Grandma's Tamale Pie

Grandma's Tamale Pie Recipe

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Denise Van Dyne


Grandma fixed this for our family ever since I was little. She obtained it from a ladyfriend in the 1940's in San Francisco, and has been a family favorite ever since, eagerly anticipated at family gatherings and certainly every Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa's! Since moving to Texas six years ago, I've amended the original recipe a bit to add a bit of Texas heat, but I hope grandma won't mind! I hope y'all enjoy!

★★★★★ 1 vote
45 Min
50 Min


1 c
butter (unsalted)
3 clove
garlic, minced fine
28 oz can(s)
diced fire-roasted tomatoes w/ juice
3 large
2 lb
lean hamburger
3 tsp
1 3/4 c
polenta (not quick cooking)
2 can(s)
large pitted olives, quartered
7 oz
diced green chilis
1 large
yellow onion, diced small
3/4 c
vegetable oil
14 oz
can creamed corn
1 c
whole milk
3 Tbsp
chili powder (mixed w/ 1/2 cup water)
1/4 tsp
ground pepper
2 tsp
ground cumin
2 Tbsp
diced cilantro (optional)

How to Make Grandma's Tamale Pie


  • 1Combine onion, garlic, oil and butter in large turkey roaster pan (this will probably cover 2 stove burners). Simmer 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • 2Add diced tomatoes with juice, cream corn, eggs, cilantro, if using, milk, hamburger (pinch off in small bits and stir into mixture), chili powder(mixed with 1/2 cup water), polenta, cumin, chilis, olives, salt & pepper. Cook 10 minutes on top of stove, stirring constantly so mixture does not burn on bottom.
  • 3Transfer pan to oven and bake at 350° for 45 minutes uncovered. Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

Printable Recipe Card

About Grandma's Tamale Pie

Course/Dish: Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Mexican