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Tamale Pie for Two

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 2 large individual pies 1x


Classic, make-ahead tamale pie in individual portions with some healthy greens thrown in. Perfect for date night at home!




  • Butter or olive oil spray, for the baking dish
  • 1 T olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 C 1/4″ dice celery (2 large stalks)
  • 1 small green pepper or poblano pepper, diced medium (see notes)
  • 1 shallot, chopped small
  • 1 t Kosher or sea salt
  • 2/3 C frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 3 C loosely packed mild greens (e.g., chard, spinach, baby bok choy)
  • 1 t mild chili powder (or less; see notes)
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
  • Ground black pepper

Pie “crust” batter

  • 1/3 C all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 C finely ground cornmeal
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1/3 C buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T melted butter, slightly cooled

For serving


  1. Grease two 2-cup ramekins (or a single pie plate) with butter or cooking spray. Preheat oven to 450 (F). Heat oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add celery, green or poblano pepper, shallot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened and shallot is lightly browned. Add corn and tomatoes with juice and simmer until warmed through and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add greens and chili powder and cook for another minute, until greens are wilted. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and black pepper to taste. Fill each ramekin with about 1 1/2 cups of the filling (there will be a little leftover filling).
  2. To make the top crust, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Measure the buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup, then add the egg and honey and beat with a fork. Whisk buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then drizzle in butter while whisking.
  3. Pour crust batter evenly over both pies. Bake ramekins on a cookie sheet on the middle rack about 13 to 15 minutes, until crust is set and light golden brown. Serve with sour cream or avocado, scallions or pickled red onions, and extra cilantro.


Both poblano pepper and some chili powder may be spicy, and I ruined this dinner for myself with both during testing. To play it extra safe in the spicy department, go with a green bell pepper and be sure your chili powder is mild.

I loved the flavor of Trader Joe’s fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, if there’s a location near you!

The ramekins are very hot when they come out of the oven! I like to serve them as pictured: in a shallow bowl, with a paper or cloth napkin beneath, so no one gets hurt eating them.

The recipe easily doubles for four. Make it in four ramekins, or in a small casserole dish.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Best Ever Cooking for Two.

  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Hot dish
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex