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
- 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
- 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.
- 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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