Pork Tamale Casserole

Loaded with flavor, this pork tamale casserole is a quick and easy spin on traditional tamales, but every bit as delicious as the real deal!

With this delicious Pork Tamale Casserole you can enjoy all of the wonderful, authentic flavors of pork tamales without all of the hard work! No-soak Instant Pot Pinto BeansFlavorful Spanish Rice, and 5 Minute Restaurant Style Salsa make great accompaniments!!

A 9x13 pork tamale casserole with cilantro on top.

A perfect Weeknight dinner

Today I’m sharing a twist on my chile verde chicken tamale casserole.

This time I’m swapping the chicken for pork, the verde sauce for red sauce and the Monterey jack for colby jack. This Pork Tamale Casserole tastes totally different, but still so, so amazing!

We love to try out different recipes for dinner, but with it being so crazy at dinner time, I sometimes look for subs to make the process easier.

While I would have loved to use homemade enchilada sauce, it just wasn’t going to happen. So instead, I cracked open a can of my go-to store bought sauce: Hatch’s fire roasted tomato sauce. 

Garnish it with some fresh cilantro and sour cream like we did, or leave it as is. It will taste delicious either way!

Scooping up a serving of pork tamale casserole.

How to make Pork Tamale Casserole

PREP. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13-inch baking dish, set aside.

FILLING. In a medium bowl combine the pork, enchilada sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, coriander, and paprika. Mix until combined.

TAMALE MIXTURE. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the masa, salt, sugar, baking powder, pepper, butter, and 2 cups corn. Process or pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add chicken broth and process or pulse until them mixture reaches a thick peanut butter consistency. More broth (or water) may be required. Fold in remaining 1 cup of corn.

LAYER. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with ¾ cup cheese, then add the pork filling. Sprinkle with another ¾ cup cheese. Press the remaining tamale dough over top.

BAKE. Cover with 1 cup of red enchilada sauce and remaining 1 ½ cups cheese. Place a piece of foil over top and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Top with cilantro, if desired.

A bowl of pork in enchilada sauce for the pork tamale casserole.

Suggested toppings

In addition to the cilantro here are more suggested toppings:

  • diced tomatoes
  • sour cream
  • black olives
  • guacamole
  • diced green onions
  • jalapenos
  • salsa
  • hot sauce
Corn, butter, masa ready to be processed for the pork tamale casserole.

Variations

Any type of leftover pork should work well in this casserole as long as it doesn’t have BBQ sauce or another strong flavored seasoning on it. Braised pork or pork leftovers from carnitas would both work well. 

Shredded chicken or ground beef would also work well in this recipe.

For a vegetarian version substitute a combination of pinto and black beans for the pork.

A fork full of pork tamale casserole.

Storing Info

STORE leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

FREEZE leftovers in a freezer safe airtight container of a foil casserole dish wrapped with plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Store for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a 350 degree oven until warmed all the way through.

Pork tamale casserole with a bite taken out of it.

for More Tasty Mexican Main Dishes, check out:

 


Pork Tamale Casserole. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Pork Tamale Casserole Recipe

Loaded with flavor, this pork tamale casserole is a quick and easy spin on traditional tamales, but every bit as delicious as the real deal!
4.67 from 39 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 1102kcal
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the pork:
  • 3 c. shredded pork
  • 3/4 c. red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
For the tamale dough:
  • 3 c. masa harina*
  • 2 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter - cold and cut into 12 pieces
  • 3 c. frozen corn - thawed, divided
  • 2 – 2 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth- more if needed
Other:
  • 3 c. grated colby jack cheese - divided
  • 1 c. red enchilada sauce
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13-inch baking dish, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the pork, enchilada sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, coriander, and paprika. Mix until combined.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the masa, salt, sugar, baking powder, pepper, butter, and 2 cups corn. Process or pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add chicken broth and process or pulse until them mixture reaches a thick peanut butter consistency. More broth (or water) may be required. Fold in remaining 1 cup of corn.
  • Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with ¾ cup cheese, then add the pork filling. Sprinkle with another ¾ cup cheese. Press the remaining tamale dough over top.
  • Cover with 1 cup of red enchilada sauce and remaining 1 ½ cups cheese. Place a piece of foil over top and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Top with cilantro, if desired.

Notes

*Maseca works well, so does Bob’s Red Mill. Do NOT use cornmeal.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 1102kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 73g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 2730mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 2914IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 948mg | Iron: 4mg

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    OMG, im so glad i found this.. been sitting here watching videos and looking up recipes.. i wanted a shredded pork tamale pie that would be very close to real tamales without all the wrapping and steaming.. im oding this for our Christmas eve tamales.. instead of all the money for tamales. 🙂 Thank you so much.. i was thinking.. why isnt there a video or recipe out there like a real tamale.. and was beginng to think id have to make it up like my grandma would to..lol.. so thank you.. ill be trying this.. my shredded pork is ready to go.. and my chili paste to.. im freezing it till monday..:) so excited now!!!

  2. I’ve searched the Hatch website and the only fire-roasted product I see is the taco sauce. Do you use that or is it the red (not fire roasted) enchilada sauce?

    THANKS!

    1. If you google Hatch fire-roasted tomato enchilada sauce, you will see it 🙂 You could also just use a red enchilada sauce, if you can’t find it.

  3. The baking time is too short.  After 40 minutes the outside perimeter was done but the center was dough.  I would estimate a bake time of an hour to fully cook dough.  The recipe wasn’t bad.  

  4. 5 stars
    I made this a few months ago and I’m making it again today. I love tamales but it’s so much work and this is easy with the same great taste! Love this recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    This is a very easy tamale recipe. I substituted the pork for chicken it went over well with the family! Definitely 5 stars!!!

  6. 5 stars
    We used green enchilada sauce, didn’t have red, and it was still delicious! Can’t wait to try it with red sauce next time!

  7. My husband doesn’t like enchilada sauce can I leave it out or can I substitute it for something else? If so what are good substitutes?

    1. You can certainly try a different brand/flavor of enchilada sauce… green chili, red, Chile verde….whichever he prefers. I have a great creamy enchilada sauce too that I use in my Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. https://lifemadesimplebakes.com/creamy-chicken-enchiladas Some other options if he really doesn’t like any type of enchilada sauce could be queso or salsa. It would certainly alter the flavor of the dish, but would prevent the casserole from being too dry. You’ll have to let us know what you end up doing! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I feel like this is such a silly question, but do I cook the pork beforehand or do I put it in the recipe raw and it cooks fully in the oven?

    1. No silly questions in cooking. This recipe is a quicker one so it uses already cooked and shredded pork as well as pre-made enchilada sauce. You can buy it cooked or make a big batch and use it in several recipes. Good luck!

  9. 5 stars
    This pork tamale casserole was absolutely wonderful and very tasty for dinner the other night! My family and I are obsessed with this recipe. My boys are begging to have this again! Can’t wait!

  10. 5 stars
    I used a #12 cast iron skillet with 3/16ths of clearance left over. Not Enough! As the masa cooked it expanded and started dripping on the bottom of my oven. Had to slide a cookie sheet under it. On the plus side it added a smoky flavor!! Lol. Delicious! I received many complements. Thank You!

    Add more oven time.. around +15 minuets, not sure if was the cast iron or not, but was under done in middle. Still great!