BeanTamale Pie


Tonight’s dinner is my adaptation from a recipe I found on Small Time Cooks. I call it Tamale Pie, because that’s what it reminds me of. It was delicious, and so easy to make. Next time I make it though, I’m going to pan fry the polenta first to get it a bit crisp, which I think will add nice texture to the dish.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • few grinds of pepper
  • 2 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 c. water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 16 oz. tube prepared polenta, patted dry (I used about 3/4 of the tube)
  • 1 c. fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp. chipotle Tobasco sauce
  • 2 c. coarsely shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; then add the white part of the green onions, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and 1/2 cup water. As you bring to a boil, mash 1/4 of the beans with the back of a spoon against side of pan to release starch. Reduce to a simmer; cook until mixture has thickened and most of the liquid is gone, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Spray your baking pan (I used a 9×16 pan, but you can use whatever size you want) with cooking spray. Slice the polenta into 1/4 thick rounds. You can either pan fry them in a nonstick skillet or just lay the slices on the bottom of your pan. Be sure the polenta slices are tightly arranged.
  4. Remove bean mixture from heat. Stir in green part of the green onion, cilantro, and Tabasco. Spoon bean mixture over polenta; top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired garnish with cilantro, and serve with salsa and sour cream.
  5. To freeze- Let unbaked pies cool completely; cover with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Bake frozen with foil on at 400 degrees until warm in center, 60-70 minutes for ramekins, 70-80 minutes for pie plates. Remove foil; bake until cheese is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Tamale Pie:


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