What Is an Old Fashioned Tamale Pie Recipe?

What Is an Old Fashioned Tamale Pie Recipe?

An old fashioned tamale pie recipe is steam baked over water and lacks the large amount of cheese found in modern recipes. Tamale pie is made with meat, such as duck, goose or chicken, corn dough and veggies.

Old Fashioned Tamale Pie

Tamale pie makes for a hearty meal on its own.

Prep time: 1 1/2 hours

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 3 1/2 hours


  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, 14.5 ounces each
  • 1 can black olives, 6 ounces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook chicken thighs in the Dutch oven with oil on medium high heat for 10 minutes. When done, remove the skins.
  2. Add chicken broth into the Dutch oven. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Pull the meat from the chicken bones. Save 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth. Discard the rest.
  3. Cook the bacon in the Dutch oven. Set aside the bacon. Chop and add the veggies to the bacon fat. Simmer until cooked.
  4. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Incorporate the cornmeal until smooth. Place in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the veggies and pieces of the cooked bacon. Cook, while stirring, for about 1 minute.
  5. Set aside 4 cups of the cornmeal mixture. Top the remainder in the pot with shredded chicken meat. Pour the reserved 4 cups of dough on top of the meat.
  6. Cover the Dutch oven and place inside a large roasting pan filled with water. Place both in the hot oven. Cook for 2 hours. Allow to cool 10 minutes.