Adobe Pie

 In All, Sides

Our signature version of the tamale – a corn masa dome stuffed with chicken, cheese and roasted chiles.  It’s definitely not the speedy solution for a 20-minute meal, but don’t despair.  Like many other great dishes, it’s worth the time and trouble it takes to prepare.

Note: this recipe is for the entrée version of our chicken Adobe Pie.  It is different from our Black Bean Adobe which is smaller (and served as a side dish), and made with our sweet corn cake.  The large is made with masa which resembles a tamale.

Serves 4

Tamale Masa

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ pounds masa (see Notes)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TB. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Green Chile Pesto

  • 4 poblano chiles
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic (2 or 3 cloves)
  • 2 TB. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB. pine nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

Chicken Filling

  • 2 large cooked chicken breasts (about 1½ lbs. uncooked) diced small
  • ¾ cup (about 3 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste

Non-stick cooking spray

Enchilada Sauce

  • Use your favorite enchilada sauce recipe or canned

Pico de Gallo

To prepare the tamale masa, place the butter in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy using an electric mixer at medium speed.  Add masa and beat until fully blended.  Slowly stir in chicken stock, salt, cumin and baking powder and blend well.  Set aside.

To prepare the Green Chile Pesto – preheat oven to 350°.  Brush chiles lightly with oil and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Roast chiles 10 to 15 minutes or until skins blister.  Place chiles in a paper bag for 1-2 minutes; cool slightly, then pull off skins.  Slit chiles in half lengthwise, remove membranes and seeds and dice coarsely.  Measure ½ cup of the chiles and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.  Add minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and salt.  Puree until smooth. 

For the Chicken Filling – combine remaining diced chiles and all chicken filling ingredients in a large bowl, tossing well. 

To mold “pies” spray the inside of four 10 oz. ceramic ramekins (or similar 10 oz. ovenproof bowls) with non-stick cooking spray.  Using your fingers spread ¾ cup of prepared masa in each ramekin, making sure to evenly cover the bottom and the sides.  Add 3-4 TB. of green chile pesto to the masa lined ramekins.  Add ½ cup of chicken filling on top of the green chile pesto.  Using a rubber spatula spread ¼ cup of masa over the top of each pie.  Cut 4 pieces of aluminum foil squares (about 5” x 5”), spray with non-stick spray, and cover each pie.

Place pies in a large roasting pan with a hot water bath (water level should be 1-1½ inches up the sides of the ramekins) and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1½ hours or until masa is set.  Let the pies cool for about 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the ramekins and unmold pies on a plate.  Top with your favorite enchilada sauce and pico de gallo.  Optional: stripe with lime sour cream.


  • Masa is a Mexican dough made of dried corn kernels that have been soaked and cooked in lime water.  It is available in Mexican markets and most grocery stores.  Do not use corn meal.
  • We steam our Adobe Pies in commercial steamers, which gives them their light, fluffy texture.  In lieu of using a steamer, we have adapted this recipe so that you can prepare them in your oven at home.    
  • Adobe Pies can be cooked ahead of time.  Reheat unmolded pies in a microwave oven, unmold and serve as above.
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