This family friendly casserole recipe for Crock-Pot Tamale Bake brings all the delicious Mexican food flavors into a super easy one pot dish!
Crock-Pot Tamale Bake
My family LOVES Mexican food! And, while this recipe is not an authentic Mexican dish it is inspired by those delicious south of the border flavors we all love.
This yummy casserole type dish really hits the spot on a busy weeknight dinner. Filled with ground beef and seasoned with onions, garlic, tomatoes, black olives and seasonings then this casserole is topped with a homemade cornbread type topping and cooked in the slow cooker. Once everything is cooked add some cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of green onion for color.
This is one of my go-to recipes when I need something that I KNOW my kids will eat after a busy day of school and then evening after-school activities!
A note about ground beef:
In this recipe extra lean ground beef browned and crumbled on the stove-top. If you are short on time you can cook the hamburger meat ahead of time like the day before and just stash it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make this dish.
If you want to make meal prep even easier buy the big package of ground beef when it is on sale and cook it all up and freeze it. Then, you can just pull a bag of frozen pre-cooked hamburger out of the freezer and you area ready to cook any dish that calls for ground beef!
- Extra Lean Ground Beef – I prefer to use the leanest possible ground beef that I can purchase to save on fat and calories. This recipe also works fantastic however using ground turkey.
- Yellow Onion – You will need about 1/2 of a cup of onion that has been finely diced. Yellow onions are my preferred onion but a white onion will do too.
- Garlic – Grab one clove of garlic and mince it. If you like more garlic, feel free to add another clove or two. And if you are using pre-minced garlic from the store remember 1 teaspoon = 1 clove of fresh garlic.
- Yellow Cornmeal – This ingredient is going to act as the binder in your casserole. Be sure to use plain corn meal and not corn bread mix.
- Egg – Unless otherwise noted, large eggs are what I use in all of my recipes.
- Milk – I uses fat-free milk because that is the milk we drink. Feel free to use whole milk, 1% or 2% milk.
- Canned Corn – You will use one can and be sure to drain it. You can also use frozen corn in this recipe, about 1 to 2 cups.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – One can of diced tomatoes is used in this recipe. Don’t drain off the liquid from the can. I like to use no-salt added canned tomatoes.
- Taco Seasoning Mix – 1 envelope/package of a low-sodium or no salt added taco seasoning mix OR make up your own Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix and use about 3 tablespoons of that.
- Canned Sliced Black Olives – This recipe uses a small can of pre-sliced black olives that have been drained. If you don’t like olives feel free to omit them.
- Cheddar Cheese – Whenever possible it is best to shred or grate your own cheddar cheese for the best flavor. However if you are in a pinch for time you can use the bags of pre-shredded cheddar cheese found at the grocery store.
- Green Onions – These are totally optional but I think adding a little sliced green onion to the top of the casserole adds a nice POP of color and flavor.
- In a large skillet, brown and crumble the ground beef with the diced onion and garlic until the meat is no longer pink.
- Drain ground beef to remove excess fat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, egg and milk and mix until smooth.
- Add to the cornmeal mixture the corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, olives and ground beef mixture and mix well.
- Dump mixture into the bottom of a 3.5 quart casserole slow cooker OR a 4 quart or larger oval or round slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or on LOW for 6 hours.
- Sprinkle with cheese and cover again and cook for an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted.
- To serve, spoon into bowls or onto plate and garnish with chopped green onion if desired.
- 3.5 Quart Casserole Slow Cooker OR 6 Quart Slow Cooker
- Wooden Spoon
- Can Opener
- Measuring Cups
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
Watch The Slow Cooker Tamale Bake Video:
More fantastic Mexican inspired recipes:
- Slow Cooker Taco Junk
- Crock-Pot Taco Chicken Bowls
- Slow Cooker Taco Bake
- Crock-Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Slow Cooker Southwest Tamale Pie
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