Pork Tamale Casserole

This pork tamale casserole is a quick and easy spin on traditional tamales. It’s loaded with flavor and every bit as delicious as the real deal!

A 9x13 pork tamale casserole with cilantro on top. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

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. It tastes totally different, but still so, so amazing!

Scooping up a serving of pork tamale casserole. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Lately (ok, the past 5 years ?) I’ve really had to streamline the whole dinner process. Getting dinner on the table in a timely manner with 3 little ones demanding my attention is not an easy feat. I still prefer to make things from scratch (within reason of course) and I still like to spend a few extra minutes mincing my own garlic and creating my own seasoning blends. I guess what I’m saying is, it’s ok cut corners where you can but don’t go overboard.

While I would have loved to use homemade enchilada sauce (recipe is here), I 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. ?

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

I combined it with some shredded pork I made the night before in the Instant Pot, added some seasonings and then tossed everything together.

Corn, butter, masa ready to be processed for the pork tamale casserole. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

To make the tamale dough I tossed EVERYTHING into my food processor. Gave it a few whirls and it came out just like cookie dough. I grabbed my 9×13-inch dish sprayed it with a little avocado oil and then pressed half of the dough into the bottom.

Then I layered some grated colby jack cheese, followed by the pork mixture and then more cheese.

Next is the trickiest part. Pressing the remaining tamale dough over top. I find it’s easiest to pat it into rectangle on a piece of parchment paper and then invert it onto the casserole.

A fork full of pork tamale casserole. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

All that was left to do was pour the remaining sauce over top and sprinkle on the leftover cheese.

This casserole bakes covered at a high temperature (400 degrees) for 30 minutes and uncovered for 10 minutes.

Pork tamale casserole with a bite taken out of it. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

After resting for 10 minutes it’s ready to be served! You can garnish it with some fresh cilantro and sour cream like we did, or leave it as is. It will taste delicious either way!

If you give this pork tamale casserole recipe a try, let me know in the comments below!

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Pork Tamale Casserole. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Pork Tamale Casserole

This pork tamale casserole is a quick and easy spin on traditional tamales. It’s loaded with flavor and every bit as delicious as the real deal!
4.61 from 28 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6 -8 servings
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 3/4 cup cheese, then add the pork filling. Sprinkle with another 3/4 cup cheese. Press the remaining tamale dough over top.
  • Cover with 1 cup of red enchilada sauce and remaining 1 1/2 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.

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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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!!!