In this Tex-Mex casserole inspired by chicken tamales, a saucy chicken filling with a soft polenta or grits topping is baked in a casserole dish. While it can't take the place of true tamales, it certainly makes for an easy and scrumptious weeknight dinner. Source:, September 2020

Carolyn Casner


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Place tomatoes, 1/2 cup broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in chicken and black beans. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

  • Combine the remaining 2 cups broth and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour in cornmeal (or grits) in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  • Reserve 1 tablespoon scallions. Combine the remaining scallions, 1/2 cup Cheddar and egg in a small bowl. Quickly stir the cheese mixture into the hot cornmeal mixture until combined.

  • Spread the cornmeal mixture over the chicken mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon scallions. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

380 calories; total fat 9.7g 15% DV; saturated fat 4g; cholesterol 104mg 35% DV; sodium 531mg 21% DV; potassium 681mg 19% DV; carbohydrates 37.7g 12% DV; fiber 7.5g 30% DV; sugar 2g; protein 34.9g 70% DV; exchange other carbs 3; vitamin a iu 1175IU; vitamin c 4mg; folate 65mcg; calcium 169mg; iron 4mg; magnesium 66mg; thiaminmg.