I’m always looking for simple and easy weeknight dinner recipes that will feed my family and keep them happy, which is why I LOVE this super easy and totally cheese Chicken Tamale Casserole!
It combines all the flavors of those authentic tamales into an easy casserole dish that takes less than one hour from start to finish. Since I’m a major fan of all things Mexican food, I had no doubts that this casserole dish would come in as a success.
The base of the casserole is made with a boxed corn bread mix (like Jiffy) that’s infused with creamed corn, chili powder, cumin and a little cheese.
Once the base is done cooking you simply pour some of your favorite enchilada sauce all over the top. Toss on a some shredded chicken and a little more cheese, then let it finish baking in the oven till it’s nice a bubbly all over.
Whenever I make Mexican food it’s always garnished with fresh diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, chopped green onions, cilantro… I basically go all out. That’s because the more vegetation I put on my plate, the more complete the meal becomes. At least that’s how I see it. So while it’s a great meal straight out of pan… I prefer mine topped with all the trimmings.
Chicken Tamale Casserole Recipe Variations:
- Instead of shredded chicken, try shredded pork or beef.
- Add a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to the batter to give it a little kick of spice.
- Add a small can of diced green chilies and substitute chicken for sweet corn for a vegetarian option.
- Try using green enchilada sauce instead of red.
Basically this Chicken Tamale Casserole gets 5 stars from this household, and it’s definitely a recipe we will be putting in our rotation frequently.
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Chicken Tamale Casserole
- 8.5 oz corn muffin mix, (such as Jiffy)
- 14.5 oz cream-style corn
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 cups taco cheese blend, shredded , divided
- 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, from rotisserie chicken
- diced tomato
- sour cream
- shredded lettuce
- sliced black olives
- chopped green onions
- finely chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non stick cooking spray, set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the corn muffin mix, cream-style corn, eggs, milk, chili powder, cumin and 1 cup of cheese. Stir till combined then pour into the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use a knife to pierce the cornbread mixture several times all over. Pour the enchilada sauce all over the top of the casserole. Top with the shredded chicken and remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into pieces and serving with optional toppings. Enjoy!
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Ok I’m always kinda hesitant about taking a food that I love and also make from scratch (tamales) and turning it into a casserole, but let me say this was super yummy!! I used my homemade enchilada sauce, drizzled some on my diced cooked chicken and the rest as the recipe instructs. This truly is a wonderful dish, quick and easy and a crowd pleaser. I will be making this again soon!
Can you make ahead of time and refrigerate?
Can this be made a head of time?
With this recipe and many other Mexican dishes, a variant that provides authenticity and great taste is using Mexican Crema Fresca (Crema Mexicana) in place of Sour Cream. It’s a little thinner and less sour than sour cream. There is no sugar added but it has a subtle sweetness. It will cool spicier dishes, yet adds a slight tang to desserts.
This is super easy and very tasty. Thank you for your yummy recipes .
Thank you so much for this recipe!!Honestly, with any new recipe i was skeptical….it turned out awesome!! Super easy and taste awesome!!! Our family was stuck in a food rut…A big hit…will be making it many more times!!! Definately on menu rotation!!!
Can left-overs of this recipe be frozen?
Jiffy cornbread is too sweet. It didn’t help this recipe. I also think that the quality of the enchilada sauce makes a big difference. I used Hatch brand, which I found out later is not well thought of.
I didn’t have jiffy cornbread mix. Instead I used the cornbread recipe from the corn meal then followed your instructions. It added 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup milk to the recipe.I was worried about the extra liquid, but the corn meal and flour absorbed the liquid beautifully. I used grilled chicken breast and added green chillies and olives. This is definitely a new family favorite. Thanks for sharing!
Tried this recipe out tonight for dinner. It was so easy to make and taste was fantastic! A new recipe to rotate into our menues! Thanks for sharing this!
I LOVE this recipe! Family loves it! It goes fast. Never any leftovers.
Can I double the recipe? Does the cornbread have to cook longer if doubled?
I haven’t tried to double the recipe, but I would assume you’ll need a much larger pan. I would continue to bake until the topping is set.
Would this taste ok using hamburger?
Would this work with using just plain corn, not creamed corn?
I’m sometimes a picky eater these days when it comes to certain things (watching what I eat and how I prepare them), but I decided this was a cheat meal and this would be one for me and the hubby. Instead of buying rotisserie chicken from the store, I did my own roasted chicken in the oven beforehand with my own seasonings. I have to say, I was very pleased! Very filling as well! He doesn’t eat all the extra toppings like I do (he just adds sour cream and salsa). I also did the tamale casserole on top of the salad toppings instead of them on top, and put the sour cream and salsa on top and then mixed as needed. Was still awesome! Half a helping does the trick! Will be a new one in my recipe book to share indeed! Thanks for the great meal idea!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it Christen! Thank you for your sweet comment!
This recipe was delicious! Our picky eater even cleaned his plate. It is a keeper. Thank you!
That’s so great to hear! Thank you Jenny!
This is definitely a keeper! It was easy to prepare and really delicious; but the re-heated leftovers were even better — just AMAZING!!! We try to eat mostly meatless at home, so I omitted the chicken and substituted a can of black bean on top of the cornbread layer.
I just rinsed and heated the beans with a little cumin, chili powder and turmeric before adding them to the casserole and topping with cheese. Delicious!
Love that! So glad you enjoyed it.
So far I am having trouble getting the cornbread part to bake w/o it being so juicy. I used shawnee mills cornbread. Maybe I should stuck w/jiffy. I’m baking it longer so we’ll see