BonAppetit.com posts a simple recipe for cornbread tamale pie, and Foodnetwork.com shares a recipe for chipotle tamale pie that uses cornbread batter. Brown Eyed Baker posts a recipe for tamale pie on its website that uses cornbread made from scratch.
To make simple tamale pie, brown ground beef in a cast iron skillet, remove the meat, and add chopped onions, diced bell peppers and red pepper flakes to the mixture. Cook the vegetables until soft, add the cooked meat and canned diced tomatoes. Stir the mixture thoroughly, and top it with prepared cornbread batter. Bake in the skillet until the cornbread is deep brown and crusty.
To make chipotle tamale pie, cook 1 pound of ground turkey, 1 chopped onion, 1 diced bell pepper and 2 minced garlic cloves in a skillet until meat is cooked through. Drain the mixture and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons ground cumin. Add 1 15-ounce can of pinto beans, 1 8-ounce can of diced tomatoes, 2 chipotle chiles and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, and simmer the mixture until it is thickened. Remove the mixture from the heat, and add 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Spread the turkey mixture in a buttered baking dish, top with prepared cornbread batter and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.
To make Brown Eyed Baker's cornbread topping, whisk together 1 1/2 cups corn meal, 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk together 2 eggs, 1 cup milk and 6 tablespoons of melted butter in a separate bowl, and then blend with the dry ingredients. Brown Eyed Baker's pie filling uses ground beef, onion, bell pepper, minced jalapeño peppers and diced tomatoes, as well as tomato paste, chile powder, cumin, cheddar cheese and salt.