Pronto Tamale Pie

Marcia McCance


A recipe from the 70's... easy to make, tasty, cheap, and very filling. And did I say pronto?

This fast and flexible recipe could be used as a basic method to use up left overs from the night before.

The original recipe does not have any ground beef added to it, but if I made it today, I'm sure I'd include 1/2 lb of ground beef -- but as it is, it is still fast, cheap, and easy to make and best of all this tasty dish will fill up the kids and the husband very well.


★★★★★ 2 votes




  • 2 1/2 c
    cold water
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    chili powder
  • 1 1/4 c
    yellow cornmeal (can use white if prefer)

  • 1
    15 oz can chili con carne (or 1 3/4 c homemade)
  • 1
    2 1/2 oz can drained, sliced ripe olives
  • 1/2 c
    chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 c
    cream style corn
  • 1/2 c
    shredded cheese (any kind)

How to Make Pronto Tamale Pie


    Combine cold water, chili powder, salt, and corn meal in saucepan and stir to combine and prevent lumps. Then bring to boil and reduce to cook over medium heat. Cook until quite thick (about 10 min) stirring frequently.
  2. Set aside 3/4 C of cooked cornmeal for top layer
  3. Use the rest of the corn meal to line the sides and bottom of a buttered 1 1/2 qt casserole dish. You are making a kind of "well" to hold the ingredients. Since this recipe has both a bottom and a top layer of the cornmeal mush it is more like a true tamale pie.
    Combine chili con carne, green pepper, olives and corn in saucepan over medium heat. Heat until hot. Pour into casserole. (This is the flexible layer... you can add nearly anything that your heart desires and it will most likely be good -- feel free to experiment with ground beef, leave out the olives, add chilies, whole corn instead of cream corn, onion, even cheese, whatever, etc.!)
  5. Top with rounded tablespoons of the remaining corn meal mixture,
  6. Sprinkle all with shredded cheese
  7. Bake 350 about 25 minutes

    Then look for the smiles!!

Printable Recipe Card

About Pronto Tamale Pie

Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tags: Quick & Easy For Kids

Show 5 Comments & Reviews

22 A+ Back-to-school Recipes

22 A+ Back-To-School Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

It's time to go back, back, back to school again! Check out these quick and easy dinner recipes that the entire family (yes, we said entire family...even the picky eaters)...

How To Make Compound Butter

How to Make Compound Butter

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Compound butter sounds extremely fancy and hard to make. In reality, it is extremely simple to prepare and will enhance any meal. They are made by mixing softened butter with...

Recipes For A Christmas Dinner

Recipes for a Christmas Dinner

Kitchen Crew

Hosting your first Christmas dinner and in need of recipes? Hosting your 20th Christmas and looking for new menu ideas? I've got you covered. These Blue Ribbon recipes will be...