Chicken Tamale Casserole in a Skillet made from scratch! Delicious cornbread crust topped with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce and loads of cheese, yet only 324 calories per serving!
I love love this chicken tamale casserole or pie or whatever you want to call it. I really do think that cornmeal is underrated. We need to cook more with cornmeal because look at the wonderful dishes you can create with it. Trust me when I tell you that this is a true comfort food. It’s cheesy, saucy, loaded with chicken and it’s creamy and just simply yummy. And to top it all off it’s really easy to make.
I don’t think I need to tell you too much more because this casserole speaks for itself.
So what is a tamale anyway? A tamale is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, which is a corn based dough, and it’s steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. I’ve seen these done a lot on the food network but I can’t say I’ve ever had a traditional Tamale. Should keep that on my list for when I go to Mexico next. Tamales can be filled with all sort of things, like meats, cheeses, even fruits or veggies, and the wrapping is usually discarded.
So this tamale casserole has some of the same flavors, a cornbread crust topped with enchilada sauce, chicken and lots of cheese.
The cornbread itself is so good just on its own, it’s loaded with creamed corn and green chiles and I used buttermilk for the liquid, but you can use plain milk if you wish. Also keep in mind that the cornbread will be a bit mushy, not like the traditional cornbread you’re used to. Also we’re poking this cornbread and filling in the holes with that delicious enchilada sauce.
I took half of the enchilada sauce and mixed it together with the chicken, so that the chicken is nice and juicy and used the remainder to pour over the cornbread. Then all that’s left to do is to top this with lots of cheese. I used half Monterey Jack cheese and half a Tex Mex blend, I like the Tex Mex blend because it’s a bit spicy, but you could use just good old cheddar cheese.
You’ll need to bake this for another 15 minute or so until the cheese melts and starts to brown on top. I also have some optional toppings listed in the recipe. This casserole goes really nice with some sour cream, or guacamole even, avocados, some pomegranate seeds, green onions and of course cilantro. My favorite are the pomegranate seeds, it adds a nice crunch and sweetness to it.
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
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Chicken Tamale Casserole
- 2 cups cooked chicken shredded white or dark meat
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup Tex Mex cheddar cheese shredded
- 10 oz red enchilada sauce
- green onions
- pomegranate seeds
- sour cream
- Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.
- Add the cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder to a medium size bowl and whisk together. Add the egg, butter, and buttermilk and whisk well. Stir in the creamed corn and the green chiles. Pour the cornbread mixture into a 12 inch skillet or a 9x9 inch baking pan.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. To make sure the cornbread is done, insert a toothpick in the center of the cornbread and if it comes out clean, it's done.
- When the cornbread is done, poke holes into it with a fork, or I used the end of a wooden spoon.
- Mix half of the enchilada sauce with the shredded chicken. Pour the other half of the enchilada sauce over the top the cornbread. Top with shredded chicken and all the cheese.
- Bake the casserole for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and has started to brown on top.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes then top the casserole with any of the optional toppings listed before serving.