Bolivian-style Corn Pie

What is it ~~~ it’s tough and fairly cheap, doesn’t have a famous chef’s name emblazoned on it; when treated with tender loving care, it will last just about forever, and performs perfectly every time?

I’m talking about my favorite skillets, cast iron skillets!  I was lucky to “inherit” my mothers’ 12” and 10” skillets, which were passed down to her by an “aunt.”  Over the years, I’ve added to the collection with a smaller skillet, a Dutch oven and a couple of corn stick pans.   

Cast iron is heavy and holds heat well and distributes it evenly.  The skillets go smoothly from cook-top to oven and when properly seasoned and cared for, will last for generations; plus, the cookware adds iron to your diet.

You can cook a plethora of foods in cast iron ~ from breakfast to lunch to dinner.  Smokey bacon and eggs, crispy hash browns, savory cornbread, frittatas, blackened fish, smothered pork chops, pineapple upside-down cake, fried chicken like Grandma used to make, and this delicious corn pie:

This Bolivian-style Corn Pie recipe was in the Chicago Tribune a few weeks ago and sounded very appetizing to me.  The article states that… “The recipe is from Luna Maya, a Bolivian-Mexican restaurant in Norfolk, VA and is adapted from “The World in a Skillet.”  

The international flavors evoke the New South, but cooked in the traditional Southern skillet.  The restaurant finishes the casserole in a baking pan, but the food staff at the Chicago Tribune used the same 12-inch cast-iron skillet throughout.” So did I.

In the recipe, you will see chorizo sausage, chicken, and plenty of piquant spices from ground ancho chili to chipotle pepper; ground allspice, cloves and thyme to sweet paprika, all blended together with corn and milk and topped with a mild cheese.  

It is a dish of truly unique flavors and textures and is hard to describe.  I just know it’s delicious, and I hope you try it!

Bolivian-Style Corn Pie


1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Mexican pork chorizo, skins removed
1 white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground ancho chili
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (or 5 cups frozen)
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces mild cheese, such as Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheese or your favorite


 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Crumble in chorizo. Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer chorizo to a bowl, leaving fat in the skillet.

2. Add the white onion, garlic, ancho, paprika, cumin, chipotle, thyme, allspice, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet; stir. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, 5-8 minutes.

3. Stir in the chicken; cook, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through, 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; transfer contents to a bowl. Stir in the reserved chorizo, cilantro and lime juice.

4. Wipe skillet clean; heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the yellow onion; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5-8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Combine onion with the corn and milk in a food processor; purée until smooth. Return skillet to medium heat; add corn mixture. Cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Remove skillet from heat.

5. Transfer corn mixture to a bowl. Spread the chicken-chorizo mixture in the skillet. Spread the corn mixture over the meat. Bake 30 minutes. Remove dish from oven; turn on the broiler. Spread the cheese over the casserole. Broil until cheese melts and begins to brown, 3-5 minutes.
Makes 8 servings

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 631 calories, 37 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 145 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 47 g protein, 1,232 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.

This is a great tasty dish, and now that I’ve made it, I’m looking forward to when the farmers markets will open in the area with all their fresh veggies and fruit!  I have to wait a few more weeks…

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind Of Cooking.  She has useful tips on Tuesdays and yummy recipes every Friday!


  1. Pam I love my cast iron cookware too. I picked up a 12" round cast iron griddle last Christmas for myself. I have a grill pan/skillet and a Dutch oven...which I often use when it calls for a skillet.

    This recipe I must try this week...I just need to go to the German Sausage market to pick up some chorizo!! Interesting how you grind up the onions and took me a minute to figure that out!

  2. That corn pie looks so comforting in the iron skillet. We use our iron skillets and I've found that they work as well as nonstick skillets in many cases. I just wish they weren't so heavy (a sign of age on my part).

  3. De lujo se ve el plato.


  4. This really sounds delicious. I love the layered flavors in this type of dish. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. This looks like a winner. I like to use my cast iron pans, too... it just seems that everything tastes better in it!

  6. Lyndsey, it sounds like you like cast iron as much as I do! Yes, with the onions and corn--a little different, but good with the end result.

    Sam, yes! That's the thing, they're a little heavy. The corn pie is definitely a comfy food dish.

    jose manuel, gracias! Es de lujo. Saludos

    Mary, thank you! I really like "layered" dishes such as this occasionally. Thanks for the visit!

    Karen, thanks! I agree, everything seems to taste better with cast iron and I like the "crust" it gives.

  7. I love my cast iron pans! I use them every day. This "pie" is so hearty and flavorful! It looks like something I would love.

  8. Pam, it's beautiful! I also like to cook in cast iron, my favorite!

  9. I agree, cast iron skillets are the best! My family would love all the flavors in this dish and I love that you do it in one skillet!

  10. Got to try this looks fabulous, love that topping!

  11. I love using my cast iron skillets... especially on the grill! The corn pie looks like the perfect way to get some use out of those skillets too!!

  12. I have never heard of this before; but you sure make is sound and look like something I have to taste. Where is my cast iron skillet!!!

  13. This looks awesome! i don't have a cast iron skillet, I so should have one though!

  14. Glory be this looks wonderful!
    The ultimate comfort food I'm thinking.

  15. Pam, This special Bolivian Style Corn Pie is right up my alley! Great ingredients...ultimate country food! Now all we have to do is to buy an iron skillet! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  16. This looks fantastic. I wish I had my moms cast iron!

  17. Pam look absolutely delicious, we have here something similar love it!

  18. Mmmm, looks SO delish!


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