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Paleo Tamale Pie

If you grew up somewhere below the Mason Dixon line, you might recognize this old favorite, Paleo Tamale Pie! This time made without a touch of grain or legumes!

Paleo Tamale Pie


Boy do I have a lot to unload on y’all, but thanks golly this is a food blog and instead of all the emotional unpacking I’ve been up to, you get a recipe instead!

But before we dig into the meat of the good part, I do want to mention something on the more serious side of Southern cooking. My healing has been a long, slow, sometimes painful journey. And I’ve done SO much good with food. And SO much good with supplements and educating and advocating for my health. And I’m so grateful to have gotten to this point. I really am. 

Paleo Tamale Pie

But I’m discovering a whole lot more that goes into healing than just food. Or even “mindset.” The big meaty parts of healing are sometimes derived from the parts nobody wants to look at or acknowledge. Because pretending everything is fine is so much prettier isn’t it?

Last week I unveiled some major childhood trauma that I always recognized through a different lens as being somehow normal. I was convinced that we had it better than so many (because we did) but that does not necessarily mean that things were good or that there was not suffering in my childhood. 

Paleo Tamale Pie

I want to urge you, if you are on your own healing path, and you have not looked into healing the mind, to potentially examine some things completely unrelated to kale and yoga and positive affirmations. The mind is incredibly powerful, which is amazing and also quite frightening at times. If you have not read Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself [1] or Childhood Disrupted [2] or The Body Keeps the Score [3], start there! Grab some tissues, you might have some awakenings of your own. The good news? Your mind is flexible and wants to heal, as does your body – it just might take a little more discomfort first. 

Now, onto happier parts of childhood…

I grew up with some recipes that were not so much from scratch, but were my favorite comfort foods nonetheless. Meatloaf made with the onion soup packet? Check. Shepherd’s Pie made with instant mashed potatoes? Check. Tamale Pie with boxed Jiffy cornbread mix? CHECK!

Paleo Tamale Pie

I’ve been wanting to remake this one for awhile and the funny thing is about revisiting childhood is memories of good sometimes come flooding in with the not so good. That’s actually pretty good news if you ask me, because I’m a real big fan of Tamale Pie and I’m real glad unboxing parts of my past opened up the memory of comfort food. So if you’re ready to pull on up to a big plate of feel good, give this one a shot. I saved you a seat. 

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Paleo Tamale Pie

  • Author: Jennifer Robins



For the meat filling:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or preferred cooking fat
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos

For the “cornbread” topping:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ghee melted (or palm shortening melted)
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple (you could also use stevia to sweeten in much smaller quantities)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. In a large skillet drizzle your cooking fat and add in the beef and onion
  3. Cook on medium heat, shifting and breaking apart your beef for about 5-8 minutes
  4. Add in the seasonings and remaining ingredients for the meat filling and then combine them well with your cooking utensil until they are well combined
  5. Allow them to simmer slightly for a few minutes while you prepare your “cornbread” topping
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine your “cornbread” topping ingredients and stir well to combine
  7. Now transfer your meat mixture into a casserole dish, mine was sized 10″ x 8″
  8. Spoon the “cornbread” batter on top until it is a couple inches thick, sitting on top of the meat mixture. If you have a little leftover, you can bake it separately in a muffin tin
  9. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until the cornbread is baked through and an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  10. Remove, set aside and serve topped with dairy free sour cream, fresh cilantro and pickled jalapenos if you desire

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