Instant Pot Tamale Casserole has seasoned ground beef, corn, olives, tomatoes and cheese with corn bread baked on top. An easy one pot meal made fast in your Instant Pot or slow in your Crockpot.
SLOW COOKER tamale casserole instructions listed in the recipe card below.
Instant Pot Tamale Casserole
I was a bit nervous about this recipe, not knowing if the cornbread part on top would cook through and taste good. Turns out I had nothing to worry about! This Instant Pot tamale casserole was wonderful! We scarfed the whole pot down in minutes.
To make the casserole I used the pot-in-pot method. This ensures that the the burn error message won’t happen and that I can control how liquid-y the casserole is or isn’t. For the pot-in-pot method you’ll need a tall oven safe dish that fits inside your Instant Pot. I used this 3 quart Instant Pot liner* inside my 6 quart Instant Pot liner. Genius! It works so well. I believe that the Fat Daddios 7 inch by 4 inch pan* would also work well. And, no, you can’t use the 6 quart Instant Pot liner inside the 8 quart pot. It is too big and will get stuck.
Authentic tamales are a traditional Mexican dish with corn masa that is filled and wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves before being steamed. Corn masa can be hard to find and if you know me you know that I like cooking with items in my house in the easiest way possible. For this tamale casserole I used corn meal. This is not an authentic recipe but it sure tastes good and I think you’ll really love it too!
What should I serve with Instant Pot tamale casserole?
There are so many great toppings that you can serve on your casserole. Try these:
- Diced avocados
- Extra cheddar
- Diced tomatoes
- Salsa, picante sauce or pico de gallo
- Shredded lettuce
- Sour cream or Creme Fraiche
- Cilantro or green onions
This is a great one pot meal where veggies, protein and carbs are all in one dish. If you want extra veggies serve alongside a green salad or top with shredded lettuce.
More Recipes You’ll Love…
Instant Pot Dump and Go Meatball Lasagna
Instant Pot Salisbury Steak Meatballs
Instant Pot 5 Ingredient Beef Enchiladas Casserole
Instant Pot King Ranch Chicken
Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Tamale Casserole
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
Tamale Casserole has seasoned ground beef, corn, olives, tomatoes and cheese with corn bread baked on top. An easy one pot meal made fast in your Instant Pot or slow in your Crockpot.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning, dividing
- 1 (14.5 oz) can corn, drained
- 1 (2.25 oz) can sliced olives, drained
- 1 (10 oz) can Rotel (I used mild)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup corn meal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 cup grated cheddar
- Optional toppings: diced avocado, cilantro, sour cream, diced tomatoes
- In a pan on your stove or in your Instant Pot on the saute setting brown the ground beef with 1 Tbsp of the taco seasoning. If there is excess grease, drain it off. Clean out Instant Pot (if used).
- Add the ground beef to a tall pan that will fit inside your Instant Pot (I use this 3 quart pot inside my 6 quart pot). Add in the corn, olives, rotel, black beans (if desired) and 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning. Stir to combine.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the egg, milk, oil and sugar. Stir until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the cornbread batter. Cover the pot with foil.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the pan on a trivet with handles*. Lower the trivet and pot into the Instant Pot. Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 30 minutes. When time is up perform a quick release.
- Remove the pot and remove the foil. Scoop onto plates and serve with desired toppings.
Slow Cooker Instructions: Brown the ground beef with 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning. Drain off excess grease. In your slow cooker stir together the beef, corn, olives, rotel, black beans (if desired) and 1 Tbsp taco seasoning. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the egg, milk, oil and sugar. Stir until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the cornbread batter. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Scoop onto plates and serve with desired toppings.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Gary Kaetzel says
I made this yesterday and I LOVE it!!!! I used 2 envelopes of hot taco seasoning and a can of Rotel with habaneros so mine has a nice bite to it. I think it’d make the best burrito/taco filling and that’s what I’m going to do with it. It needs nothing else to make it perfect! Thanks for yet another great recipe!!! You rock!
Nice! That’s a great idea to use it as burrito filling! Thanks for the 5 stars Gary!
Patricia Morris says
This wasn’t to our taste. We made this dish last night in our Instant Pot and thought it would be really good but ours was a bit underwhelming. As published it would be perfect for families with children.
It was relatively flavourless despite the addition of high quality extra taco seasoning and cayenne pepper from Penzey’s Spices, medium Rotel, ‘mexicorn with poblano peppers, black beans, and a Mexican” blend of cheese on top including some Monterey Jack.
Despite the addition of all the extra seasoning into the ingredients and adding some fire roasted tomatoes when serving, it wasn’t at all flavourful and lacked salt. We discovered that our canned Goya beans contained only 130mg of salt instead of the 400+ mg per can of many brands so were partially responsible for the lack of salt.
We will make this again with some alterations to the spice levels & types and top it with the contents of a packet of spicy cornbread mix or just serve it with tortillas and shredded lettuce. 😊
I like those ideas to add extra flavor!
Cin Tay says
Do you have other recipes that use the 3 qt liner in the 6 qt liner – for pot in pot recipes?? Thanks 🙂
Yes I do. I need to organize them all but for you now you can start here: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/tag/pot-in-pot/
Erin Volker says
I used stackable steamer insert pans as I did not have a pan with high sides to fit my 6 Qt IP. I divided ingredients in half into each pan. I increased the cornbread mix to 3/4 c. Corn meal, 2/3 c flour, 2/3 c. Milk, and 2 eggs instead of one. I tweaked the baking soda and salt slightly. I also added a bit of chopped jalapeno pepper and mixed the cheese into the batter instead of putting the cheese on top. I stacked and sealed the pans and added it to pot with 1 cup water. I cooked mine 40 minutes. The top pan was perfect but the bottom one had a slight undone look to the cornbread. The top one could feed 4 people. I saved the second pan and assume the warm up will solve the “undone” problem.
Good to know your experience. I would have thought the bottom pan would get more done because it’s closer to heating element. Weird!
Lori Sari says
I don’t have the 3 qt. liner, so I used my Fat Daddio cake pan (it just fit the ingredients). The cornbread wasn’t cooked through after 30 minutes. I’m cooking for another 10 minutes, and hopefully that will do the trick! Do you know why it took longer to cook?
Oh shoot! I’m not sure. There have been such mixed results with anything that has to be “baked” in the Instant Pot.
Could you line one of the instant pot steamer baskets with heavy duty aluminum foil and use that?
Sure! I bet that would work!
René Lacombe says
Thanks for all the all the really good recipes you are making and showing how to do. A thousand thanks and please continue your good work is’t soooo delicious. One of your fan French Canadian
Ahhh, you are sweet. Thank you!!
Made tonight. It was good except cornbread was not done and soggy. Problem is u can’t tell until u scoop it out. Any tips?
Next time I would cook longer. Mine came out well done. So I’m not sure the difference. It happens with different pots and altitudes perhaps.
I made it tonight, and it was outstanding. It is my new favorite IP recipe. I didn’t have canned corn but had leftover fresh corn on the cob from the farmers market. I cut it off the cob and used that. I used buttermilk instead of milk because I needed to use it up. Both alterations were delicious. This is a great, easy, fun to make, absolutely delicious recipe!
I love both of those ideas!
Could you do this with uncooked beans?
no, but you could pressure cook the dried beans separately to begin and then do the recipe as stated: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xXh75S_z6f9uVeGNIopcNqMVn3oOXpK4UrVdjuSaWqk/edit?usp=sharing
Richard Vereb says
I have an 8 inch diameter Fat Daddio’s pan for my 8qt IP. The pan should hold enough volume. Can’t wait to try it. I have always loved tamales.
Hope you like it Richard!!
Used everything except olives. Cornbread was moist in the middle. Finished under broiler. Love it.
Next time I’ll use a bundt pan (no middle).
Good plan using the bundt! It comes in handy!
I made this tonight and, we really liked it. The problem we always had with the Instant Pot was been, way too much leftovers. This pot in a pot method solves that. I don’t mind eating the same thing twice in a week but, I don’t want to eat the same thing all week long. Now, I did make a couple of small adjustments like, I only used half of the beans, corn, and Rotel, and I used a whole packet of taco seasoning. I also added some diced onion and diced jalapeños to the ground beef while browning it. I vacuum sealed and froze the remaining beans, corn and, Rotel for next time. There will definitely be a next time.
Good tips on saving for next time! I’m so glad you liked it Mike!
Sandra Brown says
Hi Karen, I am just curious to know if the slow cooker function would work for this recipe on the instant pot. My actual slow cooker is big so the meal would just spread out more if you know what I mean, which I guess is okay. I need to get the 3 quart liner for my 6 quart instant pot yet as you suggested. With all my pots and pans you would think that I will find something that is deep and will work in the instant pot for today though. I just have to look more! I have heard that the slow cooker function on the instant pot does not work the same as a regular slow cooker.
I am skeptical about the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot working well for this recipe. I just have not had a good experience with it and have not heard others having a good experience. I would just try it in your large slow cooker.
Sandra Brown says
Thanks for your response about the instant pot’s slow cooker function, it looks like I won’t be trying that function anytime soon. Maybe one day when it’s only for me!
I ended up making this Tamale Casserole yesterday in my instant pot as time ran out. It was good, especially the cornmeal topping. I just used one rounded teaspoon of sugar to my taste. The timing of 30 minutes was perfect. It came up to pressure quite fast and with no slow release, it was quite fast to make. Thanks Karen.
Yay! So glad it worked out well. And you’re right on how fast it comes to pressure.
Looks delicious! Thanks for posting all these wonderful recipes! Do you have any recommendations for a pot to use for the pot-in-pot method for an 8 qt. IP besides the Daddios 4″ cake pan? Looking for something that is a lot deeper that will feed more. Thanks! 🙂
I’d use the 3 quart IP liner: https://amzn.to/3djcQ73
Hi Karen, My Hubby’s fav! I am so glad to see it for the IP 🙂 Can I use my Fat Daddios pan like the one you used for the IP Beef Enchilada Casserole. That was amazing also! One other question: my IP seems to now produce a lot more liquid around under the lid and in the little clear cup in the back. It is about a year and a half old and I use it a ton, should I get a new gasket? It isn’t a problem, is this normal after it gets “broken in”? THANKS!
I think the Fat Daddios would work just fine. I’ve never heard that about the liquid. I’m really not sure! You could try a new seal and see if that helps. They are cheap to order on amazon.
Thank you Karen! I did go back and see your mention of the Fat Daddios pan, I guess I missed it the first time. Thanks again for all you do!
You are welcome 😊😊😊
Brenda W. says
Just curious if you think I could use a gluten free corn bread mix for the top? Not sure if I can interchange flour for this.
Oh I bet that would be fine!
Do you have to use the pot in pot method? This looks delicious but I don’t have a smaller pot. I also use a Fagor pressure cooker (not IP) so I’m not sure the link you included to the smaller pot would fit.
You’d have to add liquid to the bottom of the pot for it to work. I would add in 1 cup of broth. Then the meat mixture. Finally spoon the cornbread on top. Cook for only 15-20 minutes instead of the 30. Not sure if it will work out! The biggest concern is that it will be really watery. The cornbread will get dripped on the whole time. Then the bottom part will have more of a soup consistency.
Karen, the newer (?) little video speeds by quickly – I can either look at the photo or read, but not really both. Is there a way to slow it down? And this recipe looks delicious. It reminds me a little of years ago making baked beans with cornbread – the cornbread batter is poured over the baked beans so is baked on the top and a little goes down into the beans. Delicious!
That sounds so delicious!
As far as the video goes I don’t know how to slow it down although you could push pause. A better option is to scroll down past the recipe and there are photos of the video in still format plus the wording so that you can read it.
james pierson says
AS USUAL YOU FORGET TO INCLUDE IN YOUR RECIPES IF YOU USE THE LOW OR HIGH PRESSURE!!!!! WHEN WILL YOU CORRECT THIS??????
Instead of being insulting, you should use a little common sense. You could use high!!!
If you look at the picture you can see the high pressure light on as well.
Just assume every recipe is high pressure unless told otherwise. One of the main benefits of an IP is cooking quickly, and low pressure cooks more slowly, which defeats the purpose. In fact I’ve never made a recipe that uses low pressure – it’s sometimes used for delicate dishes.
Sorry! Every single recipe I write is HIGH PRESSURE. So just always assume that it’s high pressure.
Some people are just jerks!! Thank you for all the work you do to bring us these fabulous recipes!!!
Thanks Becky I’m so happy you enjoy the recipes here 😊
Maxine Fillmore says
James, do you realize this is not about you. Karen does a great service for us all. Do you have narcissistic or mental problems or are you just a jerk? If you read her postings, you would know that it is always HI PRESSURE. She has stated that a dozen times. If you don’t like it, move to another site that is more about you.
Can you use jiffy cornbread instead of making the cornbread?
Ellyn, I used Jiffy and it works just fine. This is a super recipe and will adjust to all kinds of changes. Thank you Karen for being so thorough in your explanation.
Kathy H. says
Sounds delicious! I live close to a store that has freshly made masa for tamale making. I was wondering if I used that as the topping instead of the cornbread mixture if it would come out okay. And if the timing would be the same. What do you think?
I bet it would be the same timing!! Try it!