Chicken & Green Chile Tamale Pie

Every now and then I go a little nutso on a particular kind of food and just can’t get enough.

Mexican food is often the culprit for these kinds of cravings.

You might remember that a few weeks ago, when I made this tasty Black Bean & Veggie Tamale Pie, I mentioned that I had tried a couple of other variations on the tamale pie theme – crust on the top, crust on the bottom, various fillings, etc.

Well, here it is. Tamale Pie #2 with Chicken & Green Chiles!

By putting the crust on the top, it’s more the consistency of cornbread than a soft tamale but still packing some serious flavors. Both of these tamale pies are pretty simple to make and offer countless options and variations for fillings once you’ve got the basic recipe down.

Here’s what you need:

Chicken, Onion, Green Onion, Jalapeno Pepper, Corn, Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Egg, Diced Green Chiles, Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, Corn Meal, Milk, Olive Oil, Cheddar Cheese, Cumin, Chili Powder, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Chicken & Green Chile Tamale Pie Shopping List

I realize that’s a whole counter full of ingredients, but this recipe is really pretty simple. A bit of chopping and quick sauté for the chicken and veg, stir the cornbread ingredients together, then put them all together and you have pie!

As you can see, I have pre-cooked 2 chicken breast halves that are on the bone. I usually cook several chicken breasts at once since you can use them for things like enchiladas, chicken salad, topping for a caesar salad, soup or chili, you name it. They’re plenty good to eat all on their own too.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle the chicken breasts (skin on) with a bit of olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. You’ll know the chicken is fully cooked when the juices run clear. Allow the chicken to cool, then remove the skin, pull the meat off the bones, and shred with your fingers or two forks.


I usually bake 3-5 chicken breast halves so I have them in the fridge for a meal later in the week. You can also freeze the cooked chicken either on the bone or already shredded. It’s a huge time saver to have good, pre-cooked chicken all ready to go.

For the tamale pie, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Chop 1 large onion and sauté it over medium high heat in a pan with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the onion 5-8 minutes, until soft and just starting to turn golden brown.


Add the cooked, shredded chicken and 1 (4.5 oz) can of chopped green chiles.


Pour in 1 (10 oz) can of green chile enchilada sauce. Don’t worry about all of these chiles. They are very mild.


Season with 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1 Tablespoon of chile powder. Add salt & pepper to taste.


Give it all a stir to combine and let it cook on low heat just to warm all of the ingredients while you prepare the cornmeal topping.


In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour and ¾ cup cornmeal. Add 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar,


and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine the dry ingredients.

Finely chop 2 green onions. I use the whole green onion, white and green parts, everything but the roots. Remove the seeds and inner membranes from 1 jalapeno pepper and mince it into very small pieces.


If you are concerned about the heat of the jalapeno, you can use only half. Otherwise, go for it. If you like things super hot, go ahead and use the jalapeno with the seeds intact. 90% of the heat of a pepper is found in the seeds and those white inner membranes.

Add the green onions, minced jalapeno peppers, and 1/2 cup corn (I’m using frozen) to the bowl.


In a small bowl or mixing cup, combine 1 cup milk with 3 Tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil. Crack in 1 egg and whisk to combine the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the flour and cornmeal have been incorporated. Do not over stir.

Grate ¾ cup of sharp cheddar cheese and add half of it to the cornbread mixture.


Grease a deep 10 inch pie pan or similarly sized baking dish. Add the chicken and green chile mixture and spread it out evenly in the dish.


Top with the cornbread mixture and use a spatula to smooth out the top.


Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.


Just to be on the safe side, and for easier handling, place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Mine didn’t cook over but you never know.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm on the top.

Chicken & Green Chile Tamale Pie

I used the baking trick of sticking a toothpick into the cornbread topping and it came out clean. However, I’m thinking that it wouldn’t hurt this at all to be just slightly underdone if you prefer a more tamale like texture.

Allow the tamale pie to rest for 5 minutes for easier serving. Scoop out a wedge and pretty it up with a little chopped cilantro or parsley.

I wouldn’t say no to a dollop or sour cream or a bit of fresh salsa either.

I really wouldn’t say no to a nice cold margarita!

And look! You have enough to feed friends or yummy leftovers to hoard for yourself.

Chicken & Green Chile Tamale Pie

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken & Green Chile Tamale Pie

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3 Responses

  1. Mexican food? *sigh* My favorite thing in the world. This looks most delicious….it is something I’ve never tried. But I feel like I can do it; thank you for sharing!!!!

    1. Hey Fred, we try to keep things fairly polite around here. Feel free to use whatever cheese or corn you’d like. I never claimed that these were authentic…just the way I happened to make it. But I will tell you that my favorite sweet corn tamales made by a very nice 75 year old lady from Mexico named Maria are a pretty awesome use of sweet corn in Mexican food.

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