Chicken Tamale Pie

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Serves: 4

This spicy dish is inspired by the corn husk-wrapped tamales of traditional Mexican cuisine. Combined with the concept of chicken pot pie, this dish is an unusual but delicious spin on classic Canadian comfort food.


1/2 lb (0.3 kg) lean ground chicken
1/2 cup (125 mL) onions, diced
1 cup (250 mL) salsa
7 tbsp (105 mL) water
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin, ground
1 tsp (5 mL) oregano, dried
10 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) corn niblets, frozen
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) black olives, sliced
salt, to taste
3/4 cups (175 mL) cornmeal (polenta)
1/4 cup (60 mL) whole wheat flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
8 tsp (40 mL) vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup (125 mL) 2% milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, fresh, minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated


1 Sauté ground chicken and diced onion in a large skillet until chicken is browned; drain.
2 Stir in salsa, water, 1 tsp (5 mL) of chili powder, ground cumin, oregano and bottled hot sauce (optional); bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add corn, red pepper, jalapeño pepper, sliced olives and salt, if necessary, to taste.
3 Preheat oven to 350ºF(180ºC).
4 In a separate bowl combine cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder and 1 tsp (5 mL) of chili powder for topping.
5 Beat vegetable oil, egg, milk and minced cilantro. Add to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
6 Spray an 8” square casserole with vegetable oil cooking spray and spread chicken mixture evenly over bottom. Top with cornmeal topping. Sprinkle dish with shredded cheese.
7 Bake for 30-40 minutes or until knife inserted into cornmeal comes out clean and the dish is slightly browned.