This keto tamale pie is sure to satisfy those Mexican food cravings! Richly seasoned ground beef topped with a grain-free coconut and almond flour crust. And plenty of cheese too! It’s an easy and delicious low carb dinner recipe.
This easy keto tamale pie is a wonderful dinner recipe with all the great flavors of real tamales. You won’t miss the corn, I promise! And I’ve given it a little update so now it’s even meatier and lower in carbs.
I do believe that a little bit of ground beef, some taco seasoning, and plenty of melty cheese may be the way to my kids’ hearts!
Tasting real tamales for the first time
The first time I tasted real tamales was at Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. I have to admit, I’ve had some interesting experiences in my day.
After I finished my BA at the University of British Columbia, I was offered an internship at an archaeological center in southwestern Colorado, right in the heart of the Four Corners region. This was actually where I met my husband, who had just finished up his own internship and liked the place so much he took a job working at their front desk.
We made a day trip to Zuni Pueblo for a Feast Dance, and were honoured to be invited into the homes to take part in the feast. We were plied with food and drink, and it was there that I first spotted the corn-husk wrapped tamales.
Canadian-born Gringa that I was, I had absolutely no idea what they were. But one taste of a real tamal and it was love at first bite. From thence forward, I ordered them every chance I got.
Easy keto tamale casserole
Fast forward about a decade and diabetes put tamales on the naughty list for me. All that lovely steamed corn dough is not exactly diabetes-friendly. But I have since discovered that coconut flour can be made to taste quite a bit like cornbread. Add a little corn extract or cornbread flavor and it’s quite an acceptable facsimile. My keto cornbread recipe is extremely popular for that very reason.
By all accounts, it’s a lot of work to make real tamales, carefully filling the corn husks, wrapping them, and steaming to tender perfection. Very few of us are up to the challenge on a busy weeknight.
But we can get the same great flavours in a keto tamale pie. Simply cook some ground beef or pork with spices, top it with some faux cornbread, and bake it all in the same pan, and you have a delicious low carb dinner in under an hour.
I apologize to my Pueblo friends for the lack of authenticity. All that really matters is that it tastes good, right? It’s a new family favourite in our house!
How to make keto tamale pie
Brown the ground meat: You can use all ground beef, or a mix of ground beef and ground pork. You could even use ground turkey in this recipe. You want to cook it until it’s no longer pink but you don’t want to let it become too dry.
What seasonings to use? I used an organic taco seasoning blend I get at a nearby grocer. But you can always make your own or you can grab this healthy taco seasoning from Primal Palate. Whatever you use, be sure to check your labels for fillers and sugars.
I also amped up the heat and flavour with an additional tablespoon of chili powder and some chopped jalapeno. Those additions are optional, depending on your tastes.
A little tomato paste and water helps make the filling nice and saucy but not too wet. Then top that lovely spicy filling with some shredded cheese, if so desired.
Keto cornbread topping: You might recognize this mixture as similar to my keto cornbread recipe. And you would be right. Coconut flour with a little almond flour and a little sweetener makes an excellent grain-free “cornbread”.
Spread the topping over the filling, all the way to the edges. In essence, you want to seal the juicy fillings into the pan before baking. Then simply bake until the topping is golden brown and firm.
Serve with your favorite toppings! We love it with sour cream and some chopped tomatoes and avocado.
Keto Tamale Pie is a healthy and easy family friendly meal!
More delicious keto Mexican recipes
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Easy Keto Enchilada Skillet
- Keto Mexican Shredded Beef
- Keto Carnitas
- Keto Albondigas Soup
- Keto Paleo Burrito Bowls
Keto Tamale Pie
- 2 lb ground beef or pork
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp chili powder (optional)
- 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tbsp butter melted
- 1/8 tsp cornbread flavor (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet set over medium heat, brown the ground beef with a little salt and pepper until mostly cooked through, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the the taco seasoning, chili powder, and jalapeno.
- In a small bowl, whisk the tomato paste with the water until well combined. Pour over the beef and stir in, then remove from heat. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- In a large bowl, whisk the coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the eggs, butter, and cornbread flavor until well combined.
- Add the water a little a time until the batter is thick but spreadable.
- Dollop the batter over the beef in the pan. Use a knife or an offset spatula to spread over the top and to the edges.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the top is firm to the touch. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before serving.