If you enjoy tamales, you’re going to love this appetizing layered dish. It’s ooey-goey good with just the right amount of heat.
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
- 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a small heavy saucepan, bring the water, salt and cayenne to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil; slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon for 15-20 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the beans, enchilada sauce, chilies, olives, chili powder and cilantro; heat through.
- Spread polenta into a greased 8-in.-square baking dish. Top with meat mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 2-5 minutes or until filling is bubbly and cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Hot Tamale Casserole in Taste of Home February/March 2010, p57
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