Carnitas Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie on a plate.

Hi there.

Carnitas.  Remember that one?

Still have your face buried in that one?

Have some leftovers of that one?

Me too. Cause as much as I love carnitas, I did not eat 5 pounds of shredded Mexican pork in 2 days.  There were too many other distracting things around.

Crust in a steel bowl with a spoon.

So those carnitas? Turns out they make a great topping for one of my favorite recipes ever: Carnitas Tamale Pie.

My original version had chicken. Now apparently I’m a grown up who makes carnitas, so I made this version of tamale pie with carnitas. From the crockpot. That’s totally grown up.

Pie with drizzle in a clear baking dish.

Can I tell you something?

We love this.

Chicken Tamale Pie with carnitas on top.

I love putting leftovers to good use.

Bjork loves when I actually make real meals that involve more than cereal, milk, and mangoes.

Oh, the things you thought you knew about us.

 with carnitas in a clear baking dish.

But for me, I just love whole thing together – the melted cheese, enchilada sauce, spicy carnitas, and a sweet, mushy tamale-like crust. I like that it can be cut into squares or just scooped into a bowl. I like that it can should be sprinkled with cilantro. I like the melted white cheese. What if I told you I liked putting guacamole on this?

I just don’t stand a chance against Tex-Mex gluttony right now.

Chicken Tamale Pie on a plate and a fork.

PS. I used my regular slow cooker for this recipe which is a Crock-Pot that I’ve had for the last five years. SO MUCH FOOD has come out of that thing over the life of this blog which is pretty impressive for a $28 kitchen appliance.

tamale pie

Carnitas Tamale Pie


This is a re-make of my most popular recipe, the Chicken Tamale Pie, made with Carnitas instead! Total comfort dinner food!


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 23 cups leftover carnitas
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded white cheese (Jack, White Cheddar, Pepperjack, etc.)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in the oil until the mixture makes soft crumbs. Whisk in the milk and egg. Add the cream corn and green chiles and stir until just combined. Bake in a 9-inch square pan (or larger, depending on how thick you want it) for 25 minutes or until set. Since it’s a tamale-like base, it won’t be completely dry like a cornbread. It’s supposed to be just a little mushy.
  2. Poke holes in the crust with a fork. Pour the enchilada sauce over the crust. Squeeze or drain excess moisture out of the carnitas and arrange on top of the crust. Sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Cover with foil, return to oven, and bake for 20 minutes. When everything is heated through, remove foil and let bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  4. Top with chopped cilantro, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and cut into slices or scoop into bowls.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: carnitas tamale pie, pork tamale pie, tamale pie

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