This Easy Jiffy Tamale Pie is a simple, super flavorful one-pan meal! A delicious mixture of meat, veggies, and enchilada sauce is topped with an easy, cheesy cornbread (from Jiffy mix!), then baked until golden brown. Pile on your favorite toppings and enjoy! This dish can also be made ahead and frozen and is perfect for busy weeknights!
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This easy tamale pie recipe is FAR from authentic tamale pie but SUPER easy and flavorful dish the whole family can enjoy! I’d call it “Mexican-inspired” with little deep south thrown in!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Delicious, flavorful meal that comes together in one pan!
- Can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months.
- Lots of ways to customize with different meats, proteins, and veggies!
- Leftovers are delicious and reheated for easy lunches.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Easy Tamale Pie with Jiffy Cornbread Mix:
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix: Jiffy cornbread mix is preferred but you can use other brands, too. Just be sure to follow the package directions if you make another brand’s cornbread–their instructions may differ from Jiffy’s. Of course, you can always make homemade cornbread or use my semi-homemade Jiffy Sweet Cornbread recipe!
Enchilada Sauce: Just use your favorite enchilada sauce! You can also use taco sauce.
HOW TO MAKE JIFFY TAMALE PIE: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Brown up your ground beef in an oven-proof skillet.
Step 2: Add onion, bell pepper, corn, green chilies, and taco seasoning. Cook for a few minutes until the veggies are soft.
Step 3: Add enchilada sauce and half the shredded cheese.
Step 4: Simmer for a few minutes while you combine the cornbread ingredients.
Step 5: Pour the cornbread mixture over the beef and veggie mixture. Then, sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
Step 6: Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until cornbread is golden brown and cooked through. Allow the tamale pie to cool for a few minutes before serving.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- I love this recipe because it all comes together in one large skillet! However, if you don’t have a large skillet that’s oven-proof, NO WORRIES! Simply transfer your cooked meat mixture to a 9×9 casserole dish, add the cornbread topping and bake!
- If you LOVE cornbread and want a thicker cornbread topping, use two boxes of cornbread mix for the cornbread layer.
- This Jiffy tamale pie is so yummy with lots of toppings: a dollop of sour cream, green onion, black olives, and more sharp cheddar cheese are my faves 🙂
⭐️ CONFIDENCE TIP ⭐️
Feel free to experiment with the ingredients in the filling…more veggies, a can of black beans, pinto beans, different cheeses or different ground meat (like ground chicken breast or ground turkey) all work great–make it yours!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave until warmed through. If you have made this dish ahead of time and have it frozen, it can be baked at 375°F, straight from frozen. It will take about an hour–be sure to check on it around the 45-minute mark. If the top is getting too brown, cover it with foil.
- Freezing: This tamale pie can be made ahead and frozen! To freeze, transfer the cooked meat mixture into 9×9 freezer-safe casserole dish (or similar). Pour the cornbread mixture over the top. Wrap/cover with several layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze UNBAKED for up to 3 months.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Ok, ok you got me. There is really nothing “tamale” about this recipe. In a REAL tamale pie casserole, masa is used to make the topping…not Jiffy cornbread. However, I always try to make my recipes EASY and family-friendly, so I hope you don’t mind this (delicious) short cut!
Let’s call it tamale-pie INSPIRED!
This dish is a great meal all on it’s own! It has everything–veggies, protein, carbs….all in one place ( I LOVE dishes like that!). However, tortilla chips and some fresh Pico de Gallo are great on the side, along with your favorite hot sauce if you want some spice!
Easy Jiffy Tamale Pie
For the filling
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn kernals canned corn (drained) also works
- 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
- 1 1 oz. packet low-sodium taco seasoning or 4 tbsp homemade taco seasoning
- 1 12 oz. can of enchilada sauce (or about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- sour cream, cilantro, green onions, black olives (optional toppings)
For the cornbread topping
- 1 8.5 oz. box Jiffy cornbread mix
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- In a 10 inch cast-iron skillet (or similar oven-proof skillet), over medium-high heat, add a little olive oil. Then brown ground beef 3-4 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Pro Tip: Use a potato masher in the last minute of cooking — it works great to get the meat broken up nice and fine! (If you don't have an oven proof skillet, see Note 1 below).
- Add onion, red pepper, corn, green chilies, and taco seasoning. Stir to combine, and cook another 3-4 minutes, or until veggies are soft.
- Stir in enchilada sauce and half of the cheese. Taste and season with salt, if needed (See Note 1).
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, mix corn bread mix (make sure you break apart any big clumps, if you can), egg and milk. Whisk a few times until smooth and ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour cornbread batter over the top of the meat mixture. Gently push batter to the edges and smooth with a spatula or butter knife. Sprinkle on remaining cheese.
- Bake tamale pie for 20-25 minutes until cornbread is golden brown and cooked through…filling should be nice and bubbly! Allow pie to rest for 5-10 minutes. Pile on your toppings and enjoy!