Tamale Casserole

4.50 from 2 votes

You and your whole family will enjoy this yummy casserole!

We love this tamale casserole recipe because it is versatile and a great way to enjoy the flavors of Mexican food without the calories and fat. It is topped with moist cornbread and loaded with chicken, beans, chili, and all the flavors you love in tamale recipes. Your family will not even realize it’s a cleaned up, healthier version of a favorite! This healthy casserole recipe is not only great for a run-of-the-mill weeknight dinner, it is also perfect when you are entertaining or when you  need to bring a dish to someone’s home.

Traditional tamale meals take hours prepare, but not this one. In less than an hour, you’ll have a hearty meal on the table, and you won’t even need a steamer!

Try serving up our Tamale Casserole with one of our nutritious Side Dishes and a Skinny Mini Dessert.

4.50 from 2 votes

Tamale Casserole

This casserole is not only healthy but brings you Mexican flavors that the whole family will love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 1 each
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 1 pound lean ground chicken turkey optional
  • 16 ounces chipotle salsa jarred, no sugar added
  • 4 1/5 ounces diced green chiles canned
  • 15 ounces black beans canned, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn frozen, optional
  • 1/3 cup cilantro freshly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded, reduced-fat

Cornbread Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 egg slightly whipped
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk low-fat
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese reduced-fat


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large skillet, add ground chicken and cook over medium heat, while breaking up chicken into small pieces. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain excess fat and add chicken to a 13" x 9" casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients to the casserole dish (except cornbread topping), stir well. Make sure the mixture is evenly distributed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt. Add egg and buttermilk, stir just until combined. Spread batter evenly over the mixture, sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and bake until cornbread is golden and casserole is heated through, approximately 25-30 minutes.


"World Table" Roasted Tomato Chipotle Roja Salsa can be purchased at Walmart Superstore.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1each | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 436mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
Keywords Gluten-Free

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  1. My recipe doesnt classify as skinny but dang, its good! Whole kernal corn is a nice addition for both flavor & color. I use boxed Jiffy Mix w/sugar added for a consistent, easy, fool proof topping too. Love it!

  2. So i really liked this quite a bit. I couldn't find chipotle in my walmart so i substituted salsa. Mine did however turn out really watery, maybe this was the kind of salsa i used but that was a little disappointing but it really didn't ruin the flavor at all.

  3. This was excellent! I didn't know quite what to expect but we loved the smoky chipotle flavor from the salsa and chili powder and the cornbread was a nice complement. I used lean ground beef (92%) Thanks for the healthy and delicious recipe!

    1. Stacy, I could but you would need to use an oven safe insert in order to brown the cornbread topping before serving.

    1. Amber, You can cook this fully, Let it cool to room temperature, cover with wrap and store in an airtight container. You can also slice it up after it is cooled into serving sizes, wrap each in saran wrap and store in airtight freezer bags. This should be good in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat at 350 in the oven from frozen for about 30 minutes, or microwave.

  4. Just made this for dinner tonight….OMG It's AMAZING! I put the cheese into the cornbread batter by mistake, leaving me nothing for the top….didn't matter a bit, in fact, I think I will always make it this way. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  5. My favorite WW friendly recipe! My family has this once a week and I could probably eat it more! Thank you for this delicious and easy to make recipe

  6. I made some cornbread last night can I crumble that up and use that instead I am making rotisserie chicken right now.

    1. Not sure what you are wanting to substitute the cornbread for, however it cannot take place of the cornmeal. These are two very different items.

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