Tamale Casserole


  • Makes6 servings
Tamale Casserole

Photo: iStockphoto

Here's a great vegetarian main dish that's hearty enough for a committed carnivore. Great for feeding a crowd; spice it up or down to suit your taste.


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, squished

  • 2 540-mL can kidney beans, or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 tbsp Mexican chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 796-mL can diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9 x 13 in. (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the beans, chili powder, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil, then add the tomatoes and corn. Let cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and transfer to the prepared baking dish.

  • Now make the topping. In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, beat together the milk, egg and vegetable oil. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the flour disappears – don’t over-beat. Spoon the cornmeal batter over the bean mixture in the baking dish, then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the topping is browned and set.

  • SPLURGE! For an extra 50 cents a serving or so, you can substitute 1/2 lb (250 g) ground beef for one of the cans of beans. Just cook it until browned with the onion. And if you really must go crazy – increase the cheese in the topping to 1 1/2 cups (375 mL).

This article was originally published on Feb 01, 2006

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