Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tamale Pie

I was in the mood for Mexican so I thought I'd make a paleo version of this easy dish. I started out seasoning the meat as if I were making taco salad. Then I just jazzed it up with some vegetables and topped it with an almond flour crust. It turned out great. The original recipe calls for more vinegar, which was a little overpowering for my taste. I scaled it down to 1 Tbsp for this recipe, but you could actually leave it out altogether and be just fine. Enjoy!

Inspired by

Serves 4-6.

1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 sweet pepper, cored and chopped (I used red, but any color will do)
1 2.25-oz can black olives
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 7-oz can green chiles
1 Tbsp coconut or apple cider vinegar (optional)
Spice Blend
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 cup warm water

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup water
1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain fat, if necessary. (I find that grass-fed ground beef requires no draining.)
  3. Combine spices in a small bowl. Add water and whisk together.
  4. Add spice liquid to cooked ground beef. Stir to combine and simmer over medium low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. While taco meat cooks, saute onion and peppers in coconut oil in a medium skillet until onion becomes translucent, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add onion mixture, olives, tomatoes with their juices, chilies with their juices, and vinegar to the seasoned beef. Stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. While meat simmers, combine egg, water, and almond flour in a small bowl. The mixture should be thick, like cornmeal. 
  8. Transfer meat mixture to a deep-dish baker or a medium (8x8 or 9x9) baking dish. Scoop almond dough over the top. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
    NOTE: Do not overfill the baking dish. If your dish is pretty full, set it on top of a baking sheet in the oven to catch any drips. Believe me, you will have a mess on your hands otherwise!


  1. I made this dish last was gone in 20 minutes!! Even my 14 year old brother, who doesn't eat strict Paleo loved it! This is a definite make again!!

  2. Thanks, Anon! Glad you liked the tamale pie. It's great comfort food, isn't it? I'm glad your brother liked it, too. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. This was a great recipe. Just wanted to let you know I used it leftover the next day...mixed it in with scrambled eggs. Now THAT was scrumptious! Thanks for all the great ideas!

  4. I just made this for lunch and it was wonderful. I skipped the olives, and added some cayenne pepper since I like the spicyness. Thanks for posting this, Pam

  5. Thanks, Sarah and JJF. Sarah, I think any dinner leftovers with eggs in the morning are great! Glad you enjoyed your tamale eggs! JJF, thanks for proof that tamale pie is great for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. I appreciate your nice comments. Thanks for posting!

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