Recipe: Crockpot Tamale Pie

Update (4/25/13)- If you don’t have a crockpot, take heart.  You can still make this recipe!  Just mix up the bottom part in a big pot and cook it for as long as you can on the stove-top.  Then make your favorite cornbread, bake it and when you are ready to eat either top the cornbread with the bottom mixture or top the bottom mixture with the cornbread.  I did this last night because I didn’t get this in the crockpot on time and it worked fine!

My sister-in-law introduced us to this recipe recently and I have to admit that I must have lived under a rock or something because I had never heard of Tamale pie before that!  Frugal, full of flavor and easy to throw together, this Crockpot Tamale Pie is a winner.  It does make a large amount though so if you aren’t fond of leftovers, you might want to halve the recipe.

One of the things that I like to do to make recipes like this easier is to fry up a bunch of ground beef at one time and then freeze it.  When I go to make a recipe that calls for cooked ground beef I can save myself the time of having to cook it then.  And if I forget about getting it out ahead of time to thaw, I just quickly throw the package in some hot water and it doesn’t take long until it’s pretty much thawed.

Oh and one more thing to note, I simply used our favorite corn bread recipe for this Tamale Pie instead of packaged corn bread.  It was much healthier, pretty much as easy and way more delicious!

Crock-pot Tamale Pie

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cans black beans, drained
2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 c. whole kernel corn (if using canned, drain)
1 med. onion, sliced
1 package taco seasoning
1 package cornbread (or use your favorite recipe-enough to put in a 9×9 pan)
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 bunch cilantro (optional)
Sour cream
Salsa
Tortilla chips (optional)

In bowl, combine cooked beef, beans, tomatoes, corn, onion and taco seasoning.  Mix well and pour into slow cooker.  Prepare corn bread according to package directions and spoon over beef mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.  Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours, according to your crockpot.  Serve with sour cream, salsa and tortilla chips.

Yield: 8-10 servings

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