This keto tamale pie has everything for the most delicious low-carb dinner: ground chicken, grain-free crust, and lots of cheese. It's spicy, hearty, and a perfect option for those times when you're pressed for time but need something to feed your whole family.
With less than 5 grams of carbs per serving, this keto tamale pie can be served either as lunch or dinner. Also, it's Whole30 and made with only healthy ingredients.
If you enjoy eating tamale as much as I do, then there might be times when you badly miss it on a keto diet. But to tell you the truth, the low-carb version of tamale is not even a bit close to the real thing (and it takes much longer to cook them). So when I'm craving Mexican food, I almost always make this tamale pie.
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What Is Tamale?
Tamale is a Mexican dish (Mesoamerican cuisine) made with corn husks, cornbread dough mixture (also known as masa), ground meat, and cheese. Once you put together the tamales, they should be steamed until fully cooked.
Actually, there's nothing complicated in making tamales. However, when you try to make a low-carb version of the original tamale recipe, it turns out completely different. But still, it is pretty tasty.
Tamale vs. Tamale Pie
There is not much difference between tamale and tamale pie (or tamale casserole). The first one is made in corn husks and then is steamed. Meanwhile, tamale pie is made out of the same ingredients, just in the form of a pie, and without corn husks. And the biggest difference between them is that it is much quicker to make a tamale pie.
The same relates to the keto version of tamale and tamale pie. So, if you want to make Mexican food as fast as possible, you can just go with this keto tamale pie recipe.
Keto Tamale Pie Ingredients
Even though it may seem to you like you need lots of ingredients to make your keto tamale pie, all of them are pretty simple and can be easily found in almost any grocery store. And many of the ingredients can be substituted with other ones depending on what you expect from your tamale pie.
So here's what you need to make a keto tamale casserole:
- Ground meat - I used ground chicken for this recipe, but you can use ground beef or ground pork if you like. Or you can even use rotisserie chicken leftovers or pulled pork (trust me, it taste as good as with the other meat types);
- Herbs and spices (garlic powder, dried oregano, chili powder, salt) - it's totally up to you to choose which spices you want to use for your tamale pie. Here are some other ideas: taco seasoning, cayenne pepper, black ground pepper, onion powder, or cumin powder;
- Canned diced tomatoes and green chilies - if you don't have any, you can substitute them with tomato sauce and chopped green chili pepper;
- Shredded cheese - I like to use shredded cheddar for this recipe, but you can also use mozzarella, provolone, or any other cheese that you like;
- Eggs - when making keto dough for your tamale pie, the basis of it will be eggs;
- Milk - you can use either whole milk or plant-based milk (coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.);
- Flour - you'll need some coconut and almond flour to make the "cornbread" dough for your low carb tamale pie;
- Butter - just some melted butter will do the job ( I do not recommend substituting it with anything else);
- Baking powder - it is needed to raise the dough. If you want, you can use soda instead;
- Cornbread extract - this is totally optional. For the dough to taste even more close to the real thing, it's best to add a few drops of the extract;
That's it. Keep in mind that if you decide to substitute the original ingredients from the recipe with others, the recipe's nutritional value will also change (so make sure to remember that).
If you have any keto tamale pie leftovers, you should store them in your fridge. Just cover the baking pan with your tamale with some plastic food wrap, or place the leftovers in an airtight container. This way, you'll be able to store your leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
If you want, you can also make this tamale pie beforehand and freeze it. So, whenever you need to make something quickly for lunch or dinner, just throw the frozen tamale in your oven and heat it for 35 minutes.
Mexican Keto Tamale Pie
- Prepare a medium oven-safe skillet or baking pan by spraying it with some cooking oil. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a skillet over medium heat, fry the ground chicken for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic powder, dried oregano, chili powder, and the diced tomatoes and green chilies. Cook for 5 more minutes, constantly stirring. Then add the cheddar cheese and stir a few times until the cheese is fully melted.
- Take everything out of the skillet and place it on the bottom of your baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk up the eggs with milk, melted butter, and some salt. Add the coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, cornbread extract, and mix everything together to form the dough.
- Place the tamale pie dough on top of the chicken and cook in your oven for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some sour cream and jalapeno slices on top.