Carnitas Tamale Pie

One of the most popular recipes we’ve shared has been this one for carnitas, or slightly spicy pulled pork in the crockpot. They are easy, fairly cheap, and delicious to make. I usually turn it into a burrito bowl and have this over cilantro-lime rice and beans, and then topped with salsa and sour cream.

But then, I found a recipe for a carnitas tamale pie and knew I could make it work for this. So I rolled up my sleeves and asked my wife really nicely if she’d make this (I’m not so good with the baking, but after watching her, it turned out to be really easy!). And she did. And it was awesome.

Maybe I’m so used to eating more protein than carbs at dinner, but I really found this filling. I couldn’t eat more than 2 slices before calling it a night. This would also work great with our barbacoa beef recipe or shredded enchilada chicken. Any way you choose to slice it, this will be a hit.

Carnitas Tamale Pie

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Website Slightly adapted from A Pinch of Yum


  • 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted, or use vegetable or olive oil)
  • 1 can diced chiles
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg (`)
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 2 cups carnitas (beef or chicken works, too)


Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in the oil until the mixture makes soft crumbs. Whisk in the milk, egg, then stir in the green chiles until just combined. Bake in a 9-inch square pan (or a 9-inch pie plate) for 25 minutes or until set. Since it’s a tamale-like base, it won’t be completely dry like a cornbread. It’s supposed to be just a little mushy.
Step 2
Poke holes in the crust with a fork. Pour the enchilada sauce over the crust. Squeeze or drain excess moisture out of the carnitas and arrange on top of the crust. Sprinkle with cheese.
Step 3
Reduce oven temperature to 350. Cover with foil, return to oven, and bake for 20 minutes. When everything is heated through, remove foil and let bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Step 4
Top with chopped cilantro, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and cut into slices or scoop into bowls.


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