Mexican Recipes · Recipes

Tamale Casserole Basics

If you like the taste of tamales, but not the work, try a tamale casserole instead!  Start with the basics of the ingredients included in a traditional tamale.


2 cup corn flour aka masa harina, aka masa tamal (it’s all just corn flour). Substitute fine or medium ground corn meal if unable to find the above.

2 cup chicken or beef broth (if you’re using beef filling, use beef broth. If you’re using chicken or pork, use chicken broth. If you’re vegetarian, use vegetable broth).

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

1/2 – 3/4 cup melted butter or lightly flavored oil

Optional spices:

1 t onion powder

1 t chile or cayenne powder

Optional: 1/4 cup shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar)


  1. Mix all dry ingredients together, add oil/butter and broth and stir together.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Consistency should be like thick sugar cookie dough.  If needed, add more flour or water to compensate.
  2. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan or two smaller pans. Press half of the dough into bottom of pan, to approximately 1/4″ thickness.
  3. Add desired filling (seasoned, cooked chicken, pork/carnitas, or beef; chiles, corn, etc… See Mexican casserole recipes for more ideas).
  4. Top with remainder of dough.  Pat in 1/4 thick discs and smooth together on top of filling, leaving no open holes.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of cheese to top and bake another 5 – 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.


by Sherri Collier, created 6/11/17