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


  1. Combine onion, garlic, oil and butter in large turkey roaster pan (this will probably cover 2 stove burners). Simmer 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add 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.
  3. Transfer 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

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