Tonight's Dinner: Beef Tamale Pie

Jan 18, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. ET

When your family eats this tamale pie, they'll think you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. But the secret is, you don't actually have to spend half your day cooking over a hot stove. A few pre-made ingredients are all it takes to bring a little piece of Mexico right into your own home.

Polenta, whether it's homemade or store bought, is one of those great side dishes that goes with just about everything. It doesn't matter if it's a cake or a creamy side, polenta's perfect no matter what time of the year it is. This recipe for beef tamale pie from Good Housekeeping takes that savory side and turns it into the crust of this delicious one pot dinner.

Beef Tamale Pie


  • 8 slices of polenta (precooked or homemade)
  • 1 package, 17-ounces, fully cooked beef roast au jus
  • 1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


  1. Preheat broiler. Place polenta slices on cookie sheet; place cookie sheet in broiler and broil 10 minutes, or until polenta is golden on top.
  2. While the polenta's cooking, drain the beef au jus into a large skillet; add tomatoes with their juice and chili powder and heat over high flame; bring the tomato mixture to a boil and continue boiling until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the tomato mixture cooks, shred the beef with two forks.
  4. Stir the beef and corn into the tomato mixture and heat through; remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Place the polenta slices over the beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese; cover the skillet and let stand until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Gratin Polenta with Spinach and Mushrooms

Polenta with Sundried Tomato and Mushroom Ragu

Sage Polenta with Leeks, Parmesan and Pistachios