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Easy Tamale (Pie) Casserole

By: Ronda Eagle from

"Unlike other Tamale pies that start with a cornbread crust, this one starts with the same masa harina typical of traditional tamales only without all the rolling! It’s a great quick-fix whenever you’re craving tamales but don’t have time to hand roll them. This recipe duplicates a wonderful tamale flavor without all the work. I was so excited to be able to replicate my favorite tamale flavors into an EASY casserole that requires less than half the work of preparing them individually. If you’ve ever stood and hand rolled and corn husk-wrapped homemade tamales then you will understand what a sweet, sweet victory this tamale casserole really is!"

Notes1. Masa Harina is the traditional fine corn flour used to make tortillas, tamales, and other Mexican dishes.
2. Chicken broth - may substitute water or drippings from cooking the shredded pork.
3. Pork Shoulder, shredded - Shredded chicken or beef may also be used.
4. Salsa Verde - Also called Green Salsa is made with green tomatillos, onion, garlic, Chile peppers and seasoned with cumin, cilantro and salt. There really isn't a substitute for this sauce! If you absolutely must, try a red salsa.
5. Fiesta Corn - Corn mixed with red & green peppers. Sold both canned and frozen. This ingredient is optional and may be omitted without substitution or alteration to the rest of the recipe.
6. Stuffed Green Olives - If you do not care for olives, feel free to omit them without substitution. This ingredient is optional and may be omitted without substitution or alteration to the rest of the recipe.
7. Onions - Spanish white onions, diced small. This ingredient is optional and may be omitted without substitution or alteration to the rest of the recipe.

Serves6 slices

Preparation Time15 min

Cooking Time45 min

Cooking Vessel Size8x8-inch baking pan


  • 2 cups Masa Harina
  • 2 cups Chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pound Pork shoulder, lean, shredded
  • 1 cup Salsa Verde
  • 1 cup Fiesta Corn
  • 1 cup Green olives, sliced
  • 1 cup Onion, diced small
  1. Prepare the filling. Combine 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. of shredded meat with 1 cup of Salsa Verde. If your are using diced onions, fiesta corn, and sliced olives, add them here. Note: Shredded rotisserie chicken makes this recipe super easy for any weeknight meal.

  2. Prepare Dough. Combine masa, warm chicken broth, baking powder, salt, and oil in a large bowl, Mix together until dough has the consistency of a soft paste. Cover & let rest for at least 15 minutes at room temperature so the dough can thoroughly absorb the liquid ingredients.

  3. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a 9 x 9-inch (2-1/2 quart) casserole dish. This will not quite fit in an 8 x 8-inch (2-quart) dish. NOTE: If you do not have a 2-1/2 quart casserole, I would move up to a 13×9-inch (3-quart) dish to prevent spillage.

  4. Form the Bottom Tamale Layer. Press half of the tamale dough into the casserole dish forming a thin bottom layer. With your fingers, a fork, or a small spatula, press the mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides, about 1/4- inch thick.

  5. Add the Filling. Spoon the meat mixture prepared earlier evenly over the entire dough surface.

  6. Prepare the top tamale layer. Spread the remaining tamale dough over the filling, trying to make the top portion about the same thickness as the bottom. Do this by spreading the dough out on a piece of plastic wrap and then inverting it over the tamale casserole and then peeling back the plastic wrap. If it tears a little bit, don’t worry!

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