Recipe: Pumpkin Black Bean & Beef Tamale Pie

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on September 23, 2010

Don’t all those pumpkin recipes that pop up in the fall intrigue you?  Here is a Mexican style casserole that highlights Black Beans & Pumpkin!  This smelled so fabulous the last time I cooked it that the kids kept popping into the kitchen every five minutes to ask “is it done yet?”.

This recipe is made with many frugal ingredients: black beans are cheap, ground beef can be purchased on sale, canned pumpkin is inexpensive, even the 8.5 oz corn muffin mix is usually for sale for less than a buck.  The most expensive item is probably the cream cheese, but you only use a few oz of that-plenty left for your morning bagel!

And even better-the beans and pumpkin ensure that this casserole pack a nutritious punch-with the added benefit of plenty of fiber.

Mexican Casserole with Pumpkin

Mmmm. Trust me-it tastes even better than my photography makes it look.

Pumpkin, Black Bean & Beef Tamale Pie

1LB Ground Beef
2C Peeled & Cubed Pumpkin or Winter Squash (approx 1/2″ sq)
1 Onion
15 oz can Black Beans
1C Corn
4 oz can diced green chilies
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C beef broth
3 oz Cream Cheese
8oz package Corn Muffin Mix
1 Egg
1/3 C Milk
1/3 C Pumpkin Puree*

-Preheat oven to 400 and grease an 8X11 pan
-Chop onion and sautee with beef and pumpkin until beef is cooked & onion is translucent.  Drain any excess fat.
-Add corn, chiles, drained & rinsed black beans, salt, cream cheese & broth.
-Cook on medium until cream cheese is melted, then pour into prepared pan.
-Mix corn muffin mix, egg, milk & pureed pumpkin in a bowl.
-Spoon batter over beef mixture and bake for 20-30 min, or until cornbread is cooked through.


  • Use ground venison, turkey, chicken, pork or tofu crumbles.
  • Instead of “ground” meat use approx 1 1/2 c diced meat left over from another meal.
  • Skip the meat all together and double up on beans.
  • Substitute any winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard etc) for the pumpkin.
  • Use any other type of canned bean.
  • Soak your own beans and use a cup of those instead.
  • Skip the canned green chilis or use fresh mild green pepper (add at the saute stage)
  • Reconstitute about a half cup of dried minced onion in a half cup of warm water for 10 min or so & use in place of fresh onion.
  • Substitute sour cream, plain yogurt or cheddar cheese for the cream cheese.
  • Make your own “corn bread mix“-just skip the oil, milk & egg listed in that copycat recipe and use what this one calls for.
  • Substitute canned pumpkin for the pureed pumpkin.

*Note: How to make pureed pumpkin: Bake your seeded & de-stringed pumpkin chunks in a covered pan at 350 for about 1 hr. Scoop out the flesh and puree or mash. Can be frozen.

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