Fabulous, Skinny Tamale Pie (Cornbread)

Truly a must try…This Mexican-style casserole is hearty, flavorful and amazingly delicious! My husband and I love it so much we ended up having it for dinner 3 days in a row.  Each serving has 380 calories and 9 grams of fat. You can easily store the leftovers in individual plastic containers and put them in the freezer. I hope you’ll give it a try!
Fabulous, Skinny Tamale Pie
Why You'll Love This Recipe
If you're a fan of cornbread or cornbread casseroles, I think you'll enjoy this Mexican-inspired casserole. It's easy to make and any leftovers will freeze great. I like to pack the leftovers into single-serving containers and freeze them for another meal.

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 8 slices (each serving, 1 slice)

Food Facts

It’s argued as to where tamale pie originated. It’s a toss-up whether it came from Mexico, Texas, or California. Early recipes called for pork or beef cubed or hashed but today it’s usually made with ground beef.
Shopping Tips
Most large supermarkets sell Marie Callender’s Low fat Southwest Cornbread Mix. It’s usually found in the baking aisle where the other cornbread mixes are displayed. Their low-fat cornbread mix will also work for this recipe.
WW Freestyle SmartPoints 10-Blue
WW SmartPoints
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 slice
380 calories, 9g fat, 2g sat. fat, 51mg chol, 21g protein, 56g carbs, 4g fiber, 801mg sodium, 15g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
308 calories, 2g sat. fat, 17g protein, 14g sugar


Fabulous, Skinny Tamale Pie

Fabulous, Skinny Tamale Pie

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook and Bake Time: 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 380 kcal


Ingredients for Tamale Filling:

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey, I used Trader Joe’s extra lean ground beef (96/4)
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can (14½-oz) diced & fire-roasted tomatoes (with green chiles) or 1 can of diced tomatoes, in juice
  • cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients for Corn Bread Topping:

  • 1 package (1 lb) Marie Callender’s Low Fat Southwestern Corn Bread Mix, see shopping tips


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9″ 2-quart casserole dish or oven-proof 9″ glass bowl, or a 9″ X 12″ rectangle, with cook spray and set aside.
  • For the tamale filling: In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, add the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook stirring often, breaking up beef until meat is browned. Pour into a colander to drain the fat. Add back to pan.
  • Stir in beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, chili powder. salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • To make cornbread topping: Add to a mixing bowl 1½ cups water and cornbread mix. Mix by hand until lumps disappear.
  • Pour the tamale mixture into the casserole dish. Spread evenly. Top with cornbread batter and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean.
  • Cool a bit and cut into 8 slices. This dish will keep for several days in the refrigerator and freezes great.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 21gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 801mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15gBlue Smart Points: 10Green Smart Points: 12Plus Points: 11
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. Went to 5 supermarkets for the corn bread mix. None of them carry it. What can be substituted?

  2. Pat, So sorry you’ve had trouble finding this cornbread mix. You could use Marie Callender’s Original Cornbread Mix or even 2 boxes (8.5 oz each) of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.
    Best of luck,

  3. I would like to make this tamale pie for my wife, who is following Weight Watchers, but she tries to avoid kernel corn because of health concerns. I was thinking of substituting canned hominy for the kernel corn. Any thoughts on using hominy instead of corn, or possibly another substitute ingredient for the corn?

  4. Hominy is a wonderful substitute for corn. She’s so lucky to have a nice husband who cooks!
    All the best,

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