white pie dish with chicken tamale pie casserole

Low Carb Chicken Tamale Pie

Low Carb Chicken Tamale Pie is a hearty casserole that the whole family will love! Grain-free almond flour cornbread is topped with a homemade red enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, and mounds of cheese for the perfect low carb twist on this classic recipe.

Best Chicken Tamale Pie Recipe – Low Carb, Keto, LCHF, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free

a slice of low carb chicken tamale pie on a white plate

Shortly after giving birth to my son, I had a number of amazing friends who offered to bring over meals for us. I’m still thanking my lucky stars for that tribe of awesome women who helped us keep it together during those first few weeks. It’s a tough time. You need nourishment.

One of my dear friends, Hayley, made this incredible tamale pie with a cornbread base, shredded chicken, a red enchilada sauce, and smothered with cheese. It was incredible, and I say that knowing full well that it wasn’t my sleep deprived brain speaking at that time.

I still think about that casserole. However, cornbread is now off our approved food list, and it is not easy to find enchilada sauce that isn’t processed or full of sugar. So, I’m making my own low carb, grain-free version inspired by that amazing meal.

This recipe makes plenty of leftovers, so it is the perfect meal to take a sick friend or new parents; or, just keep that casserole dish for your own family. They’ll thank you.

a white pie dish full of low carb chicken tamale pie

How to make Low Carb Tamale Pie Casserole

Tamale Pie Ingredients

Keto Cornbread Base

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Erythritol
  • Baking powder
  • Blanched, ground almond flour

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • Garlic
  • Dried New Mexico Chili Peppers 
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Black pepper
keto chicken tamale casserole pine

Other ingredients

  • Shredded chicken
  • Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
  • Toppings: Sour cream, additional shredded cheese, salsa, hot sauce
keto corn bread tamale pie base in a white pan
I recommend poking holes in the cornbread base before topping with the sauce coated chicken.

Tips, tricks, and take-aways about the Keto Tamale Pie Casserole recipe and process:

Assemble layers as directed in order to save time. I recommend making the keto cornbread base first, then make the enchilada sauce while that is baking. Once both parts are ready, you can do quick assemble and pop the whole casserole into the oven. Before you top with the chicken mixture, poke holes in the partially cooked cornbread base to let some of the sauce work its way down. Sprinkle with a big handful of shredded Mexican cheeses. And let that cheese melt to a golden brown and dig in.

Feel free to adjust the heat. My husband and I like a kick to our enchilada sauce, so feel free to ease off the cayenne if you’re not into a little burn. The heat level is also somewhat dependant on the dried chili that you use. New Mexico/Anaheim Red Chilies are fairly mild, but if you opt for guajillo, you’ll have a more medium heat without adding the cayenne at all. Chile de Arbol or Chipotle are fairly hot, so if you include these, be wary.  

Don’t have left over chicken? Try something else! I’ve made this recipe with leftover carnitas, and it is absolutely dynamite. This sauce would work well with shredded or ground beef too. I haven’t tried ground turkey, but I would imagine that would also be yummy. The best part about this recipe is that the sauce and base are so versatile that you have control to use whatever protein is at your disposal.

Eaten piece of chicken tamale pie on a white dish

Don’t forget the toppings. I’m a firm believer in good toppings with Mexican food. I love to top a wedge of this tamale pie with sour cream, more shredded cheese, and my chipotle tomatillo salsa or hot sauce.

If you can find a traditional green tomatillo salsa, get it. I absolutely love that tangy fresh salsa on top of this pie.

Other Low Carb Keto-friendly Mexican Recipes you’ll love

Low Carb Chicken Tamale Pie
Yield: 8

Low Carb Chicken Tamale Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Low Carb Chicken Tamale Pie is a hearty casserole that the whole family will love! Grain-free almond flour cornbread is topped with a homemade red enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, and mounds of cheese for the perfect low carb twist on this classic recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs shredded chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

Cornbread Base

  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp erythritol
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 dried New Mexico chili peppers
  • 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a deep dish 9-in pie pan. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium saute pan over medium low heat. Toast garlic cloves (with papery skin still on!), blackening slightly on each side, about 3-5 minutes in total. Remove and set aside. Toast dried chilis slightly on each side, pressing them down. Remove chilis and soak in a bowl of hot water until reconstituted.
  3. Assemble "cornbread" base. In a mixing bowl, combine all listed ingredients. Stir to incorporate. Spoon batter into the pie pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just set.
  4. Meanwhile, make the enchilada sauce. Remove chilis from water. Remove papery skin from garlic cloves. Combine chilis, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon in a blender carafe. Pulse to combine into a smooth sauce. Push sauce through a mesh strainer to remove any bits of unprocessed chili skin or seeds. Pour sauce into a small sauce pan and heat on low until just warm. Salt and pepper to taste, and adjust heat level if desired.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400. Combine sauce and shredded chicken and toss to coat. Add chicken on top of the cornbread base. Top with shredded cheese. Return to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven, slice, and serve with toppings as desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 28g

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and make sure to join the @noshinandnumnums community on instagram or facebook and tag me in your cooking pictures! 

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