Gluten Free Tamale Pie

Spice up Taco Tuesday with this gluten free tamale pie- seasoned beef and veggies with a gluten free cornbread-biscuit topper!

Have you ever had a homemade tamale?? Like...brought to you on a plate, directly from someone's kitchen?? 

Working at a school in Southern California, I received quite a few homemade gifts. And, being a white girl from the East coast...I had no clue what they were or how to eat one. But, they are amazing and should definitely be enjoyed! There are even tamale festivals held all over California. The major downfall is making tamales can be time-consuming! It often becomes a family affair, where dozens or even hundreds are prepared at the same time.

This recipe is basically a gluten free tamale pot pie. All of the flavors with much less time and effort. Plus, this savory pie could easily feed a crowd. If you'd like the biscuit dough to completely cover the top of the casserole, simply double the recipe.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Meat: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, chorizo
  • No Meat
  • Vegetables: peppers, onion, garlic, corn
  • Beans: Great with black or kidney beans
  • No Beans
  • Sauce: salsa, enchilada sauce
  • Topper: cornbread, corn muffins, biscuits

Gluten Free Tamale Pie in White Baking Dish with Shredded Cheese

Ingredients in Gluten Free Tamale Pie

  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Ground Beef
  • Salsa or Enchilada Sauce
  • Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Cheese
  • Gluten Free Cornbread Biscuit Dough

Gluten Free Tamale Pot Pie with Cornbread Biscuit Topping

What are tamales?

The Spanish word is tamal. For tamales- masa or cornmeal dough is stuffed, then wrapped in corn husks and steamed. They are filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Chicken and pork are the most popular, but tamales can be savory or sweet. They likely originated in Mexico or Guatemala and then quickly spread throughout the rest of Latin America. Tamales appeared in the Aztec Empire in 7,000 BC. Aztecs and Mayas would use them as portable food for hunting and traveling. Tamales also played a part in rituals and festivals.


Where did tamale pie originate?

Tamale pie was first seen in Texas in the early 1900s. The first recipe was published in 1911. Then, this Mexican-American comfort food then became very popular in school cafeterias.

Slice of Gluten Free Tamale Pie with Beef, Peppers, and Shredded Cheese

Gluten Free Tamale Pie

Spice up Taco Tuesday with this gluten free tamale pie- seasoned beef and veggies with a gluten free cornbread-biscuit topper!



  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 bell peppers, diced
  • 10-16 oz. salsa or enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
  • 1 c. shredded cheese

Gluten Free Cornbread Biscuit Dough

  • 1/4 c. gluten free flour
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. corn meal or corn flour
  • 1/4 c. corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp. buttermilk powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Xanthan gum
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and peppers for 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and pour into a baking dish. Spoon salsa or enchilada sauce on top.
  • Using the same skillet, brown the ground beef for 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the taco seasoning packet with 1/3 - 1/2 c. water (follow package directions.) Pour over the beef and allow to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Spread beef over the veggie mixture. Next, top with shredded cheese.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, corn meal, corn starch, buttermilk powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cumin. With clean hands, two forks, or a pastry blender, cut in the butter. Mixture should resemble small crumbles. Next, pour in the milk. Use a spatula to mix, until a sticky dough is formed. Cover the beef with pieces of the biscuit dough.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the biscuits are beginning to brown.


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