Chicken Tamale Casserole

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    This chicken tamale casserole is simple to prepare and great for company, even your in-laws.

    What’s the first thought going through your head when you hear your in-laws are coming to town and staying with you and your significant other? Is it frustration? Is it horror? Or if you’re anything like me, it’s “OH MY GAWD, I have to clean the entire house from top to bottom and crap, what am I making?!” Yup, that’s what I did two weeks ago when they came to town. I love it when they come to town, but I always have this pressure of having to make something super delicious because they know about this blog (and are probably reading this right now) and it’d be sheer disappointment if I made something complete opposite of what I’d usually make for the blog.

    And so I scoured my saved recipes on my computer and at the time, I was craving some sort of Mexican dish but I also wanted it to be easy since I was also working the day they were coming in. I found this chicken tamale pie that Lindsay had posted and it was like fireworks, y’all. Haha, super easy decision for me. It made a large portion and I knew it was going to be a hit!

    Needless to say, there wasn’t a single bite left in this casserole dish after we were all through with it. It had the perfect amount of spice and it was so flavorful. The cornbread was such an awesome addition. My in-laws LOVED it. They couldn’t get over it.

    I did learn a few things from their visit, though: 1. my house had never looked cleaner, maybe they should come more often so my house will be pretty much spotless ;) 2. shredding chicken sucks. The whole fork and fork method blows. I wish there were a faster way to shred 2 cups of chicken. I almost shoved it in the food processor but then it would’ve turned it to mush Not anymore! Put it in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment!! 3. Adding cornbread to Mexican food is not a bad idea, at.all. and this is unrelated to their visit but I’m freaking starving right now and I want a huge hunk of this at 8 in the morning. It can be spun into a breakfast casserole, right?

    Chicken Tamale Casserole

    A delicious casserole that everyone will love!
    Prep Time: 15 mins
    Cook Time: 30 mins
    Total Time: 45 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup egg substitute
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning, divided
    • 1: 14.75 oz can cream-style corn
    • 1: 8.5 oz box corn muffin mix
    • 1: 4 oz can chopped green chiles
    • 1: 10- oz can red enchilada sauce
    • 2 cups shredded chicken
    • 3/4 cup shredded white cheese


    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray casserole dish with cooking spray. My casserole dish was 9 x 13.
    • Combine the first 7 ingredients, using just 1/2 tbsp. of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, and mix until moist. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.
    • While the corn mixture is baking, toss the chicken with the remaining 1 tbsp. of taco seasoning. Set aside.
    • When the cornbread is done, it will be barely set and golden brown. Pierce the entire surface liberally with a fork. If it's sticking to the fork, it needs to cook longer or rest for about 10 minutes before piercing (if it sets up, it won't be as moist so it won't stick to the fork as much)
    • When ready, pour the red enchilada sauce over the top, then top with chicken and sprinkle liberally with cheese.
    • Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.


    Source: Pinch of Yum


    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
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    Recipe Rating


  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama says:

    I just drooled a little, this looks SO good!

  • Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats says:

    hahha I was laughing so hard because that is my exact reaction too…”Crap, start cleaning, I’ve got to figure out something to make” And what you mentioned about them knowing about the blog and having high pressure! :P
    This sounds awesome time my soon to be in-laws are coming around, this will definitely be in my must make!

  • Rachel Cooks (formerly Not Rachael Ray) says:

    I don’t have one (yet) but I heard you can shred chicken in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment? Worth a shot! This looks amazing.

    • Julie says:

      You may have just saved me hours of chicken shredding. I will for sure be trying out the stand mixer & paddle attachment method!! xoxo

  • Kathryn says:

    My boyfriend doesn’t understand the need to clean when I hear that his parents are coming over. The worst was when he woke my one Sunday morning when I had a massive hangover from my best friend’s engagement drinks to tell me they were dropping by that afternoon. I was so unamused.

    Love love love Mexican flavours at the moment, can’t wait to try this!

  • Tracey says:

    My first thought whenever we’re having people over is about how badly I need to clean :)

    Ditto what Rachel said on the stand mixer – I’ve tried it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and it works perfectly! Your casserole looks delicious, we’re all about Mexican food lately so it’d go over very well here!

  • Bev Weidner says:

    I just shred with my hands! Totes fast and you can throw some pieces into your mouth. Boom.


  • amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    this looks sooo good! + i’m with bet – i usually use my hands to shred – it’s much quicker + easier than using forks, although it does always make me feel like some sort of weird savage caveman.

  • Gina, book dragon says:

    Dinner! Thank you, I’m going for the weird savage caveman feeling and will be shredding by hand ;)

    If you want to see me, drop in anytime. If you want to see my house, schedule an appointment.

    Doesn’t always work and I have panic cleaning days where it takes weeks to find everything.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    The shredding meat thing is THE WORST! I did it with pork a month or so ago to make pulled pork sliders and I thought my fingers were going to snap off by the end. There has got to be an easier way! I might seriously try the food processor next time…
    That casserole from Lindsay is what inspired me to make my turkey chili pie a few weeks ago. I think I was just enamored with her pics and colors in that dish. Yours looks equally as beautiful :)

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    If you try the paddle shred lemme know. I’ve heard it works but haven’t tried it myself yet. This dish looks awesome!!

  • Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau says:

    How good does this look? I always thought shredding meat was a huge, time-consuming pain but figured there was just something wrong with the way I was doing it! At least this is a nice-sized casserole, so it (hopefully) gives you a break from cooking for a day or two :)

  • Jen @ Juanita's Cocina says:

    I see someone already mentioned it but we shred our chicken in our stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Works perfectly. Just make sure it’s cooled a little. It shreds better.

    Also, if you plop a fried egg on top of this casserole, I’m pretty sure you can call it breakfast.

  • Nicole {Sweet Peony} says:

    Girl, just use your hands! It’s way faster! Love this casserole… looks delish! And I totes feel ya on the in-laws thing. Although, our place always looks amazeballs when we have guests coming. I should treat every weekend like someone’s coming haha

  • JennElise says:

    I made chicken in a slow cooker with salsa and little bit of chicken stock and by the time it was done, I could stick my tongs in the chicken and it would literally shred itself – it may have been the best surprise ever since I was making chicken tacos with it! I’ve done the fork method, too, and I know it is no fun :(
    Love your blog!

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture says:

    anything mexican. anything casserole. I love.

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction says:

    haha this post made me laugh – i am absolutely TERRIBLE at shredding chicken. Seriously. why isn’t there an easier way? this dish looks fab though. i love casseroles.. so easy and they please pretty much anyone!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    Gorgeous casserole, Julie. I’m sure the in-laws were super impressed. I once invited Jason’s parents over for dinner and I was SO stressed to make the most perfect dinner – it’s hard people pleasing!!

    Oh and I totally agree. Shredding chicken is an absolute bitch. Crap, am I allowed to use words like that here? I just wanted to get my point across that it sucks big time.

  • Cassie says:

    I always fret much more about what I am cooking than the house being clean. I usually add that to Paul’s “list”. Heehee! This sounds so perfect, Julie! I think I could probably finish off that whole dish!

  • Megan {Country Cleaver} says:

    Looks gorgeous Julie. The in-laws will be totally lucky to have such a cooking fiend as a daughter in law :)

  • Meagan says:

    Yes! Use your kitchen aid mixer to shred chicken if you have one! Takes no time at all!!!

  • Jackie @ Domestic Fits says:

    YUM! I hope those in-laws adore you :)

  • Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies says:

    This looks SO delicious! I think you should set the table for three and invite me over! Yum!

  • Aggie says:

    This looks amazing!!!! I want to dig in.

  • amanda @ fake ginger says:

    I love anything that contains Jiffy mix! Saving this one for when husband comes home!

  • Deanna says:

    The corn bread mix must make it so much easier than using masa. I love that there is creamed corn too…canned cream corn is one of my guilty pleasure foods.

  • Rhonda (@diningalone) says:

    the creamed style corn is a genius idea, definitely pinning this for the future!

  • Baking Serendipity says:

    Cleaning and meals are definitely first on my brain when I hear of a visit from the in-laws. One benefit to living across the country is that their visits have to be planned…but they always last overnight(s). Love this tamale casserole! Definitely bookmarking it for simple entertaining :)

  • Living The Sweet Life says:

    I have the same reaction to in-laws!! I instantly go into Molly Maid Mode and want to clean every corner of my house – – plus create a great meal (what’s up with that?!?!).
    This looks like a fabulous meal though, I can totally see why they loved it ;)

  • Deborah says:

    Thank goodness my inlaws only live 45 minutes away – that way I only have to make it look clean on the surface! :) These are totally flavors that I love and eat all of the time. I need to make this!

  • Peggy says:

    Looks yummy – think I’ll try this today. Mind if I ask…why use egg substitute? Do you think a couple of scrambled eggs would have the same result?

    • Julie says:

      Egg substitute to just be a bit on the healthier side ;) but you can totally use a couple scrambled eggs!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says:

    Oh boy does this look delicious! What a fabulous and flavorful looking weeknight recipe. Thanks for sharing, Julie!

  • Karen says:

    To Peggy and Julie, 1/4 cup is equal to about one large egg.

    As far as shredding chicken, I like to use canned chunk chicken which shreds easy with a quick stir.

    By the way, the directions say to mix the first SEVEN ingredients, but then wants you to pour the enchilada sauce (#7) over the baked cornbread in step 5. Can you clarify? I’d like to try this recipe!


    • Julie says:

      Hi Karen, thanks for catching that. I was typing too fast! ;) I forgot to add in red pepper flakes, so if you look now, there’s 7 ingredients before the enchilada sauce. Sorry about that! I hope you make it and enjoy :)

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch} says:

    This is going to happen soon in my life! Love how easy it is!

  • Baker Street says:

    this looks incredible julie! i love the simplicity of this recipe.

  • katie says:

    This looks and sounds amazing. I cook a lot of mexican food in our home but never a tamale casserole. Must make this asap!

  • Anna @ hiddenponies says:

    I definitely stress more about cleaning for my in-laws and more about cooking for my own parents since my mom is a really good cook :) And yes, the paddle attachment in the mixer is a great way to shread chicken! Although Bev’s idea is a good one too… :)

  • Amber says:

    Pampered Chef Salad Chopper (a pair of handheld, double-bladed scissors)- I love it for shredding chicken!! Just throw it in a bowl and cut a few times and you have shredded chicken!

  • Jane says:

    This looks amazing! As for the shredding chicken thing. Cook chicken in water or broth in the crockpot all day or overnight. It falls apart! If you are super aggressive, cook a whole big frozne bag on the weekend and freeze in 2 cup portions. Total time saver!

  • Jakki says:

    Put the cooked chicken in your kitchen aide mixer using the wire wisk! Like you said we DONT want mush, but about 30-45 seconds and you have PERFECT shredded chicken! Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime