Leftover Chicken Magic! Chicken Tamale Pie is the Perfect Comfort Food

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If you crave Mexican comfort food but want to spend less time cooking, then you will love Chicken Tamale Pie. This ingenious dish is the perfect weeknight mashup, bringing together the best of both worlds: a golden, fluffy cornbread base and a saucy, cheesy chicken topping inspired by the tamale.

All this is baked in a single pan for a delicious combination of textures and flavors. The crumbly cornbread base is a delightful contrast to the juicy, shredded chicken. A layer of enchilada sauce adds a touch of smoky spice, while melty cheese ties everything together.

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This isn’t just any ordinary casserole. Chicken Taco Pie is perfect for using up leftover chicken, making it a fantastic way to prevent food waste. With minimal prep and cleanup required, you will have more time to relax and enjoy a delicious, fuss-free meal with your family.

In this post, I will show you how to make this delicious pie, with tips and tricks that will have you serving up slices of heaven in no time.

Looking for more Mexican-inspired dishes that are anything but ordinary? Try taco meatloaf, mini beef tacos, and chile relleno casserole.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • Sour cream
  • Egg
  • Corn kernels: Either frozen or canned corn works in this recipe.
  • Butter 
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chicken: Use leftover shredded chicken.
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Cheese: I like to use Colby-Jack, but use your favorite.
Ingredients for a chicken tamale pie recipe laid out on a marble surface, including chicken, corn kernels, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, onion, sour cream, enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, an egg, butter, minced garlic, and taco seasoning.

🥣How to Make Chicken Tamale Pie

  1. The first step is to make the cornbread. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease your pie dish. 
  2. Combine the corn muffin mix, sour cream, egg, corn, and melted butter. Pour the mixture into your dish and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While it bakes, mix the onion, garlic, taco seasoning, chicken, and 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in another bowl. 
  4. Take the cornbread out of the oven and poke holes all over with the end of a wooden spoon. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over it, making sure it seeps into the holes.
  5. Spread the chicken mixture over the cornbread. Then, layer on a generous sprinkle of Colby Jack cheese.
  6. Put it back in the oven for a final 20-minute stretch or until the cheese is bubbly.
A glass measuring bowl containing corn kernels, an egg, sour cream, sugar, and other ingredients for a delicious chicken tamale pie sits on a white marble surface.
Make the cornbread.
A round glass dish contains a cornbread topped with a sauce. The surface has multiple small impressions, reminiscent of the texture seen on chicken tamale pie. The dish is placed on a light-colored, marble surface.
Drizzle enchilada sauce on top.
A clear glass dish filled with a layer of shredded cheese on top of what appears to be a chicken tamale pie, placed on a marble countertop.
Spread chicken and cheese.
A round, baked chicken tamale pie topped with melted cheese in a clear glass pie dish, placed on a marble surface.
Bake for 20 minutes.

🍴Serving Ideas

Presentation is half the battle to win over the family with a new dish. I like to sprinkle a little chopped cilantro or parsley on top for a pop of color and freshness.

A spoonful of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top of each serving adds a cool, tangy contrast to the warm, spicy flavors of the pie. Plus, it looks pretty darn cute, too.

Avocados, sliced or diced, are a fabulous addition. For an extra kick, offer some salsa on the side. Finally, a quick squeeze of lime can brighten up the flavors and add a zesty zing that’s absolutely delightful.

A plate of chicken tamale pie casserole topped with a dollop of sour cream, garnished with chopped parsley, on a white plate. Fresh greens and a drink are in the background.

💭How to Store

Slide the leftovers into an airtight container once your chicken tamale pie is cooled. If you don’t have one big enough, you can also cover the pie dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. That’s lunch sorted for the next few days, and let me tell you, it tastes just as good on day three.

A serving of cheesy chicken tamale pie topped with a dollop of sour cream and garnished with chopped parsley on a white plate.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • While Colby Jack is a fantastic choice, feel free to experiment with different cheeses. A blend of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack can add an extra punch of flavor. Cheese experimentation is highly encouraged in my kitchen!
  • If you’re cooking your chicken specifically for this recipe, consider poaching it. Poached chicken is wonderfully moist and shreds like a dream. For extra flavor, you can infuse it with flavors like bay leaves or chicken broth.
  • If you like it hot, don’t hesitate to add a diced jalapeño or a dash of cayenne pepper to your chicken mixture.
  • Frozen onions are easy! No tears, no fuss – just flavor.

📝Reader Questions

Can I make Chicken Tamale Pie ahead of time?

Yes, you can make chicken tamale pie ahead of time. You can prepare the cornbread layer and the chicken mixture separately, refrigerate them, and then assemble and bake when you’re ready to serve. 

Is Chicken Tamale Pie spicy?

It can be as spicy or as mild as you like. The taco seasoning and enchilada sauce typically have a kick, but you can choose milder versions or add hot sauce if you want it hotter.

Can I use a different meat? 

Sure thing! Ground beef, pulled pork, or meatless alternatives like black beans can be substituted for chicken.

How do I know when the pie is done?

The cheese should be melted and bubbly, and the edges of the cornbread golden brown. If unsure, a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean – just like checking a cake!

⭐Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

A plate of chicken tamale pie casserole topped with a dollop of sour cream, garnished with chopped parsley, on a white plate. Fresh greens and a drink are in the background.
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Chicken Tamale Pie Recipe

Published By Anne
This Chicken Tamale Pie is your weeknight hero! It combines a fluffy cornbread crust with leftover chicken, enchilada sauce, and melty cheese for an easy dinner.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 4
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix 8 ounces
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels frozen or canned
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded chicken cooked
  • 3/4 cup enchilada sauce divided
  • 2 cups shredded Cheese Colby Jack, or your favorite

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add the corn muffin mix, sour cream, egg, corn, and melted butter to a medium bowl and stir to combine.
    1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 egg, 1/2 cup corn kernels, 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Pour the cornmeal mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • In another medium bowl, add the onion, garlic, taco seasoning, chicken, and 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce and stir until combined.
    1 large onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, 2 cups shredded chicken, 3/4 cup enchilada sauce
  • Once you remove the baking dish from the oven, use the end of a small round wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cornbread.
  • Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce all over the cornbread and spread to make sure it gets in the holes.
  • Add the chicken mixture and spread it around. Top with the cheese and bake for another 20 minutes.
    2 cups shredded Cheese
  • Slice and serve.

Notes

  • Feel free to experiment with different cheeses. A blend of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack can add an extra punch of flavor. 
  • If you’re cooking your chicken specifically for this recipe, consider poaching it. Poached chicken is wonderfully moist and shreds like a dream.
  • If you like it hot, add a diced jalapeño or a dash of cayenne pepper to your chicken mixture.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 706kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 1449mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 1259IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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A fork holding a bite of golden, cheesy chicken tamale pie with a blurred background featuring greenery and a plate of similar food.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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