These super-simple mini tamale pies are inspired by our tamales de queso con rajas and made with roasted chile and cheese, but I decided to add a special ingredient that makes everything taste better…bacon! These spicy little morsels have cheese, roasted green chile, tomatoes, onions, and bacon. What is not too love about these salty, smoky, and spicy decadent treats?
Chop bacon into ½-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet until cooked but not crispy; drain and set aside. Discard the drippings.
In the same skillet used for cooking the bacon, sauté the onion and tomato about 5 to 7 minutes. Add cooked bacon, diced chiles, and cilantro and stir together.
Simmer for a few minutes allowing the flavors to come together. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Make tamale masa:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with your hands until combined. The dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand.
Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Divide the masa evenly among the wells of a muffin pan (about 2 tablespoons per well).
Using your fingers, press the masa evenly into a thin layer on the bottom and up the sides of each well. The mixture may feel dry to the touch.
Evenly divide the bacon and green chile filling among the masa-lined wells.
Bake on middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle the shredded cheese over the filling. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen and remove the pies. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Feel free to play around with the filling, adding your favorite veggies. Roasted red bell peppers would work in lieu of chile if you want a sweeter milder version. Leave out the bacon for a meatless version.