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Beef & Bean Tamale Pie

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made with a corn-based dough featuring a meat, bean or cheese filling. This tamale pie is our short cut version of this traditional favourite! Made with chickpea flour and black beans, this gluten-free tamale pie is sure to be a family favourite!


  • 1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked or canned black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (213 mL) no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cumin
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt (optional)
  • Few grains chipotle chili pepper (optional)
  • Cornmeal Top

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cornmeal
  • 6 Tbsp (90 mL) chickpea flour
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown rice flour (see tips)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil


In a large skillet, brown beef. Drain off excess fat. Add green peppers, garlic and onions and sauté until onions are soft. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper and optional salt and chipotle pepper, if desired. Let simmer uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Grease 2 glass or ceramic 9-inch pie plates and divide tamale mixture evenly between pans.  A 9 x 13-inch (22 x 33 cm) casserole dish can also be used; place all the mixture in this dish.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, chickpea flour, rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, if using.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, stir in milk and oil. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, beating just until smooth; about 1 minute. Spoon cornmeal batter over tamale base. Bake until golden brown, around 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


You can substitute the 2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown rice flour with 2 tsp (10 mL) corn starch and the recipe will still be gluten free.

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