Mini Tamale Pies – Recipe! Image 1
Food, Laugh, Leftovers, Main Courses

Mini Tamale Pies – Recipe!

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The start of this year has been a real doozy, huh?  I’m already worn out from the news about all the political injustices going around our country, and counting the days until the inauguration.  I’m trying to keep my meals as simple as possible, just so something feels easy right now.  Leftovers are something we all have in our refrigerators, and if you prepared my recipe for my Instant Pot Creole Red Beans this week, you already have a good game plan for mealtime tonight.

Tamale pie is a Mexican-American comfort food that I think most of us ate as kids.  The combination of beans and meat with a cornbread topping that’s flavored with jalapenos, is how I remember enjoying this treat.  The leftover red beans make a great base for this dish, but if you didn’t prepare that recipe, you can always use a homemade, or store-bought chili as an easy short-cut.  I did enhance the red beans a bit to give it a slight Mexican flair, but it didn’t take much to turn one meal into another.

I just love the almost pint-sized serving of these tamale pies, they’re just so darn cute, but it’s the taste that will blow you away.  Each spoonful is loaded with a saucy dip of meat and beans with a cheesy cornbread crust.  You can also reheat them in the microwave for future lunches, if you happen to make a few more tonight.

Mini Tamale Pies – Recipe! Image 2


2 1/2 cups leftover Creole Red Beans recipe or chili

1 1/2 cups roasted diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cornbread Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour

3/4 cup fine cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk or whole milk with 2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 jalapeno, half minced and half sliced

1 1/2 cups jack or cheddar cheese

(Serves 4)

Mini Tamale Pies – Recipe! Image 3

Mini Tamale Pies – Recipe! Image 4

Mini Tamale Pies – Recipe! Image 5

To Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 1 cup ramekins or oven-safe dishes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together remaining red beans and any rice that you may have leftover from recipe.  Add tomatoes, cumin, and black pepper, stir.  Spoon into ramekins until 3/4 full.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Create a well in the center and add eggs, and buttermilk, stir until smooth.  Add minced jalapeno and 1 cup of cheese, stir.
  4. Spoon cornbread over top of ramekins.  Top with remaining cheese and a slice or two of jalapeno.  Place on a sheet pan (you’ve been warned),  and bake in oven for 20-22 minutes or until bubbling around edges.
  5. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before eating.  Enjoy!



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