This easy keto tamale pie combines the flavor of a quick chili with a keto “cornbread” topping, allowing you to enjoy a classic tamale casserole with zero corn or cornmeal. Perfect for when you want a Tex-Mex dish that the whole family will enjoy.
Satisfy your Mexican food cravings with a low-carb skillet meal and make dinner a delicious breeze. I mean, what more can you ask for? I don’t know about you, but skillet meals tend to be a favorite in our home.
After all, a meal that can be cooked and served in one pan is very appealing. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or whenever you need to bring a meal quickly to the table.
If you are a fan of all things cornbread but can’t consume any corn, be sure to also check out our Keto Cornbread Recipes for more delicious mock cornbread options.
Keto Tamale Pie
This recipe for keto tamale pie uses well-seasoned ground beef for the keto chili and my zero-corn “cornbread” topping for a tasty low in carbs tamale pie recipe.
It’s a great, economical ground beef recipe that can be made easily with basic pantry items found in a keto kitchen.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a tamale pie recipe that does not use cornmeal. However, I made sure not to include any corn or cornmeal when making the “cornbread” topping.
Why? Well, for one, corn is a big no on a low-carb, keto diet since it’s very high in carbs. Not to mention that it’s also one of the most GMO-laden foods around, and it’s not even nutrient-rich.
Fortunately, making a tamale pie, both gluten-free and keto-friendly, was easy. Why risk getting kicked out of ketosis when you can have a “cornbread” option that has all the flavor minus the carbs?
When making the cornbread topping, I opted for coconut flour to keep the carb macros low.
But if you prefer a cornbread topping that uses an almond meal, then I recommend you use our easy cornbread recipe as the topping; it works perfectly in this tamale casserole.
Cornbread Extract That Mimics Corn Flavor
I found a great cornbread extract that gives this tamale pie a cornbread flavor profile.
Using a keto cornbread extract simply amplifies the flavor of “corn” in this coconut flour-based tamale pie. It’s a way to further fool your tastebuds. The use of corn extract is really effective in getting the flavor of cornbread without the use of any corn. Pure genius!
OOOflavors cornbread flavored concentrate has managed to create a cornbread extract that has zero calories, zero sugar, and zero carbs.
Since it’s a highly concentrated extract, a tiny amount is all you need to get the flavor of corn.
I recommend using 3–4 drops in this recipe to see if it elevates the flavor further.
Although you can certainly make this without the cornbread extract, this brand does a fantastic job of mimicking the flavor.
Low Carb Tamale Pie
It seems that I turn to the flavor profile of Tex-Mex pretty regularly anytime I am craving comfort food. This would explain why I also have a keto chicken tamale pie option.
I’ve always been a fan of a nice piece of cornbread with chili. Unfortunately, traditional cornbread had to take a backseat once I made low-carb keto a lifestyle decision.
Although I am forever grateful for the benefits this diet has afforded me, I still occasionally miss high-carb foods. You should know that 99.9% of my keto recipes came about out of a need to satisfy a high-carb craving.
The good thing is that my deep desire to stay compliant with a keto lifestyle means that even when cravings strike, I refuse to cave in. Instead, high-carb cravings force me to keep coming up with healthy keto alternatives for us both to enjoy.
Let’s just say my struggle ends up being a blessing in disguise. I figure that if I’m having a craving for tamale pie, perhaps you are too. Or at least know someone who could use this recipe.
Wanting “cornbread” with my chili made this keto tamale pie a beautiful reality. This is why these days, rather than run from a craving, I just embrace it as an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.
How To Make A Tamale Pie Keto
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To make this keto-friendly tamale pie a one-skillet meal, you’ll need to first make the easy chili in a cast-iron skillet and then add the cornbread batter to the top of the chili.
Then, once the topping is added, I sprinkle the surface with shredded sharp cheddar cheese just to further enhance the flavor of the skillet pie.
I love serving the tamale pie with a dollop of sour cream, a slice of avocado, and a drizzle of Sriracha sauce.
Also, check out our Amazon Store for our recommendations. You might be surprised by how many great keto options are at your disposal.
Grab Our Books!
In case you don’t know, we have authored two books for you, Essential Keto Bread and Essential Keto Desserts, both inspired by your requests over the years. It’s my prayer these keto cookbooks will help make keto a delicious breeze for you.
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- 1 ½ pound ground beef
- ½ cup of finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon of ground chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon of sea salt
Tamale "Cornbread" Topping
- In a large cast-iron skillet, brown the ground beef along with the onions and garlic.
- Add the tomato sauce and combine.
- Next, add the chili powder, cumin powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt.
- Spread the chili evenly in the cast iron skillet.
Tamale "cornbread" topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the eggs, coconut milk, or (the heavy cream and water) softened cream cheese and cooled melted butter.
- Mix the batter until thoroughly combined.
- To this mixture, add the coconut flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar substitute together.
- Combine until the batter is fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Pour the "cornbread" mixture over the chili and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the top of the tamale pie with the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 35- 45 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick into the "cornbread" portion of the pie and it comes out clean.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Top with sour cream, Sriracha sauce, and sliced avocados if desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to three weeks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 25.1gSaturated Fat: 15.8gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 4.8gNet Carbohydrates: 3.1gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 2.6gProtein: 25.1g