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Easy Cheesy Tamale Pie

Easy Cheesy Tamale Pie: A Flavorful Fiesta in Every Bite

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary fiesta with our Easy Cheesy Tamale Pie. This dish is a harmonious blend of savory ground beef, zesty spices, and a cornbread topping that’s baked to golden perfection. Whether you’re a fan of traditional tamales or simply love comforting casseroles, this recipe brings the best of both worlds to your table. Join us as we guide you through the steps of creating a dish that’s not just easy and cheesy but also bursting with Mexican-inspired flavors.

Ingredients

For the Cheesy Tamale Pie:

For the Filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cornbread Topping:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For the Keto and Low-Carb Version:

For the Keto Filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black soybeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) cauliflower florets, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce (sugar-free)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Keto Cornbread Topping:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated erythritol or monk fruit sweetener
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

Crafting the Cheesy Tamale Pie:

For the Filling:

  1. Cooking the Beef:
    • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Add chopped onions, minced garlic, and diced bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened.
  2. Adding Beans and Corn:
    • Stir in black beans, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

For the Cornbread Topping:

  1. Mixing the Batter:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add milk, melted butter, and eggs. Mix until just combined. Fold in shredded cheddar cheese.
  2. Layering the Topping:
    • Spread the cornbread batter over the simmering beef mixture in the skillet.
  3. Baking to Perfection:
    • Transfer the skillet to a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the Keto and Low-Carb Version:

Keto Filling and Topping:

  1. Cooking Keto Beef Mixture:
    • Follow the same process as the classic version, using keto-friendly ingredients for the filling.
  2. Creating Keto Cornbread Topping:
    • Substitute almond flour and coconut flour for traditional flours in the cornbread topping. Use granulated erythritol or monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar.

Cook Notes

  • Enchilada Sauce Options: You can use store-bought enchilada sauce or make your own with keto-friendly ingredients for the low-carb version.
  • Black Soybeans vs. Black Beans: For the keto version, black soybeans are a low-carb alternative to black beans. Ensure they are well-drained and rinsed.
  • Soy-Free Keto Option: If avoiding soy, consider using another low-carb bean substitute or additional vegetables in the keto version.

Variations

Keto Version:

  • Keto Veggie Boost: Add sautéed spinach or kale to the keto filling for an extra nutrient boost.
  • Keto Spice Exploration: Increase the heat by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños to the keto filling.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Low-Carb Veggie Medley: Mix in diced zucchini or cauliflower rice to the filling for added low-carb vegetables.
  • Low-Carb Herb Infusion: Incorporate fresh cilantro or oregano into the cornbread topping for an herbaceous twist.

Presenting the Perfect Platter:

  1. Skillet Showcase:
    • Serve the Cheesy Tamale Pie directly from the skillet for a rustic and charming presentation.
  2. Garnish with Freshness:
    • Top with chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, or sliced green onions for a burst of color and freshness.
  3. Sidekicks for Serving:
    • Offer sides like guacamole, sour cream, or salsa for a customizable experience.

Indulging in South-of-the-Border Bliss

As you scoop a spoonful of Easy Cheesy Tamale Pie onto your plate, relish the melding of flavors—the hearty beef mixture, the zesty spices, and the comforting cornbread topping. This dish is more than a meal; it’s a journey to the heart of Mexican-inspired cuisine, wrapped in the convenience of a skillet.

Navigating Dietary Preferences

This recipe caters to various dietary preferences, offering the classic Cheesy Tamale Pie and its keto and low-carb adaptations. Choose the version that aligns with your lifestyle, ensuring everyone at the table can savor the south-of-the-border bliss.

Savoring the Fiesta Finale

In conclusion, Easy Cheesy Tamale Pie is not just a recipe; it’s a flavorful fiesta—a celebration of bold tastes, cheesy indulgence, and the joy of sharing a comforting meal. Whether you opt for the classic version or explore the keto and low-carb alternatives, each bite is a reminder of the rich tapestry of flavors found in Mexican cuisine.

So, preheat those ovens, grab your skillets, and let the aroma of spices and cornbread fill your kitchen. As you enjoy this savory creation with loved ones, may it bring moments of warmth, laughter, and culinary delight. Happy cooking and savoring the fiesta!

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