Cornbread tamale pie

Try this Mexican-inspired chilli with cornbread topping. It takes a little effort, but it can be frozen for days when you need a comforting supper quick

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 6
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 928
  • fat 49g
  • saturates 21g
  • carbs 61g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 8g
  • protein 56g
  • salt 2.7g


  • 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 900g beef mince
  • 200g cooking chorizo, chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers, halved, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can black beans, drained
  • 500ml beef or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp dark brown soft sugar
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 10g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tsp buffalo hot sauce, or another hot sauce, to taste
  • 150g cornmeal or polenta
  • 130g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp light brown soft sugar
  • 3 green chillies, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 155ml milk
  • 45g butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g sweetcorn
  • 115g extra mature cheddar, grated
  • 2 ripe avocados, stoned, peeled, halved and chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 15g coriander, leaves picked
  • soured cream or Greek yogurt


  1. Heat the oil in a casserole over a medium-high heat and fry the beef mince until browned all over – you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the browned mince to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Add the chorizo to the pan and brown all over for a few minutes, then add to the bowl with the mince.

  2. Add the onions and peppers to the pan and fry over a medium heat until the onions are golden and the peppers are soft, about 15 mins. Add the chillies, garlic, cumin and cinnamon, and cook for another couple of minutes.

  3. Return the beef and chorizo to the pan, then tip in the canned tomatoes, drained black beans, stock and tomato purée. Bring to just under the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the sugar, lime juice and some seasoning. Cover slightly, leaving just a little opening on one side for steam to escape, and cook for 50 mins, stirring occasionally. In the last 10 mins of cooking time, stir in the coriander and hot sauce, and a little more seasoning. The chilli should be thick but not dry – if it’s too dry, splash in some water. Spoon into a roughly 1.5-litre pie dish or deep baking dish. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  4. To make the cornbread topping, mix together the cornmeal or polenta, flour, a large pinch of salt, the sugar, chillies, spring onions and coriander. Mix the milk, butter and eggs together in a jug. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, then add the sweetcorn and cheese. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix, then spoon in dollops over the surface of the chilli. At this stage, the pie can be frozen. Leave to cool completely first, then wrap in a layer of baking parchment followed by a double layer of foil. Will keep in the freezer for up to two months.

  5. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer inserted into the cornbread (being careful not to go through to the chilli) comes out clean. To bake from frozen, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Unwrap the pie and bake for 1 hr-1 hr 10 mins, or until the filling is piping hot and the topping is cooked through. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with foil.

  6. When you’re almost ready to serve, put the avocado in a serving bowl, squeeze over the lime juice, then add the coriander leaves and gently toss together. Serve alongside the pie with some soured cream or Greek yogurt, if you like.

Suggested recipes from this collection...