So this might not be the prettiest dish in the world, but it pretty accurately captures the flavors of the tamale, at least well enough until I find some corn husks and bust out the masa harina.
Basically you begin by cooking up a delicious filling. Below is ground turkey spiced with Mexican seasoning, corn, red onion, and jalapeño cooked in olive oil with some tomato sauce added in at the end, but there are really an unlimited number of options for the meat and veggies you use, making this a recipe that's incredibly adaptable to your tastes.
Next you whip up some cornbread, either using a box mix or from scratch. I made mine from scratch using this "lightened" cornbread recipe that I found and would not hesitate to use again.
Pour the filling into a pan and cover with a layer of cornbread (you probably won't need it all unless you are making a ginormous pan). Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes or until the cornbread sets. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes if not more so it will retain it's structural integrity when cut. As you can see below, we did not.
Top with sour cream and guacamole, and there you have a tamale pie, a delicious all-in-one-meal!