Crowd-Pleasing Tamale Casserole Recipe

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I served this casserole at a large Mexican-themed party I hosted. With its zippy tomato and ground beef sauce, it was a big hit.—Elaine Daniels, Santa Ana, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 55 min.
MAKES:24-30 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 55 min.
MAKES: 24-30 servings


  • 7 pounds ground beef
  • 6 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 2 cans (15-1/4 ounces each) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans (4-1/2 ounces each) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 3 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 jars (13-1/2 ounces each) tamales, papers removed and halved
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 250 calories, 13g fat (6g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 436mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.


  1. In several Dutch ovens, cook the beef, onions and celery until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the corn, mushrooms and olives. Stir in water and seasonings. Bring to a boil; remove from the heat.
  2. Spoon into three greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Top with tamales. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 3 casseroles (8-10 servings each).
Originally published as Tamale Casserole in Taste of Home August/September 2002, p41

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