This Chicken Tamale Casserole is made with layers of cornbread crust, enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, corn and lots of cheese! It’s an easy weeknight meal that comes together in only 40 minutes and is perfect for the whole family.
This Chicken Tamale Casserole recipe is a fun Tex-Mex play on tamales that takes only 40 minutes to make!
Made with a quick and easy cornbread crust and topped with shredded chicken, sweet corn, enchilada sauce and all the cheese, this casserole is the ultimate family weeknight comfort food that’s baked to cheesy perfection.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- boxed corn muffin mix (like Jiffy)
- canned diced green chiles
- an egg and milk
- shredded chicken
- chili, garlic, cumin, and onion powder
- red enchilada sauce
- canned corn
- shredded cheese
How to make Chicken Tamale Casserole
The fun part about making this recipe is assembling all the layers! Here’s how to do it step by step:
- Make the cornbread: Mix together the corn muffin mix, green chiles, eggs and milk. Pour into a 9×13 or square baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F.
- Prep the shredded chicken: Combine the shredded chicken, seasonings and half of the enchilada sauce.
- Assemble the casserole: Poke holes all over the cooked cornbread crust with a fork. Then top with the shredded chicken, the remaining enchilada sauce, cream-style corn and shredded cheese.
- Bake: Bake for 15-20 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve: Let the casserole cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream.
Tips and Tricks
- If you don’t want to make your own shredded chicken just for this recipe, you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred it at home.
- For the best flavor, I recommend making your own enchilada sauce using this easy enchilada sauce recipe or this authentic enchilada sauce recipe. However, if you’re short on time, you can use your favorite store-bought canned sauce.
Substitutions and Variations
While all of the ingredients in this recipe are fairly easy to find, here are some helpful recipe variations that could also work:
- Instead of cream-style corn, you can use regular whole-kernel corn.
- Instead of store-bought corn muffin mix, you can make your own homemade cornbread from scratch. Try this easy jalapeno cornbread.
- Don’t have shredded chicken? You can use 1 pound of ground beef, ground turkey or any leftover meat you have in the fridge.
- If you want a really thick cornbread crust, use 2 boxes of corn muffin mix.
Storing and Reheating
This casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
To freeze any leftovers for later, let the casserole cool completely. Then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to eat, let the casserole thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
To reheat, place it in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. You can also pop it in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
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- 1 8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix (like Jiffy)
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce (or 1 10-ounce can)
- 1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
- 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch or large square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.
- In a large bowl, add corn muffin mix, diced green chiles, egg and milk. Whisk together until fully combined.
- Pour into greased dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cornbread is fully cooked through. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread should come out clean.
- While the cornbread is baking, add shredded chicken, chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, onion powder and half of the enchilada sauce in a large bowl. Mix together to combine and set aside.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and poke holes all over the cornbread using the tines of a fork.
- Add the seasoned shredded chicken on top of the cornbread and spread it out evenly. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top.
- Next, add the cream-style corn and top with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream if desired.