Easy Tamale Bake

This is one of those magical dishes that is is even better leftover.

"Easy Tamale Bake," from Make It Like a Man!

I found this Easy Tamale Bake at Kevin is Cooking. It’s really good …. very homey. I added a few ingredients in order to increase the yield so that I could bake this dish in my everyday go-to 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Kevin describes this as a comfort food, and it really is. If you love a bowl of hearty chili with a side of cornbread, you’re going to crush on this. Jiffy cornbread is sweet and cake-like. If you like more of a savory bread with a grittier cornmeal texture, it’d be easy to mix up a batch from scratch.

What You’ll Need for 8 Servings:

1 lb fresh, grass-fed, 80/20 ground beef
9 oz. chopped onion, from one medium white onion
½ oz. minced garlic, from one large clove
4½ oz. finely chopped bell pepper, from one medium pepper
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
10 oz. Chi-Chi’s Mild, Thick-and-Chunky Salsa
5 oz. fresh corn, from one medium ear (about 1 cup)
1 can (15-oz.) Bush’s Chili Beans (black beans in mild chili sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp red hot chili pepper
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 generous cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 box (8½ oz.) Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 egg, as required by cornbread package directions
1/3 cup milk, as required by cornbread package directions

"Easy Tamale Bake," from Make It Like a Man!

"Easy Tamale Bake," from Make It Like a Man!

How to Do It:

1. Brown the beef until just a bit of pink remains. Remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Remove all but 2 Tbs of the rendered fat from the skillet. Sauté onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent around the edges. Add garlic, and continue to cook for about a minute. Stir in tomato sauce, salsa, corn, beans, salt, chili powder, cumin, red hot powder, and black pepper. Simmer 10 minutes. The mixture should be quite thick. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. 2. Off heat and top with cheese. 3. In a small bowl, prepare the cornbread according to package directions. Pour it over the cheese, spreading it gently to the edges of the pan. 4. Bake for 10 minutes covered. (If your skillet doesn’t have a lid, use foil – but be sure that the foil doesn’t come in contact with the cornbread batter.) Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until cornbread is lightly browned and mixture is bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes. The cast iron will keep it warm for quite some time.

Summing it up: nice presentation if you serve it sliced but still in the pan, family style. Use a pie lifter to get the pieces to the plates. Homey. A bit of sour cream might be a nice garnish. Reheats perfectly in the microwave: about two minutes at 80% power, per refrigerated slice. Fresh from the oven, I liked it OK. Leftover, though, I couldn’t get enough of it.

"Easy Tamale Bake," from Make It Like a Man!

Easy Tamale Bake

Credit for all images on this page: Make It Like a Man! Hover over images and/or green text for pop-up info. Click for joy.

This content was not solicited, nor written in exchange for anything. You’d think Kevin made some secret, behind-the-scenes deal to get me to riff on his recipe, but in fact he didn’t. I just liked it, and wanted to try it. (And I had a jar of salsa that I wanted to put an end to.)

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7 thoughts on “Easy Tamale Bake

    • You’re welcome, Kevin. I’m all about comfort food, and this recipe turned out nicely. So thank YOU.

    • Yeah! Thanks! I recently made a spicy beef recipe from his blog, and I really liked it, too.

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