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Black Bean Tamale Pie! This weeknight meal is healthy and filling! Black Bean and Zucchini Chili topped with homemade cornbread. Baked to perfection! Vegan with Gluten-Free option.
Black Bean Tamale Pie! This weeknight meal is healthy and incredibly filling. A simple black bean and zucchini chili topped with homemade cornbread, then baked to golden-brown perfection!
I’m fairly certain that I will love any recipe that includes the words ‘cornbread crust’ in the description, but this tamale pie might just take the cake. The flavor of vegetarian tamales with a fraction of the work.
Start by making the bottom layer; a simple black bean chili that comes together in just 15 minutes.
Prep all of the vegetable ingredients first. Chop the onion, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or stock pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
From there, stir in the zucchini and bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes until tender. Sprinkle in the spices along with the drained and rinsed black beans and tomatoes with their juices.
Just like regular chili, you can season until your heart’s content. I use the usual suspects: chili powder, cayenne, cumin and coriander but feel free to turn up the heat with chopped jalapeños or other spices.
Now comes the best part– the cornbread crust. Essentially, tamale pie is just chili and cornbread combined together in one pan. And for me, it’s not chili unless I’ve got a side of cornbread. I’m using my favorite cornbread recipe here that’s only 7 ingredients and requires just one bowl.
While the chili is cooking, mix up the cornbread filling and set aside. If you cooked the chili in an oven safe skillet, like a cast-iron then you are ready to go. Otherwise, you can pour the bean mixture to a casserole dish or other oven-safe skillet.
Top with the cornbread filling, then place in the oven and cook until hot and bubbly.
Pie goes in the oven, delicious dinner comes out. How great is that? If you decide to use a casserole pan or baking dish for this instead of a skillet, make sure your chili is fairly saucy. It will dry out as it cooks in the oven and you want enough moisture to create the best part of this meal —> the thin layer of soggy cornbread that’s been baked in chili juice.
The top layer is slightly crunchy, the underneath is perfectly soggy. The texture is so perfect. Good luck not picking off the cornbread topping as you dish this one up!
For an easy weeknight shortcut, you can use any box mix that you’d like for the cornbread topping. If using a boxed version, then I highly recommend adding in the canned chilis and cheddar, either regular or dairy-free cheese to elevate the boxed version.
Or, alternatively you can use any chili recipe and top with this homemade cornbread topping.
You can top this pie with whatever you’d like. I usually go with avocado slices, fresh cilantro, salsa and thinly sliced scallions.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! This recipe was originally posted in 2015, updated in 2021 based on user feedback.Print
Black Bean Tamale Pie! This weeknight meal is healthy and filling! Black Bean and Zucchini Chili topped with homemade cornbread, baked to perfection! Vegan with gluten-free option. Originally posted in 2015; updated in 2021.
Black Bean Chili Filling:
For a cheesy cornbread topping, stir in shredded cheddar cheese (either regular or dairy-free) to the cornbread mixture.
Once it’s baked, enjoy as is or top like you would your favorite chili!
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