Tamale Pie: A Holtz Family Recipe



Holtz Tamale Pie featuring Lindsay California Pitted Ripe Olives

Holtz Tamale Pie featuring Lindsay California Pitted Ripe Olives

Every family has a quick and easy recipe that has been passed down from a previous generation.   Something that Mom or Dad remembers eating when they were young.  Something that can be served on a school night or for a party.  In our family, that recipe is Tamale Pie.

My husband’s mother used to make Tamale Pie for her family and it was one of the first recipes that my husband requested when we were married.   The centerpiece of the Tamale Pie is Lindsay California Ripe Pitted Olives.  Children put them onto their fngers and eat them off.  Adults go back for a second helping just to get another bite that includes the olives.   Served with a  salad and some warm tortillas, Tamale Pie makes a cozy supper or quick lunch.   Cook up  a big skillet  of Tamale Pie and pair with corn bread for a football party.    Tamale Pie with a side of guacamole and tortilla chips  are a perfect combination for movie night at home.    We always include  sliced avocados no matter what the occasion, as we grow avocados on our family farm.


Lindsay olives and XLNT tamales

Lindsay California Ripe Pitted Olives and XLNT Beef Tamales


Here’s the recipe:

Holtz Tamale Pie
(Quantities can be larger or smaller, depending on how many you plan to feed or how long you want the leftovers to last.)


Chopped onions

Lean Ground Beef

XLNT Beef Tamales (sold near the cheese in the deli case of most grocery stores)  I use a pkg of 6  per 2 lbs of beef.

Lindsay California Ripe Pitted Olives…medium, large or extra large,  1 can  per 2 lbs beef.

Can of  Crushed Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce…use a large can for 2 lbs of beef,  small can for 1 lb.

Can of  Corn, drained

Can of Black Beans or Kidney Beans, drained (optional)

1-2 avocados, sliced or mashed for guacamole  (available direct from our farm at California Avocados Direct)

Tortillas for burritos,  tortilla chips for dipping, or corn bread on the side


In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and onions together.   Unwrap the XLNT Tamales and add them to the skillet. Use a spatula to cut them up into the beef.   Add the crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce,  the corn, the beans (if you like).  Mix it all together and then add the ripe olives.   Serve hot.

Tamale Pie in a flour tortilla

Serve on a flour tortilla for a Tamale Pie Burrito



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  1. Your Holtz tamale pie recipe is better than my Holtz tamale pie recipe! Very excited to try it!

    • I don’t think Grandma Bernadine Holtz used beans in hers. She always used corn. We’re out of corn today, so used beans instead. I’d love to hear your recipe too! Please share!

      • My Aunt Jeanne says she remembers Aunt Bernies recipe from “home movie night” in the garage on Levita Ave.
        Grandma Elvera’s recipe
        2 lb ground beef
        2 onions chopped
        2 garlic cloves chopped
        1 can corn
        Tbsp salt
        Tsp pepper
        2 tbsp chili powder
        1 can tomatoes
        3 eggs
        1 c. Milk
        1.5 c cornmeal
        2 cans of LINDSAY olives
        Beat eggs with milk and cornmeal mix everything together. 325° for 1-1.5 hr

  2. What fun!

  3. This sounds really good Mimi… going to give it a try
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