I originally came across an Instant Pot Tamale Pie on Facebook and, having just made some great Instant Pot Carnitas, I decided that making a version of the pie with it would be perfect! You can also use plain pulled pork or other meat of choice, such as taco filling, for your meat. Just avoid a filling that is very watery. This recipe is really pretty easy and it tastes great!
To make this cornbread Tamale Pie, you will need a springform pan. I used the one from this Instant Pot Accessories Set on Amazon. The recipe makes a fairly traditional tamale masa for the crust and them that is pressed into the pan.
Instant Pot Tamale Pie Masa Dough
To make masa dough, use a blender or a food processor to partially puree some corn. You could perhaps cheat this step by trying creamed corn instead, but I haven’t tested that.
Transfer the corn into a large bowl and add masa harina, chicken broth, baking powder, salt, and olive oil. Give it a stir, and then use your hands to mix it into a soft ball of dough. Masa Harina is the traditional dried corn flour used for Mexican tortillas and tamale filling.
You are now ready to press your cornbread tamale pie dough into the springform pan. Give the pan a spray with some non-stick cooking spray and press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the pan and all the way up the sides.
Assembling the Instant Pot Tamale Pie
Next, layer everything into the pan. Start with a layer of meat, then top with vegetables of choice, which in my case was onion and corn. Add a layer of cheese, and then more meat. I used pepper jack cheese for a bit of kick. You could add tomatoes, jalapenos, or any other items that appeal to you. When we get fresh tomatoes this summer, I plan add those.
Top the pan with the remaining 1/3 of the masa dough. Press flattened pieces across the top and pinch well at the edges to make sure everything is well covered. My dough looks odd in the below photo because I ran out and made a bit more minus the corn. I have adjusted the recipe to make more dough. If you have left over dough, discard it. Try not to go too thick with it because it expands when it cooks.
Pressure Cook and Broil the Tamale Pie
Cover the pan with foil. While you can cover only the top, I like to encase the entire pan to assure that no liquid gets inside.
Make a sling with a strip of foil for ease of placing the pan in the Instant Pot and for removing it easily.
Add 1 ½ cups water to the Instant Pot and place a trivet inside. Lower the pan into the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then use quick release.
Turn your oven broiler to high. Remove the pan and foil, and then add around 1/2 cup shredded cheese to the top. Pop the Instant Pot Tamale Pie under the broiler until the cheese is melted and turns a golden brown.
To serve the tamale pie, run a knife around the edge and then remove the ring from the pan. Use a knife to cut wedges. I like to top my tamale pie with guacamole and sour cream. You can also garnish with cilantro, peppers, onion, salsa, or any favorite Mexican topping.
I also serve my Instant Pot Tamale Pie with Instant Pot Refried Beans, which is my absolute favorite way to make beans now.
You can keep leftovers of the tamale pie in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It also freezes fine.
Easy Instant Pot Tamale Pie
- For the Masa Dough
- 2½ cups drained, canned or fresh corn
- 2 cups masa harina
- ½ cup warm chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- For the Filling
- 1½ cups Instant Pot Carnitas or meat of choice
- 1½ cups vegetables of choice (I used onion and corn. Try also, beans, jalapeno, bell pepper, tomatoes etc.)
- 1½ cups shredded cheese of choice. (I used pepper jack)
- To make masa dough: pulse corn in a blender of food processor until partially pureed.
- Pour the corn into a large bowl and add masa harina, broth, baking powder, salt, and olive oil.
- Stir and use hands to combine into a ball of soft dough.
- Coat an Instant Pot springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Layer ¾ cups of meat with vegetables, 1 cup of cheese, and the remaining meat.
- Press flattened pieces of masa dough over the top of the pan to form the top crust, pinch to assure that the pie is fully covered.
- Cover the pan with foil.
- Make a sling with a foil strip and place it under the pan.
- Add 1 ½ cups water to the Instant Pot.
- Place a trivet inside and lower the pan onto the trivet.
- Pressure cook at high pressure for 35 minutes then quick release.
- Turn oven broiler to high.
- Remove the pan and foil, add ½ cup cheese on top, and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned, about 3 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pie and remove the ring from the pan.
- Cut the pie into wedges and serve with guacamole, sour cream, and other desired toppings.