Tamale Bake With Pinto Bean, Green Chilies, Corn & Cheese

"This is a recipe that can use any cooked beans. I do not use tomatoes but tomato sauce and I use fresh corn off the cob mixed with butter and evaporated milk. You can use canned whole kernel corn, drained and do the same with it. I have refined this over the years. This version is what I use. You can add 1/2 pound of cooked ground meat if desired. I serve meatless with fresh tomatoes and fresh orange slices. I like this because it tastes like a filled tamale without the work of filling, binding and steaming all of the filled husks. Note: I increased milk to 1/3 to 1/2 cup based on reviewer comments. You could double the batter base and topping and cook about 10 minutes longer."
photo by Montana Heart Song photo by Montana Heart Song
photo by Montana Heart Song
photo by Montana Heart Song photo by Montana Heart Song
Ready In:
1 large tamale pie




  • In medium saucepan,add the first four ingredients, saute onions, garlic.
  • Then add flour and mix well. Add pinto beans and tomato sauce. Heat until hot and simmering. Do not burn.
  • Preheat oven 350°F.
  • Spray Pam in a glass 9X13 pan or glass 8 X12 pan.
  • Mix batter base and topping.
  • Pour 3/4's of batter in the bottom of pan.
  • Batter should be runny.
  • Add 1 cup shredded cheese over the batter.
  • Add contents of saucepan by spoonful.
  • Sprinkler the chili powder.
  • Add whole kernel corn by spoonful.
  • Drizzle the balance of cornmeal batter across lengthwise in thin lines.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese on the top.
  • Bake 35 minutes. Batter will rise up on the sides of the pan and encase the filling. The top should just start to brown and when pushed spring back.
  • To serve this with the serving in tact, cool for at least 15 minutes.
  • Note: For one can of whole kernel corn, drained, add 1 tbsp margarine or butter and 1 tbsp evaporated milk if desired. Or, 2 frozen cobs of corn, microwaved, cut the corn off the cop, add the butter and milk.
  • This dish keeps well in the freezer.
  • You can add cumin, cilantro or any ground cooked meat if desired but I serve as a vegetarian dish. You may also add sliced olives.

Questions & Replies

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  1. We loved this. I just mixed the corn in with the rest of the filling ingredients instead of layering. I added cumin to the filling ingredients. I also added more milk to make the cornmeal batter more runny.
  2. A great vegetarian meal and a lot easier than the normal one I make however I think my chiles were too mild as it was a little bland for me, I might try a little hotter next time.
  3. Total Awesomeness!!! Thank You Montana Heart Song, your Tamale Bake recipe is truly a winner!!!!! As other reviewer stated, I too found I needed to double up on the milk to get the batter runny. FWIW all ingredients I used were absolutely fresh. For the chili powder I used Chile Con Carne Seasoning from my spice sage dot com (great online spice retailer)<br/><br/>For tomato sauce, I bought an organic tomato sauce from Public Grocers here in Fla. (Greenwise), their house brand of organics. I also used Publix brand cheese (Sharp Cheddar) and Monterey Jack, both hand grated by me from a brick<br/><br/>I followed this recipe exactly, other than adding more milk. What I think makes this dish extra scrumptious, is how drizzling the last of the batter then adding Monterey Jack cheese on top of the reserved batter, the two rise and mix together form a cheesy crust. Wifey and I went through 2/3's of it after making it (for dinner that evening), then polished off the left overs the following night. I can't wait till I make this again, it's that good. No need to add meat to this recipe. You'll never miss it
  4. As the previous reviewer noted, I think the batter base and topping needs more milk - at least twice as much. However, as-is, it was still really delicious. I also added some avocado slices, sour cream and cilantro to the top when I served it. Yum!
  5. I love tamales …and I love the tamale bake! It was easy to make and great for leftovers. I was wondering about the batter, though. Mine wasn't runny, so i added more milk. Also it didn't seem like enough batter to cover a large pan--I used a smaller-size square baking dish and it seemed like just enough, but i might have laid it down a little thick, since it wasn't very runny. Still good though! And great flavor combo with orange juice :D


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