in my long-time favs like this one. They say you can puree it up and put it into batters, and I’m hoping to try my hand at a corn tortilla one day, maybe with a bit of the corn bran as well. I LIKE your idea of using a little cilantro and enchilada sauce! A little extra spice there and with the “hot” enchilada sauce, a little extra BITE! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your alternative method.


  2. I have always loved Ingrid Hoffman’s (of Simply Delicioso) Chipotle Tamale Pie recipe and I figured out a week to de-carb it pretty successfully. I am looking forward to trying your version!


    • Hope you like it, Hope! It tastes a lot better than it looks, I promise. This is one of those classic not-so-photogenic recipes, but I went ahead and posted a picture anyway.


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