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Brown Rice Tamale Pie

I think by now we’ve all seen that rice is an absolutely amazing way to cook a lot of delicious food that will feed a lot of hungry people. This cooking for an army thing is really beneficial for us around this time of year: school starts, community groups pick back up, football season arrives. There are a lot of fantastic opportunities to invite people into our home and provide them with an unforgettable meal as we all forge new memories together.

Tex-Mex is kind of my thing; my love for it harkens back to my growing up in West Texas and spending Saturday nights at our favorite local joints. The flavors are bold and fun, and seem to please almost every palate. Any chance I get to throw together a great meal is another chance to celebrate that little piece of my own heritage, and I make sure to take advantage often! 

A traditional tamale pie has a thick cornbread crust on top. It is all manner of delicious and certainly something that can be made into a gluten-free wonder, but I love being able to utilize the surprising and bold texture of rice in this dish. It’s not traditional, no, but what it lacks in tradition it more than makes up for in flavor. I recommend serving this hot with all the traditional Tex-Mex sides: salsa, sour cream, extra cheese, green onions, guacamole, maybe a squeeze of lime. Feel free to play around with your favorite accouterments, but don’t forget to serve it with a big smile!


Serves 4-8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground meat of choice (beef, turkey, chicken, etc)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans green chiles
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 cups prepared Riceland medium grain brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten



  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large pot heat the olive oil, then add the onion, celery, carrots and pepper.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the ground meat and gently break up with a wooden spoon.
  7. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, chili powder, salt, cumin and oregano.
  9. Stir to combine.
  10. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes or so until thick.
  11. Pour into a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.
  12. In a large bowl stir together the prepared rice, taco seasoning, cheese and eggs.
  13. Spoon over the top of the meat mixture, then spread evenly.
  14. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  15. Remove from the oven.
  16. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  17. Serve hot.

Post and recipe by The Women Bloggers member Heather Disarro of HeathersDish.com.