Hot Tamale Casserole

7 Mar

My kids really like this casserole.  It’s a complete meal all in one dish.  It has a polenta layer on the bottom, a bean and beef layer in the middle and shredded cheese on top.  It’s  very filling, yet I rarely have left-overs with this one.


4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like much spice)

1 cup cornmeal (not cornmeal mix, just plain cornmeal)

1   1/2 lb. ground beef (very lean)

1 onion, chopped

1/2  green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can enchilada sauce (10 oz)

1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies

1 can ripe sliced olives, drained

2 teaspoons chili powder

salt to taste

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place the ground beef in a skillet.  Add the diced onion, green pepper, and garlic.

Brown until the ground beef is no longer pink and the onions and peppers are tender.  Drain the fat off the meat.  Add the beans, enchilada sauce, chilies, olives, chili powder, salt to taste, and cilantro.  Stir to combine.

While the ground beef is cooking, place 4 cups water in a saucepan with the cayenne pepper and salt and bring to a boil.

When water gets to the boiling point, stir in the cornmeal slowly with a whisk, stirring quickly to mix well.

Continue to cook the polenta until it thickens to the desired thickness.  It should be very thick but still spreadable.

Once the polenta is the desired thickness, remove from heat and pour into a greased casserole dish.  Spread out to cover bottom of dish.

Top with the beef and bean layer.

Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then remove foil and cook for 5 more minutes or til cheese is melted and filling is bubbly.

Serve hot.


One Response to “Hot Tamale Casserole”

  1. Emily January 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    You are right. This recipe is a definite family pleaser. Delicious!

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