The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
Tamale casserole is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that combines the flavors of traditional tamales with the convenience of a casserole. Make it for weeknights or potlucks.
It costs approximately $12.33 to make this recipe. The casserole serves six and costs around $2.05 per serving.
If you love tamales but do not have the time to make them, this casserole is your easy answer. It is a unique twist on a classic favorite meal that can be served anytime.
What You’ll Love About Beef Tamale Casserole
- It is easy to make, even for beginner cooks.
- Made with simple ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand.
- It is a great way to use leftover ground beef, chicken, or pulled pork.
Tamale Caserole Recipe Ingredients and Estimated Cost:
Per Serving Cost: $2.05
Recipe Cost: $12.33
- 1 pound ground beef – $4.83
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder – $0.05
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika – $0.35
- ¾ teaspoons red pepper flakes – $0.05
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder – $0.04
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin – $0.04
- ½ medium white onion – $0.45
- ½ green bell pepper – $0.36
- 1 ½ bouillon cubes – $0.04
- 1 cup water – $0.00
- 1 cup whole corn kernels – $0.69
- 1 cup tomato sauce – $1.00
- 1 ¼ cup Colby Jack cheese – $2.48
- 1 cup masa – $0.29
- 1 teaspoon baking powder – $0.04
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt – $0.06
- 1 cup chicken bone broth – $1.00
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter – $0.56
NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in October 2023.
How To Make Tamale Casserole:
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
- First, brown the ground beef in a large pan and then drain the excess fat.
- Stir in the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
- Next, stir in the onion and bell pepper and cook the veggies until they soften.
- Then add in the bouillon cubes, water, corn, and tomato sauce, and let the mixture simmer for five minutes.
- Stir in the cheese until it has melted, and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Next, stir the masa, baking powder, sea salt, chicken bone broth, and melted butter using a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the mixture until no clumps remain.
- Pour the mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish and top with dollops of the masa mixture.
- Finally, bake the casserole for thirty minutes before serving.
- I like to use bouillon cubes to control how “beefy” the broth is. I found that regular beef broth did not provide as much flavor. However, if you do not have beef bouillon cubes, use 1 cup of beef broth and omit the water.
- Instead of ground beef, you can use shredded chicken or pulled pork.
- Instead of making a homemade masa mixture for the topping, you can use Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.
Tamale Casserole With Masa – Serving and Storage Tips:
MAKE AHEAD: You can prep this dish ahead of time and leave it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking it. You may have to increase the cook time slightly to ensure that the casserole is heated all the way through to the middle.
SERVE: This casserole is best served straight from the oven with a dollop of sour cream. You can also serve it with guacamole, Spanish rice, cilantro, etc.
STORE: Leftovers should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
FREEZE: Once cooled, cover the casserole dish with two layers of plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for 2 months.
DEFROST: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
REHEAT: Place the casserole in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
Tamale Pie Recipe FAQs:
Tamales are a classic Mexican dish, often made around the holidays, but can be made any time. They are made with a masa dough filled with meats and cheese. My recipe for tamale casserole is a shortcut to give you the taste you love of tamales without the extra work.
More Casserole Recipes:
- Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Loaded Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- Chicken Divan Casserole
- Easy Cornbread Casserole with Cheese
- Green Chile Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Cheesy Tex-Mex Tater Tot Casserole
- Taco Casserole
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ medium white onion diced
- ½ green bell pepper diced
- 1 ½ bouillon cubes
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup whole corn kernels
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 ¼ cup Colby Jack cheese
- 1 cup masa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 cup chicken bone broth
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter melted
- sour cream optional
PREP OVEN AND PAN:
- Move the oven rack to the middle position.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large pan or skillet, cook the ground beef until browned.
- Drain the excess fat and add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes and stir until the meat is evenly coated in the spices.
- Stir in the onion and bell pepper.
- Allow the veggies to cook until they begin to soften.
- Add the bouillon cubes, water, corn, and tomato sauce.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the mixture to cook for 5 minutes.
- Keeping the mixture at a simmer, add the cheese and stir until all the cheese has melted.
- Remove the pan from the burner and set aside.
MAKE TAMALE TOPPING:
- Combine the masa, baking powder, sea salt, chicken bone broth, and melted butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Whisk the mixture until no clumps of dry masa remain.
- Pour the meat mixture into the prepared 8×8-inch baking dish.
- Top with dollops of the masa mixture.
BAKE AND SERVE:
- Bake the casserole for 30 minutes.
- Serve with sour cream, optional.
- Serve, and enjoy!