Chicken Tamale Bake

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Chicken Tamale Bake is an easy and delicious twist on classic Chicken Tamales. This stuff is so crazy good that I even licked my plate clean! With just a handful of ingredients this can be on your dinner table in no time tonight!

Chicken Tamale Bake

A couple’a weeks ago I had such’a hankerin’ for chicken tamales that I didn’t even know what to do with myself and unfortunately, we don’t really have a place in town here that has real good tamales. I’ve never made tamales on my own and the whole process sounded a bit intimidating for even me, especially on a Tuesday afternoon an hour before I had to pick up Pepper from preschool.

So what’s a girl to do? I saw this recipe on and knew I needed it in my belly! Changed it up a bit to do my own thing, made it skinny-ish, used chicken breast, etc. I hoped to make a lil somethin’ that kinda sorta reminded me of tamales. So, I crossed my fingers n’ toes and threw it in the oven.

Oh lawdy, it was good. AND SO EASY, almost too easy. The only thing that would have made this Chicken Tamale Bake better is if I would have had some homemade enchilada sauce on hand. The canned stuff does the trick, but if you like to make your own. Do it! I’m actually going to make a batch up next time I make this bake. I’ll share that recipe with y’all sometime soon too!

Chicken Tamale Bake

This Chicken Tamale Bake makes for the BEST weeknight dinner, friends. You know those nights you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t want to eat out, and it’s 6 o’clock? I feel like that’s my actual life lately. Yeah, this was made for one of those nights with the help from a box of Jiffy, rotisserie chicken breast, and a few pantry staples. You can have this on the table in under an hour with mostly hands off time!

Let’s get in the kitchen and make this Chicken Tamale Bake!

Chicken Tamale Bake mixing bowl with ingredients ready to be mixed

First things first, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Then, grab yourself a mixing bowl and add one box of Jiffy Cornbread mix, 1 can of sweet corn, 1 egg, taco seasoning, 1/2 cup skim milk, and 1 can fire roasted chopped green chiles (mild or hot depending on spice preference).

Chicken Tamale Bake Ingredients being mixed together

Stir it up until then ingredients are combined.

cornbread Ingredients in a baking dish

Add cornbread mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish that’s been sprayed well with cooking spray. Pop it into the oven for 25 minutes.

*While the cornbread is baking. Stir together two cups of rotisserie chicken breast or diced cooked chicken breast (my Easy Baked Chicken recipe would also be perfect for this!) 1 can pinto beans (drained, but not rinsed), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper (for heat, optional!)

cornbread after being pulled from the oven

When the “cornbread” is done remove from the oven and poke a bunch’a holes into it.

Enchilada sauce over cornbread

Drizzle a can of enchilada sauce on top of the cornbread.

Enchilada sauce being poured over pinto beans and chicken breast

Add chicken and beans then drizzle a whole can over that.

Chicken Tamale Bake before going into the oven

Add cheese, naturally.

I’ve got about 1/2 cup here of Colby Jack made with 2% milk. Place it back into the oven for about 15 minutes, uncovered.

chicken tamale bake after coming out of the oven

Drrrrrrrrrrroooool. Add fresh cilantro, especially if you aren’t one of those folks who thinks it tastes like soap. Ha!

I’m also going to say that we enjoyed leftovers EVEN more with a dollop of light sour cream (not greek yogurt), diced tomatoes, and lettuce on top. This reheats really well in the microwave or in the oven which makes it a good one for meal prep!

Chicken Tamale Bake on a plate

It’s not the most photogenic and it’s kind of a mess once it goes on a plate, but man it’s good eatin’ so who even cares!?

Chicken Tamale Bake Finished out of the oven with chopped cilantro

I hope y’all love this Chicken Tamale Bake as much as we did! Be sure to leave me comment and let me know it went or post a photo on Instagram and tag @theskinnyishdish!

With lots’a love from my kitchen to yours,


Chicken Tamale Bake

Chicken Tamale Bake is a easy and delicious twist on classic chicken tamales.
Print Recipe
Chicken Tamale Bake
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:40 mins


  • 1- 8.5 oz box Jiffy Cornbread mix
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1- 4 ounce can green chiles
  • 1- 15.5 ounce can Pinto Beans drained, but not rinsed
  • 1- 15 ounce can corn drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast I used Rotisserie chicken breast
  • tsp cayenne pepper optional for an extra kick
  • 2- 10 ounce cans red enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese made with 2% milk
  • cooking spray

Optional goodies to top it off with

  • chopped cilantro
  • light sour cream
  • pickled Jalapeños
  • chopped tomatoes
  • lettuce


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a bowl add cornbread mix, milk, egg, taco seasoning, corn, and green chiles. Stir together. Pour mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish that's been sprayed well with cooking spray.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. While the cornbread mixture is baking. Season the chicken and pinto beans with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  • When the cornbread mixture is done baking poke a bunch of holes into it and pour one can of the enchiladas sauce on top then add the chicken and beans on top followed by the second can of enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Place bake into the oven, uncovered, for about 12-15 minutes. Slice into 6 servings and top each serving with whatever toppings you desire. Enjoy!


Serving size 1/6 of pan
355 Calories, 8.5g fat, 4g saturated fat, 46g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 0g added sugar, 22.5g protein. 
WeightWatchers Points: 9 Points
Please note if you are calculating the WW points you will need to use the recipe builder in the app or on their website. If you calculate the nutritional information then it will not add up the same because the nutritional information includes all ingredients including those that WW says are zero points. 
Servings: 6
Author: Star @ the skinny-ish dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @theskinnyishdish or tag #skinnyishdishrecipes!

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  1. 5 stars
    10 out 10! I made it with ground chicken but next time I’ll try it with the shredded chicken. Someone on here said they tried it with green sauce and loved it. That sounds fun too lol. Thank you for this yummy recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Used roasted corn and added black olives. I’ll definitely be making this over and over again! Thank you!

    1. Oh yum! Great additions =) So happy you enjoyed it, Jennifer! Thank you so much for letting me know!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!!
    Super easy and delicious.
    I topped the dish with cilantro and then added shredded lettuce and sour cream to my serving.
    My husband went back for thirds!!!
    Thank you for creating and sharing this recipe, it’s great for busy nights as well.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this numerous times. We made it for dinner this week and we ate it for dinner again on the second night. My husband finished it off on the 4th night and said “It just gets better every time I eat it!”.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and we both loved it. The only thing I added were some chopped jalapeños because we like it pretty spicy! Will definitely add to the rotation!

  6. 5 stars
    I recently joined WW, and have been cruising blogs to find good recipes, so finding your blog was a big win for me. Tonight I made the Chicken Tamale Bake and it was absolutely delicious – I already have several more of your recipes pinned and can’t wait to try the next one. Please keep them coming!

  7. 5 stars
    This is also a favorite in our house. Easy and delicious. Someone is always scrambling to eat the last little bit that is left in the pan. I should probably start doubling this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I’m surprised this didn’t make the top 25 of the year. Absolutely my most favorite Skinny-ish Dish yet!

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious meal that everyone in my house enjoys! Super easy to put together and even better for lunch the next day! #top2021

  10. This looks sooo good, definitely next on my list to try! Your recipes have not failed me yet, they’re all healthier without sacrificing taste #top2021

  11. I’m sad this didn’t make #top2021 It’s on repeat in our house. I do add extra spices because I like it HOT but it’s so good and an easy meal prep.

  12. 5 stars
    This was the first recipe I made from the skinnyish dish. I cannot count how many times I have made it since then! Per our personal preference, we use the green sauce and it is still wonderful. Thank you 🙂 #top2021

  13. 5 stars
    My college kid loves this meal. We made it again today for her to take frozen portions back with her after the break. It freezes perfectly! Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    I did 2 lbs of shredded rotisserie chicken and made it into 10 servings to reduce the carbs without affecting the protein and it came out AMAZING!!!!

  15. 5 stars
    Finally got around to trying this (been waiting for cooler weather but couldn’t wait any longer). After the first bite I asked my husband how it was. “Good” he responded. But after a few more bites he said, “this is really good! Make this again”. Definitely adding to our go-to weeknight meals.

    Your recipes are always amazing! Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    This was wonderful! Its going on our dinner rotation list. I was worried that the kids and hubby might not like it but everyone loved it and had seconds!

  17. 5 stars
    Another hit!! I made a couple substitutions- used almond milk instead of skim milk and used black beans instead of pinto and it was delicious! So easy!!

  18. 5 stars
    I make this for my lunch prep at least once a month! So delicious and the portions are huge! It’s also a fantastic way to use leftover chicken!!

  19. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! A breeze to put together and I couldn’t wait for it to be ready. I’m trying to freeze half of it already baked so I’ll have to see how that turns out. Thank you for sharing this!

  20. 5 stars
    This is so good I had a piece of the leftovers for breakfast! Even my 12 year old step daughter had a second serving for her bedtime snack! My husband came home with 2 15 oz cans of enchilada sauce. I was was afraid 30 oz of enchilada sauce would make it too soggy and didn’t want to open both cans and waste some of the sauce. So I used just 1 can divided and it turned out perfect!

  21. 5 stars
    Oh my heavens! So good! I added an extra can of pinto beans and 1/3 of a poblano pepper that needed to be used. We’re already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

  22. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! Something everybody at my house loved. I even shared with my nephew across the street and he gave it a two thumbs up! I love the Skinnyish Dish! Recipes with real food without a lot of frou frou.

    1. without a lot of frou frou! That should be my tag line. Haha! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Lynn! Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment and let me know!

  23. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner one Sunday night, and it was so easy to throw together and PACKED with flavor! The portion size was large enough to even keep my husband full for a while. I had enough for leftovers for lunch throughout the week, and it only got better with time. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

  24. 5 stars
    If I could give this 6 stars I ABSOLUTELY WOULD. My goodness, this was amazing!! The spices are perfect, the cornbread base is perfect, everything is perfect. Star has done it again!!

  25. 5 stars
    This recipe has made it into my regular rotation. So good and easy to make! I only use one can of enchilada sauce, but otherwise stick to the recipe exactly. Thank you!

  26. I made this for the first time last week and it was a hit! So tasty and filling! It will be on our regular rotation. Thanks for the great recipes!

  27. 5 stars
    This one one of my many favorite recipes!! My whole family loves it too!!
    Instagram: erinsue22

  28. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious! I decided to try this as my meal prep for the week, and I already can’t wait to have it again tomorrow! Thank you!

  29. 5 stars
    I tried something like this recipe on another website and had the thought- there ia somethibg missing. Then I found this recipe and it was perfect! A right mix of enchilada sauce, chicken, and cheese. Definitely the best!

  30. 5 stars
    This has been added to our dinner rotation. It is so easy and so good. I recently made it with ground turkey instead of the shredded chicken just to change things up. Yum!

  31. 5 stars
    I made this with smoked chicken from a local barbecue place, and it was absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

    (IG handle for giveaway: @melohtan)

  32. Absolutely amazing!! I eyeballed this recipe for MONTHS and I’m so sad I waited so long to make it!

  33. 4 stars
    Another winner! I made it to the exact recipe and I’d give it a 5 star. My husband said he wished the cornbread wasn’t so soggy from the
    Sauce and he wished it would have been two components (corn bread and then chicken/bean/sauce on the side) I’ll definitely make it again but modify so the corn bread is separate.

  34. 5 stars
    Made this tonight using the instapot shredded chicken recipe. Let me tell you….this is fire! Not too spicy…cornbread was awesome and such a large portion! My husband ate 2 servings and said yep winner. He was close to licking his plate. Thanks for another great recipe Star.

  35. 5 stars
    We LOVE this recipe and now have it in our meal planning rotation. The cornbread really makes it! Anxious to try more of your recipes!

  36. 5 stars
    Talk about a warm you up meal that gives you a nice, hearty portion! We had this on a snowy day and sent leftovers to two neighbor couples who agreed it hit the spot!
    It reminded me of chili with jalapeno cornbread. Mmm!

  37. 5 stars
    How many times can I say I love this dish? The leftovers freeze beautifully for one of those “I don’t feel like cooking” nights. But, please, please, please, give us your enchilada sauce recipe!

    That begging finished, your recipes are the bomb diggity bomb! The Star recipes in my binder all have multiple ⭐️S at the top. Keep them coming & can’t wait for a cookbook!

    Happy New Year to you & the fam! Glad you’re settling in down here in the south…one of these days you’ll need to take a road trip to south Louisiana!

    1. Thank you so much Betty!! We want to take so many road trips all over the place. We hope to do lots more exploring this coming summer. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipes!

  38. We made this tonight and it was amazing! Definitely will be making this in our weekly rotation!

    1. 5 stars
      Tried this the other night and it was a big hit:) went to the store next day to have all I need for the next time I wanna make it 😉 @reloveall Thanks Star

  39. This looks great! We make a similar one, then refrigerate it over night, and reheat it in the oven (20-25 min at 350) inside the corn husks (if you use fresh corn). Makes for a nice authentic touch. Thanks!

  40. The recipe looks great but Jiffy is full of chemicals so I subbed a healthier corn bread mix. I ended up making 2 recipes and used double the taco seasoning for each one. I couldn’t find the Colorado enchilada sauce, just regular red, and used sharp regular cheddar since I invited friends over. I keep tasting it. Will reheat for tomorrow since flavors will meld together.
    I’m serving with cilantro, lt sour cream, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, and retried beans.

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’m so happy you enjoy this one. You know what, I actually have two slices of this in my freezer right now so that I could see how it froze and reheated. I completely forgot about them being in there. Thanks for the reminder! Haha Unfortunately, I can’t answer your question now, but I will be able to answer it in a couple days now. Thank you!

  41. 5 stars
    I made this tonight it was awesome I didn’t change a thing differently on my supper list

  42. How in the world is this 8 points. It’s coming up way more for me. 1/6th the box of cornbread alone is 9, without counting anything else.

    1. Hi Ashlee, I use the WW recipe builder to calculate points. It is 8 points on the blue & purple plan, BUT it’s 11 points on the green plan. Maybe that’s the confusion… Hope that helps.

    2. 5 stars
      I may be a little late to respond to this but, in the recipe builder on WW be sure to enter in the amount of servings for the recipe. I had a HUGE point number at first, but then when you break it down to 6 servings it is within the points. Best Wishes. I am going to try to make this tonight but I am going to make my own cornbread mix, and substitute the real sugar in the recipe. Just saved myself 4 points!

      1. 5 stars
        Would you mind sharing how you made your cornbread and substituting the sugar out to reduce points. I would lime trying that. I am on Blue Pan, Also some Walmarts have Fat Free Shredded Ceddar Cheese that is good and that would reduce points as well as 1/4 cup of the shredded FF cheese is 0 points on Blue. Thanks, Wendy

    3. 5 stars
      This was such a good dish! I had chicken breasts that I had cooked up in my iron skillet (lots of amazing flavor in that!) so that’s what I used instead of going out to the store. Absolutely freaking delish!!

      (Insta handle for giveaway @bookishdelights31)

  43. I am trying this in the crockpot with all the ingredients for the chicken part. I will bake the cornbread mixture separately. I will let you know how it turns out.

  44. 5 stars
    This was delicious! So easy to make, too. My two picky eaters (husband and son) aren’t home to eat yet, but I’m hoping they’ll enjoy it so I can add this to my rotation!

  45. This dish was a hit-What a great dish to have in my arsenal. Uses kitchen staples from the freezer and pantry. I froze leftovers for quick lunches. Thank you!

  46. I made this for my family. Even the picky eaters LOVED it!! It was Delicious! It’s filled with flavor! I’m already to make it again!

  47. Dear Star,
    You truly are amazing! I have been meaning to send you a comment for some time. Your recipes are a wonderful combination of excellent cuisine, comfort food, and simply low cal delishishness! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You have helped me loose 30 lbs. Still have more to go. Please keep the recipes coming. I love to cook and you obviously do too!

    1. Oh thank you for stopping by to comment, Ann! It’s such a joy to see lil notes like these.

  48. When I entered everything into the recipe builder it came up to many more than 8 points with just adding the jiffy mix and sauce, that was before the milk and cheese. Do you know why this would be?

    1. I am also having the same issue, unfortunately. Star, do you think it would be possible to post screenshots of your WW recipe builder help to clear up any discrepancies that readers are having? I know I am having issues with the points values equaling the same on several recipes as well. Thank you for all of your help and your yummy dishes!!

      1. Hi Hollie! I’ll double check my notes on this. I can’t post a photo screenshot here in the comments section, but I can double check and break down. I’m wondering what color plan you’re having the wrong points on?

  49. Can I use a can of refried beans instead of pintos? And what about creamed corn in the cornbread mix?
    You recipes are so delicious and so family friendly and so easy.
    Thank you
    Rainy Seifer
    Napa, CA

  50. 5 stars
    New favorite recipe. This is sooooo delicious and so easy to throw together and walk away. Also it’s different from
    my usually dishes! Going in the regular rotation. Thank you!!!!!

  51. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner and it was so yummy. I topped mine with sour cream and cilantro. It was easy to make and I will definitely be making this again!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Simone! Thanks for letting me know. I LOVED it with just a little cilantro and sour cream. WHOLE NEW LEVEL!

    2. I am hoping to make this dish cause it looks yummy and it seems easy to make……thank you so much ms. Skinnyishdish….

      1. 5 stars
        Big hit in our house! I’ve made this 3 times now… Love it! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I haven’t made one yet that I didn’t like!

  52. I made this last night, after my original plan for dinner was forgotten in the freezer. Luckily this was on the menu for the week, so I had the ingredients. Cooked my chicken in the instant pot while the cornbread was in the oven. Of course, realized I DIDN’T have the green chiles that I assumed were in the pantry (I always keep them on hand! Where did they run off to??) So just left them out. THIS WAS SO GOOD!! My boyfriend loved it, my friend that was over loved it, I LOVED IT! This is getting added to my recipe arsenal. (I also sent it to my coworker, and told her that I use so many of your recipes, that I feel like we’re actually friends 🙂 ) Thanks for another great recipe, Star!

  53. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious! It will be added to our regular dinner rotation! It was also super easy to make. Thanks Star 🙂

  54. 5 stars
    This was EXCELLENT!!!! My whole family loved it and my husband took leftovers to work for lunch!! A definite keeper!!!

  55. 5 stars
    Super good! I added a whole envelope of taco seasoning mix and then saw it was supposed to be 3 tablespoons. Well… it was delicious! So if anyone else goofs up… it’s ok Also, has anyone froze this??

  56. OMG!! This was wonderful!! I have to confess, though, that I used regular cheese per husband’s request. It is definitely on our rotation. Thank you!!

  57. 5 stars
    I can’t believe how good this was! Going on my monthly dinner rotation for sure. Thank you!

  58. Are the corn and green chilies drained. I am making it for dinner tomorrow night and I am assuming not but wanted to be sure.

    1. I don’t drain the green chiles (there’s usually never anything to drain in the type I buy, but if it seems super water-y, go ahead and drain them), but I do drain the can of corn =) I hope you enjoy, Cathy!

  59. Can you add taco seasoning to the ingredients in the paragraph that starts “first things first”? It’s not listed there, so I didn’t include it with the cornbread mixture before I put it in the oven. You do have it listed in the recipe at the bottom of your post. Thank you.

    1. Hi Amy! Yes the taco seasoning goes into the corn bread mixture right at the beginning. I hope you enjoy!

      1. I used one can of red and one of green because it was what I had and it was great

  60. I made it yesterday and its delicious! This is my favorite dish now. Thank You

  61. I made this for dinner tonight but I subbed Krusteaz gluten free cornbread. Since the box was just under twice the amount of Jiffy cornbread, I mixed the cornbread according to the box directions and then scooped out about half of it and then added the taco seasoning, corn and chilis to the remaining. Even though I think my cornbread was a little thick, it turned out delicious!

    1. I am so glad to hear it came out well with gluten free cornbread mix! That’s great info to have. Thanks so much for letting me know and I’m so happy you enjoyed!

      1. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the gluten free cornbread pretty much turned to mush when we reheated it. I did love the flavors so the next time I make it I’ll just make the chicken mixture and serve it over separately baked cornbread.

  62. Our family has been making Tamales for over 60 years each Christmas. By the time I was ten, I was already veteran ( I turn 70 this month). Yes, homemade Chili Colorado is the only way to go. However, the best canned sauce alternative is Las Palmas Colorado Sauce. I’ve seen it in both mild & hot. If you want or need extra heat throw in a pinch of two of dried Chili Pequin

    1. Hi Lola! I wish you could teach me how to make tamales. That’s amazing!! I will have to look for that type of canned sauce. It doesn’t sound too familiar, but I hope I can grab some! Thanks for the tip =)

  63. Do you think we can use frozen corn? If so, how much would you suggest equals a can? Also, you forgot to add corn in the ingredient list. Thank you for this post – making it now and can’t wait to dig in!

    1. Apparently, I have Mommy mush brains. I wound up using ground beef instead of chicken. I just want to say that even with the most basic mixup, this was delicious! The only other thing I did different was used Mexicorn instead of plain corn because we like Mexicorn better in recipes like this. Great recipe. Definitely going into rotation.

  64. I am making this today for dinner and noticed that it says to add corn to the Jiffy mixture but it doesn’t say how much corn in the ingredient list. I did look it up online again and it did say one can of corn but thought you’d like to know so you can add it to the ingredients. I am looking forward to trying it. It sounds good. BTW my family refuses to eat canned enchilada sauce so homemade it is! : )

  65. I don’t see corn listed in the ingredients but it is listed in the instructions. How much corn is used in the mix?

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