All the elements of a tamale in a fraction of the time. No filling and rolling needed with this Instant Pot Tamale Pie! Easy, fast, and dare I say, even more delicious than my favorite tamales.
The inspiration for today's recipe comes from one of my most loyal readers, Laurel. She used my favorite masa dough from this Instant Pot Tamale recipe to create a tamale pie that rocked thousands of people's world on Facebook. I have never, and I do mean never, seen that much traffic on my lil bitty blog.
Using Laurel's directions, I made a version of it myself a week later using some leftover Green Chile Beef. My husband and I looked at each other and the sparks flew . . . for the pie, that is. Barely audible were my kids complaints about me promising pie for dinner, such was my immediate infatuation with this glorious Tamale Pie.
I made it a few more times, adding more veggies, less meat, more cheese, less masa dough, until finally, Voila! Here is the final and ultimate Instant Pot Tamale Pie creation!
Laurel will happily take thank yous in the comments below or pink roses delivered to her doorstep.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE TAMALE PIE AKA TAMALE CASSEROLE
- This recipe uses the same healthy tamale dough from the Instant Pot Tamales, but you don't have to fill/wrap/tie nothin'. You're getting all the incredible tamale flavors in a fraction of the time
- So versatile! You can use about whatever leftover cooked meat and veggies you have in this pie and feel like you just created a masterpiece. I HIGHLY suggest using this Green Chile Beef – ridiculously good!
- TOMATILLO AVOCADO FRESH SALSA!!! This is totally a “have a little tamale pie with your salsa” situation. This salsa is gonna knock you off your chair.
HOW TO MAKE TAMALE DOUGH
This healthier tamale dough is moistened with pureed corn, broth, and coconut oil instead of the more traditional lard, making it a much healthier version than what you might eat elsewhere. It's so easy to make too!
- Add partially pureed corn to a bowl
- Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand until it's no longer sticky
- Form into a ball. You will only be using half of the dough for a 7 inch springform pan tamale pie
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Once you have your dough made, you can start layering in your meat, veggies, and cheese. For one tamale pie made in a 7 inch springform pan, you will only need half of the dough. The other half can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months by pressing it into a flat circle, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and then storing it in a freezer safe ziplock.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST TAMALE PIE OF YOUR LIFE
- Press two-thirds of the tamale dough across the bottom and three-fourths of the way up the side of the pan
- Add half of your meat
- Pile on the veggies
- Then the cheese
- Then the rest of the meat
- Take your remaining dough and flatten pieces of it in your hand to place on top of the meat
- Press all the pieces together. Fold the sides down to seal the outer edge of the pie
- Cover it with foil and make a tinfoil sling to place it on top of a trivet inside the pot
- While it cooks, make the glorious Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
- Stir it up, add extra lime juice or salt to taste. Just try not to eat it all while the tamale pie cooks
- When the pie is done, place it on a sheet pan and cover with cheese
- Use the oven broiler to get it nicely browned. Look at that beauty!
Dress it with crema or sour cream and pile as much Tomatillo Salsa on it as you can get away with and take a taste. I guarantee your mind is gonna be blown on this one. In the words of my husband, “This needs to be on the menu every single week.” Well . . . okay.
There are so many different directions you could go with this one. All meat and cheese, all veggies, maybe even a dessert version! I haven't tried that one, but you better believe I just wrote it down! Peaches and cherries wrapped in tamale dough, this is happening soon!
But since we're talking savory today, here are my suggestions
For the Meat
- Beef: Green Chili Beef (my #1 suggestion) or Bean and Meat Taco Filling
- Pork: Salsa Verde Shredded Pork
- Chicken: Chipotle Chicken or Mexican Crack Chicken
For the Veggies
- My favorite was a medley of corn, black beans, green onions, chopped spinach, diced jalapenos, and roasted red bell peppers. Definitely try this combo at some point! Refried beans, olives, or diced onions would also be good, I would just stay away from any veggies that will release a lot of liquid when they cook, like tomatoes.
- I held back a bit here, but if you want the gooey factor, load it up! Pepper Jack, Cheddar, or Quesadilla Cheese are all excellent options.
I am so excited about this find and extremely grateful to Laurel for sharing her creation so we could all be saved from the monotony of rolling tamales!
If you discover a must-have filling for this pie, please share in the comments below! You are all such creative cooks, hearing your ideas completely makes my day.
Enjoy this very, very soon!
MORE HEALTHY MEXICAN RECIPES FOR THE INSTANT POT
- Instant Pot Mexican Crack Chicken
- Instant Pot Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Instant Pot Creamy Enchilada Soup
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT TAMALE PIE
- Instant Pot
- 7 inch Springform Pan
- High Speed Blender
- My new favorite Measuring Cups – these are so cool!
Instant Pot Easy Tamale Pie
Instant Pot Tamale Pie, filled with your favorite meat, vegetable, and cheese combo, and cooked up to perfection in the pressure cooker
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
For the Tamale Dough
- 2 1/2 cups drained, canned corn (can substitute fresh corn)
- 2 cups masa harina
- ½ cup warm chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
For the Filling
- 1 1/2 cups Green Chili Shredded Beef (or meat of your choice)
- 1 1/2 cups desired veggies (corn, black beans, green onions, chopped spinach, diced bottled jalapeno, chopped roasted red bell pepper, or a medley of all)
- 1 ¼ cups shredded pepper jack, cheddar, or quesadilla cheese
Optional toppings: Mexican Crema, sour cream, or greek yogurt, Tomatillo Avocado Salsa (see recipe below) or favorite store-bought salsa, chopped avocado, guacamole, Cilantro Lime Sauce, crumbled cotija cheese, etc
Tomatillo Avocado Salsa (optional, could substitute with your favorite salsa)
- ½ pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, membrane and seeds removed, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- To make masa dough: In a blender, add corn and pulse until partially pureed.
- Pour the corn into a large bowl and add masa harina, broth, baking powder, salt, and coconut oil. Use hands to combine all of the ingredients into a soft dough. Set aside.
- Divide dough in half. Place half of the dough in a ziplock bag and store it in the fridge or freezer for another day.
- Lightly coat a 7-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Break off two-thirds of the masa dough and press it into the bottom and three-fourths of the way up the sides of the pan. It will be thin, that’s okay, it’ll thicken when cooked.
- Note: if your pan is larger than 7 inches, you will need more dough.
- Layer in 3/4 cup shredded meat. Top with veggies, 1 cup of cheese, then add the rest of the meat.
- Break off pieces of the remaining one-third of masa dough and flatten the pieces in your hand. Layer them over the top of the meat and lightly press them together.
- Fold the dough that is pressed up the sides of the pan down to cover the edges of the pie. The filling should now be completely encased in the dough.
- Cover the top of the pan with foil.
- Add 1 ½ cups water to the pressure cooker pot. Place a trivet inside and center the pan on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high temperature for 35 minutes.
- While the tamale pie cooks, prepare Tomatillo Avocado Salsa by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a quick release.
- Turn oven broiler to high. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese on top of the pie and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned, about 2 minutes.
- To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pie to make sure it’s not sticking, then remove the ring from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut wedges of pie.
- Top with a big scoop of Tomatillo Avocado Salsa and other desired toppings.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Masa dough freezes great so I suggest making the full batch of dough written in this recipe and freezing half of it for another day
- To freeze leftovers, cut the tamale into wedges, wrap with foil, place in a freezer safe ziplock, and freeze for 3 – 4 months. This makes it easy to grab the desired number of servings for another day. To prepare from frozen, let thaw overnight in the fridge, reheat in the microwave. Another option would be placing the foil covered wedges of pie on a rack in the Instant Pot and cooking it for 15 -20 minutes
- Meat, vegetables, and cheese options are very versatile. Stay away from any fillings that are overly watery to prevent the tamale dough from going soggy
- Can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge up to 8 hours before cooking
- Tomatillo Salsa can be made 2-3 days in advance by omitting the avocados. Stir them in just before serving
- I suspect the entire tamale pie would cook well from frozen, maybe 50 minutes. I will update if I try it
Keywords: instant pot, tamale, mexican food