This easy Mexican-inspired Chicken Tamale Casserole recipe includes ingredients you can easily stock for a no-sweat meal on a busy day.
When I look back on the years when my four boys were all in school and heavily involved in sports and other activities, I remember those fun times so fondly. But, as a mom who got up everyday and headed to my office, I also remember the struggle to feed those guys every . single . day. And, man can those guys eat! I know that so many of you are in that place right now and the struggle is real!
I had this beautiful misconception when we made the move from California to Oregon that somehow I’d be leaving that fast pace behind. Well, same boat, different state. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are blessed with a house full here and I pretty much wake up every day with an impossible list of things I have to accomplish.
That’s where recipes like this easy-peasy Chicken Tamale Casserole come in. This is not gourmet cuisine. This is a down home, old school casserole. The type of dish you’d bring to the potluck at the school or take to the neighbors down the street who just had a new baby, or in my case – throw together for your family on a crazy, busy day.
The Grocery List
Recipes with easy to stock ingredients are such an important part of a busy cooks collection.
- Rotisserie chicken (hello Costco!)
- Boxed cornbread or corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy brand)
- A can of cream-style corn
- Some milk and an egg
- Cumin and black pepper
- A can of diced green chiles
- A can of red enchilada sauce (I love Hatch brand)
- Sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (you can use a packaged blend if you like but I’m all about shredding my own)
- Sliced black olives
- Green onions
- Sour cream, for serving
Rotisserie Chicken to the Rescue!
Every time I’m at Costco I pick up two rotisserie chickens. They are big, plump, juicy and so cheap! The price is less than an uncooked bird and all the work is done for you. I’m at the point in my life where I get excited by these kinds of things.
As soon as I get my groceries put away, I immediately turn to the task of those chickens. If you deal with them while they are still warm, the meat just literally falls off the bone. So much easier than if you refrigerate them whole. I package up the meat in 3-cup portions and vacuum seal them with my handy-dandy vacuum sealer. About once a week I defrost one of these 3-cup packages of beautiful cooked, shredded chicken to pull together any of my easy rotisserie chicken recipes.
Don’t want to invest in a vaccum sealer? Check out this great article for information on How to Seal Foods Without a Vaccum Sealer.
How to Make Chicken Tamale Casserole
Low prep, easy cleanup, tasty result. Let’s do it!
The base cornbread layer consists of boxed cornbread mix combined with some cheese, a can of cream-style corn, a little milk, and egg, some cumin and black pepper. This mixture is baked in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish for about 20 minutes. Pull the dish out of the oven and use a fork to liberally pierce the surface.
Top the cornbread layer with red enchilada sauce and use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly.
The next layer is your shredded rotisserie chicken and then the whole she-bang is topped with a good amount of shredded sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
Return the dish to the oven to bake it through and get that cheese melted and glorious.
Garnish the dish with some sliced black olives and green onions. I like to return the dish to the oven one last time for just a couple of minutes to warm those toppings a bit.
Time to serve it up with sour cream on the side and some tortilla chips.
Fast and easy, warm and delicious. Now go kick your feet up and let someone else do the dishes.
This post was originally published on December 13, 2011. It has been updated with new text and images.
Chicken Tamale Casserole
- 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese,, divided
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese,, divided
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg,, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 14 ounce can cream style corn
- 8.5 ounce corn bread mix, (like Jiffy)
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles, drained
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken , (I use rotisserie chicken)
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce, (your favorite brand – I love Hatch)
- 4 ounce can sliced black olives
- 4 green onions,, chopped
- sour cream,, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray a 13-inch x 9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl mix together 1/4 cup each of the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 cup total), milk, egg, cumin, pepper, creamed corn, cornbread mix, and green chiles.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Remove the pan from the oven and pierce the surface liberally with a fork. Pour the enchilada sauce over top and use the back of a spoon to spread it out over the cornbread layer. Top with the chicken and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the olives and green onions and return to the oven for an additional 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Cut into squares and serve with sour cream and tortilla chips on the side.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Questions and Reviews
do you have to use cream corn? I grew up eating so much of that stuff I can’t stand it now but I love niblets!!!!!
You could try it with the niblets, Cheryl. Creamed corn has a lot more moisture to it but I think it could still work out.
I just discovered your site today via Stumble Upon. It sounds like we’re living our lives in parallel! I too have 4 sons (ages 17 – 23) and they are Mexican food fanatics. Although I grew up making Mexican food with my family, I never learned tamale pie. As I write the cassarole is in the oven and the boys are hovering (you can relate!). Thanks for the wonderful, easy recipe!
Welcome Maria! Another woman with 4 sons who has lived to tell her tale 🙂 We have to stick together. I hope you find lots of inspiration and recipes here that you can use to feed all those men.
Thanks for sharing this great recipe on TastyKitchen. What a great way to use a rotisserie chicken, and it sure makes preparation a lot easier. I hope you’ll consider adding this post to my casserole link up, Saturday Dishes. -Savannah http://hammocktracks.com/savannahs-savory-bites/grandmas-beef-and-cheese-goulash/
Wow Valerie! That looks sensational!
This looks like the perfect weeknight meal! I am loving the cornbread base. Yum! 🙂
OH MY! This looks so incredible and so easy to make. I love buying those roasted chickens from the grocery stores. They are incredibley handy. I am gonna try this. My family would love it. So glad I found your site!!!!
I LOVE the way you made up the cornbread and cooked it first! What a great idea! A perfect meal for the cold wintry weather we’re having right now.
Omg my guys would go nuts for this. Really incredible.
Valerie, you are my new BFF!
Nice to meet you girlfriend!
I have a recipe almost exactly like yours from Cooking Light and it is our go-to when we have a busy night ahead of it. It is soooooooooo tasty, delicious and easy to make. Yum yum yum!!
I hear ya about the busy days right now…I can’t wait for Christmas to be here so I can just relax and eat!
I’m looking forward to the kids being off school and the schedule loosening up a bit. Have a wonderful holiday Maggie 🙂
These pictures are beautiful. This recipe is really nostalgic for me. I grew up always eating tamale pie. It makes me think of that!!! Thanks for sharing.
Oh yummm! Now I’m craving Mexican like nothing else! That looks decadent and so very satisfying. Great recipe 🙂