Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe is from our grammar school cookbook. Thank you Kathy G! My DH made this and I was truly impressed. This can be made as mild or as spicy as you like. Choose your salsa, cheese & amount of jalapeno according to your taste. Olives are optional. I also like to make the salsa smoother in the food processor to make it more kid friendly (no pieces!). I have used both condensed and regular whole milk with success, also combined bottled and fresh salsa.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet until beef is browned, and onions tender, drain.
  3. Stir in salsa (can make smoother in texture in the food processor, if you desire), water and taco seasoning packet; bring to a boil until some of the water as boiled off and it is the sauce is saucy not thin and watery.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add olives, if using, and stir.
  5. In a medium sauces pan: combine cornmeal, evaporated milk, green chilies, 1/2 C cheese and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes or until thickened (to the consistency of thin oatmeal).
  6. In a 8x8 ungreased baking dish: Spoon in meat filling, then spread cornmeal on top of meat mixture.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese and garnish w/ jalapenos. Bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.


Most Helpful

Had this for dinner tonight and it was excellent! We really liked the 'polenta' like topping. I added kidney beans, just because, and used mozza/cheddar as that was what was in the fridge.

Kathleen L. January 31, 2013

This is a great tamale pie. It goes together quickly and the ingredients are always on hand. I used my own salsa and taco seasoning and instead of a jalapeno I used 1 habanaro.

Andrea in NH May 25, 2012

I followed exactly except for more olives. The "crust" thickened really fast and was a little hard to spread, but tasted like a really good tamale. Next time I'll use HOT salsa & add an additional jalepeno or two and serve with sour cream. We had a ranch salad on the side and it was a perfect dinner! A definite keeper!

Queer Eye in the Kitchen Guy October 03, 2011

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