Filed Under: Beef | Main Dish | Mexican

Taco Pie

Recipe By Tessa Arias
December 8th, 2011

Meaty, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, oh so cheesy.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Meaty, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, oh so cheesy.
Texture: The tortillas are toothsome but you can’t beat the chunks of meat, bursts of corn, and smooth tomato sauce. Not to mention oozing melted cheese.
Ease: Definitely easy enough for a weeknight meal. Takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Appearance: Who doesn’t love pie-shaped foods?
Pros: Tasty, easy, perfect for when you’re craving Mexican flavors. You probably already have the majority of the ingredients on hand.
Cons: Not super healthy.
Would I make this again? Yes.

Can you believe it’s nearly 2012?? It feels like it was just 2009. This year has had its share of ups and downs but as I look back I can’t help but mostly remember the ups. All the places I got to visit this year, all the recipes I got to make, all the amazing friends I’ve made online, all the essays I’ve written for school, all the onions, carrots, and celery I’ve chopped at culinary school. It’s already starting to blur together. As I look back I can’t help but think of the loss that’s hit so many friends, especially online ones. I’m thankful for what I have. I’m excited, thrilled really, for what’s to come.

One of these days coming up I’ll do a roundup of the most popular recipes of 2011 here at Handle the Heat. But I’d like to know, what was the best thing you ate, cooked, or baked this past year?

How to make
Taco Pie

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Meaty, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, oh so cheesy.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas, halved
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (4.25-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the tortillas and cook, flipping a few times, until golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Remove with tongs and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook 30 seconds. Add the beef and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chiles, and corn. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
  3. Arrange half of the tortillas in the bottom of a 9-to-10-inch pie plate. Top with half of the meat mixture, then half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, meat, and cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. If desired, remove foil and broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

Recipe Notes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Danielle — December 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Back in my early cooking days when I relied on the likes of Ole El Paso to help me with dinner, there was one kit that my husband still talks about. We fondly referred to it as “taco pile” and it was very similar to your version. I'm going to have to give yours a whirl and see if that will appease his taste for the boxed variety. Thanks for posting it!

  2. #
    melaniejanem — December 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I actually drooled when I saw this picture. For realz.

  3. #
    Tracey — December 8, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Oh my word, yes, want!! I'd have to think *really* hard to figure out the best thing I ate this year, but duck fat fries at a steakhouse in Vegas were up there 🙂

  4. #
    gisckacanna — December 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

    love it!

  5. #
    Melissa — May 2, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I made this tonight…it was delicious! I used half the cheese, which helps a bit and next time will make it with ground chicken or turkey, or even shredded chicken breasts which would lighten it up quite a bit. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

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