White Chili and Chorizo Tamale Pie
A simple white chili made with chorizo, onion, jalapeño, garlic, white beans, green chilies, tomatoes, and cheese is spread into a baking dish, covered with a cornbread topping and baked until golden and bubbly.
This White Chili and Chorizo Tamale Pie is one of those humble, homey, comforting dishes that I find myself coming back to time and again. The whole thing comes together in about 45 minutes and is filled with tasty, wholesome ingredients that leave you feeling nourished and satisfied. If you have any left over, this Tamale Pie reheats beautifully the next day and makes a wonderful lunch.
A Few Recipe Notes:
Dry White Beans or Canned? This Tamale Pie calls for either canned white beans or dried white beans cooked in a slow cooker. Using canned beans is perfectly acceptable. But if time allows, I urge you to go with the dried bean option. Cooking dried beans in a slow cooker only takes about 5 minutes of prep time and allows you to infuse the beans with herbs and spices, boosting the overall flavor of this casserole.
Get the beans going in the slow cooker at least 4 hours before you plan to make your Tamale Pie – or, cook the beans up to 5 days in advance storing them in some of their cooking liquid in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Fresh or canned chilies and tomatoes? If they are in season, freshly roasted green chilies are always a better option than canned. In my town, every farmers market has freshly roasted green chilies available about 6 weeks of the summer. After that, canned chilies are the next best thing. If fresh green chilies are available to you, use those. Otherwise, canned is just fine.
Same goes for the tomatoes. If you have access to flavorful fresh tomatoes, use those. Otherwise, just pop open a can of good quality diced tomatoes.
If you’re making this as a part of Summer Meal Plan #5, cook double the amount of chorizo – a total of 24 oz. Reserve half the cooked chorizo plus 2 tablespoons of the chorizo oil in separate covered containers in the refrigerator for Scallops with Chorizo and Roasted Corn on Day #5.
Weekly Meal Plans that Include White Chili and Chorizo Tamale Pie:Print
For the White Chili and Chorizo Filling:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- 12 oz chorizo sausage, ground or links sliced thin
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 small jalapeño, stem and seed removed, diced
- 1/4 cup scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced very thin
- 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup white beans, canned and drained or cooked in a slow cooker
- 6 roasted mild green chilies, skin and seeds removed and diced (or, 8 oz canned, diced green chilies)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
For the cornmeal topping:
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
Optional: sour cream for serving
Make the White Chili and Chorizo Filling:
- Heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Add oil to a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo from the pan to a bowl.
- Pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil out of the pan and return it to the burner set to medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add diced jalapeño, scallions, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute longer.
- Add the chorizo, beans, green chilies, and tomatoes to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower the heat, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, cilantro, and lime juice. Stir to combine, then scoop into a deep 9-inch square baking dish.
Make the cornmeal topping and bake the pie:
- In a large bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Whisk to combine. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until all the dry ingredients are moistened and there are very few lumps.
- Use a spoon to dollop spoonfuls of the cornmeal topping over the white chili filling. Use a knife to spread the topping into an even layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the white chili is bubbling up around the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, if desired.