Crusted Tamale Pie

Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in Cinco de Mayo, Main Dishes | 2 comments

… Gluten Free, Dairy Free Mexican Food in a Blanket!

Tamale Wrap Whole 1, photo:recipe by Daily Forage
We love Tamale Pie with a traditional tamale crust prepared using masa harina (corn meal). The tamale, thought of today as an original Mexican dish and enjoyed at many holiday celebrations, has actually been traced as far back as 1200-250 BC, and was prepared for feasts by the Ancient Mayans.

We decided to put a different twist on the typical tamale pie this time. Using a crust to envelope all the flavors of this Latin taste treat, we discovered that the crust, light and flaky with a slightly sweet hint, really compliments the bold, spicy, and tangy flavors of the meat filling.

The cumin and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add a nice kick to the sweetness of the mild Poblano chiles and tomatillos, which do not resemble the flavor of a tomato at all. There is just enough zing from the splash of Tabasco to make your mouth know this is a real deal. And the cilantro and sour cream add the perfect finishing touches to the Mexican party on your plate.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Crusted Tamale Pie

No Dairy Bug No Gluten BugPrep time: 10 minutes for crust + 1 hour to chill; 10 minutes for filling

Cooking time: 40-45 minutes total (15 minutes on stove top + 25-30 minutes baking time)


Ingredients for Crust:

Your favorite dough recipe to make a Double crust gluten-free, dairy-free pie crust – I use Gluten Free Pantry Perfect Pie Crust Mix


Ingredients needed if using Gluten Free Pantry Mix:

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons sugar, optional

10 Tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable shortening, cut into small piecesI use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

10 Tablespoons dairy-free butter, very cold and in small pieces- I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (red tub)

2 eggs, room temperature and slightly beaten (egg-free version works fine using 2 Tablespoons King Arthur Whole Flax Meal w/6 Tablespoons water)

2 Tablespoons cold water

1 Tablespoon vinegar, cider or rice wine work equally well


Ingredients for Filling:

1 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

1 large sweet onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 poblano chiles, seeded & finely chopped

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped, I use La Costeña brand in a can

8 ounces fresh tomatillos, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, I use Bush’s Black Beans

2 cans corn with peppers, I use Green Gian Steam Crisp Mexicorn

1 teaspoon pepper sauce, I use Tabasco brand

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt, to taste


Garnish, optional:

Dairy-free, Gluten-free sour cream, I use Tofutti Sour Supreme


Lime wedges

Salsa, I use Pace Picante Sauce



Prepare a double-crust pie crust. If using Gluten Free Pantry Mix, prepare according to package directions. Chill for 1 hour. Divide crust dough in half. Use 1 half for the recipe. Re-wrap and chill, or freeze, the other half for later use. Keep portion of pie crust you’ll be using for this recipe very chilled until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400º F.

In a large skillet, add oil and heat to warm over medium heat. Add ground beef, onion, poblano chiles, and garlic and cook over medium high heat, chopping to break meat into small pieces, until meat is browned and crumbly and onions and chiles have softened slightly. Add chipotle peppers, tomatillos, beans and corn. Reduce heat to medium and stir to mix ingredients well. Add Tabasco, cumin, pepper, and salt (if using). Stir well to blend all seasonings throughout the mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove skillet from heat and set aside while rolling out the crust.

Working quickly to keep crust cold, roll out chilled pie crust into a rough circle between two pieces of wax paper. Using wax paper instead of rolling the dough on a floured surface makes it very easy to transfer the delicate pie crust to a pan. Dough should be slightly thinner than 1/4 inch thick. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the top sheet of wax paper and, working quickly and carefully, flip the crust onto the parchment paper, keeping the crust flat. Remove the wax paper that is now on top of the crust.

Scoop the slightly cooled filling into the center of the crust, leaving about 2 inches of open crust around the entire edge of the filling mound. Quickly and gently, fold the crust up around the edge of the filling, working your way around the circle as you go. Don’t worry if some of the crust overlaps. The crust will begin to crack if it warms up too much.

Tamale Wrap Individual Serv 1, photo:recipe by Daily ForagePlace baking sheet on center rack of pre-heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until top crust is golden brown. Remove baking sheet from oven, place it on a cooling rack, and let pie rest for about 5 minutes. Cut into individual servings and garnish, if desired.


Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Today's Peasant Food - Beef, Beets, and Rice

Today’s Peasant Food – Beef, Beets, and Rice

Gluten-free Dairy-free Mexican Fish Tacos

Mexican Fish Tacos

Gluten-free Dairy-free Dry Rub Pulled Pork

Dry Rub Pulled Pork


  1. This looks incredible! Yum!

    • I’m so glad you like it! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. 🙂

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