Layered Tamale Chicken Recipe

This layered tamale chicken recipe started with an elementary school teacher.  Over the years, my wife and her mom kept “improving” it.  This dish is so good, it will make a hound dog bite its pups….but at least it’s got fritos.


Layered Chicken Tamale for a Frito Bandito

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 28 oz. Can Tamales (Gebhardt preferred, but Hormel works)
  • 12 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Cup Barbecue Sauce (use your favorite)
  • 1½ Cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (use low sodium to offset salt in other ingredients)
  • 1 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ½ Large bag of Fritos


  1. Spray "Pam" on a 9" x 12" x 2" pan
  2. 1st Layer: Tamales
  3. Remove paper from individually wrapped tamales and cut into bite size pieces
  4. 2nd Layer: Barbecued Chicken
  5. Cook twelve chicken thighs and let cool
  6. Cut into bite size pieces
  7. Marinate in barbecue sauce overnight in refrig for best flavor
  8. 3rd Layer: Chicken Soup
  9. Spread 1 ½ cans of undiluted cream of chicken soup (Campbell's Healthy Choice) over the 2nd layer
  10. 4th Layer: Monterey Jack Cheese
  11. Spread one pound or less of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  12. 5th Layer: Fritos
  13. Crush ½ bag of Fritos and place on top of the final layer just before placing in oven
  14. Bake 325-350° for approx 40-50 minutes. It will bubble and the cheese should be melted.


If you prepare the entire dish the day prior to serving, you can bypass the “overnight” chicken marinating. Just assemble layers 1 thru 4 in the Pam sprayed dish, cover and refrigerate overnight. Place the 5th layer on just before putting it in the oven the next day. If reheating leftovers, put on a new layer of crushed Fritos.

This recipe was provided by Ted Robison



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