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Tamale Skillet Pie

Tamale Pie

I adapted this from a Rachael Ray recipe for a 15-minute skillet to make it kosher, it is so quick and so delicious.  It cooks up really fast with quick-cooking polenta, but regular polenta doesn't take too much longer. It's basically like a quick chili covered in a cornmeal batter. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4-6Servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock or water, plus additional for loosening polenta
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (12 ounces) veggie ground beef crumbles
  • 1 (15-ounce) can beans, red or black
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or more)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1½ cups polenta or cornmeal
  • ¼ cup (a generous handful) cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1 Preheat broiler. 

2 Heat a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon evoo.  In a separate pot over medium-high heat, bring stock and milk to a simmer.  

3 Sauté onion, green peppers, jalapeño peppers, and garlic.  Add the veggie ground beef and brown for a few minutes.  Add black beans, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and tomato sauce to the pan, and mix well, adjust seasoning to taste. Let simmer while you finish putting together the polenta. 

4 Pour the polenta in a slow steady stream into the boiling stock/milk mixture, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken (timing will vary per package directions). Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the cilantro and sliced scallions and stir well. At this point you want the polenta to be nice and thick, but relatively easy to "pour" so if you need to add more stock or water to loosen it up, go for it. 

5 Pour polenta over the simmering pan to for a nice even cover.  Top with cheddar cheese and transfer to the broiler to brown, about 3-4 minutes.

6 Remove and serve straight from the skillet.