Skinny Taco-Style Cornbread Casserole (Tamale Pie)

Enjoy a skinny fiesta night with this easy, yummy casserole. You might have noticed that I love creating casseroles using corn bread or corn muffin mixes. They make all these casseroles foolproof. Here’s a skinny twist on a classic tamale pie and it has fantastic taco flavors. Each serving 322 calories and 8 grams of fat.
Skinny Taco-Style Cornbread Casserole (Tamale Pie)

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 6 servings. Each serving 1 slice

Food Facts

Traditional Tamale Pie is made with ground beef, onion, peppers, tomatoes, corn, olives, cheese and has a cornmeal and cheese topping or crust.

Shopping Tips

Happily most supermarkets sell lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints 9-Green
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 slice (not including optional toppings)
322 calories, 8g fat, 3g sat. fat, 35mg chol, 22g protein, 40g carbs, 1g fiber, 571mg sod, 11g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
278 calories, 2g sat. fat,  19g protein, 8g sugar


Skinny Taco-Style Cornbread Casserole (Tamale Pie)

Skinny Taco-Style Cornbread Casserole (Tamale Pie)

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 322 kcal


Ingredients for Casserole:

  • 1 pound  extra lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tips
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Mexican-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • ½ cup reduced-fat cheese, divided
  • 1 (8.5 oz.) package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 egg
  • cup nonfat milk

Ingredients for Topping: Optional

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream
  • Black olives, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9” pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large nonstick pan, brown the beef; drain off fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes and corn; heat completely. Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup of cheese evenly over the top.
  • To make corn bread topping: In  a medium bowl, combine corn muffin mix, egg and milk. Mix just until combined but do not over mix. Some lumps are okay. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread over beef mixture. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup cheese evenly over the top.
  • Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until topping is set. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 6 slices.
  • Optional: Top each slice with chopped tomatoes, a dollop of yogurt and a little olives, if desired.
  • This casserole freezes great!


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 22gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 571mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gBlue Smart Points: 8Green Smart Points: 9Plus Points: 8
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. Nancy, I made this last night for dinner… and YUM! the cornbread tastes like the El Torito “sweet corn cake”… so good! Here’s a question.. would you ever use a Taco Seasoning packet when you brown the meat? We wondered if it might add just a bit more flavor. Or would it conflict with the sweetness of the corncake? Note: I didn’t have Mexican flavor canned tomatoes, so we just used plain diced tomatoes. Maybe that was the problem?

    We LOVE your recipes! Thank you for all your hard work on them!

    Making tortilla soup for tonight!

  2. Thanks for the wonderful message, Ruth! And yes, you could easily use a taco seasoning package when browning the meat. It would add so many yummy flavors to this dish! I’m thinking of trying it next time I make this!
    My very best wishes,

  3. Thanks Nancy!
    I have another question..what is a good substitute for a recipe that calls for “heavy cream”:… like for a sauce? (not for whipping) Thank you!

  4. Ruth, whenever a recipe calls for heavy cream, I use reduced-fat (2%) milk. Sometimes I use a bit less than the recipe calls for so the sauce is thicker.
    I hope this helps you!

  5. Thank you Nancy! that is a big help! I trust you and your recipes.. and I’m so grateful you are willing to answer my questions.

    Thank you again.
    Have a good week!
    Ruth Bingle

  6. Can I add diced onions and pinto or black beans to give the meat layer a bit more depth?

  7. You sure can Wendy. I would cook the onions in the microwave for a minute, to soften before adding them to the meat. And, be sure to drain the beans before adding to the meat.
    My very best,

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