Makes 8 servings
20 minutes prep, 23-28 minutes cooking

Known to some as Tamale Pie, this one-dish meal is great for busy weeknights because it’s quick, easy, and filling. Our family changed the name because it bears no resemblance to a tamale, but whatever you call it, it’s sure to draw everyone to the table.



  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1 cup sliced black olives, divided
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. table salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 3/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • Garnish: sour cream and fresh cilantro leaves


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Cook onion and beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Wipe skillet clean. Return beef mixture to skillet. Add 1/2 cup olives, chili powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, and tomato. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat.

3. Stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk in 1 cup hot water and melted butter, stirring until batter is smooth. Stir in 1 cup cheese and remaining 1/2 cup olives.

4. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Spread beef filling over batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the outside edges. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

5. Bake at 400°F for 23 to 28 minutes or until crust is golden brown and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

From United Tastes of Texas by Jessica Dupuy © 2016. Reprinted by permission of Oxmoor House/Time Inc. Books.