Food & Drink Magazine

Vegan Tamale Pie with Masa Harina

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan

vegan tamale pie

I had a friend in New Mexico who always spent his Christmas Holiday weekend making homemade Tamales.

And oh were they ever good!  I LOVE homemade tamales!

But making them?  Trust me, from what I remember from watching my friends,  they’re a lot of work!

Fortunately, there’s a way to get that same tamale taste without all the hassle.

It’s called Cazuela de Tamal, or in everyday north of the border speak …

Vegan Tamale Pie with Masa

A soft, corn pie shell made from Masa Harina, filled with veggies, beans, sweet potatoes, and RoTel tomatoes, topped off with a homemade enchilada sauce.

And the taste?  Muy Bueno!

You’re going to need a few extra ingredients for this recipe.


Masa Harina is a special flour made from dried cork kernels.  This is traditionally what tortillas and tamales are made from.

Field corn (or maize) is dried and then treated in a solution of lime and water. This loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn. In addition, the lime reacts with the corn so that the nutrient niacin becomes available in our digestive tract.

The soaked maize is then washed, and the wet corn is ground into a dough, called masa. It is this fresh masa, when dried and powdered, that becomes masa harina.

Don’t get this confused with Corn Meal or Corn Flour.  Totally different.  You have to use Masa Harina to get that authentic tamale taste.  You should be able to find it in the Hispanic portion of your grocery store.

See that it says GLUTEN FREE?  Yeah i like that as I am starting a 30 day gluten elimination diet to se if it helps with my headaches I’ve been having.

You’re also going to need  This Recipe for the homemade Enchilada Sauce and the Tofu Sour Cream.

The sour cream is totally optional of course, but adds just that extra zest to any Southwestern Dish.

If you’re Vegan or not, this recipe will be sure to please.  And thanks to the Masa, it’s complete 100% Gluten Free.  So as they say in Mexico

Quisiera los tamales, por favor!


Print Vegan Tamale Pie with Masa Harina

Prep time:  60 mins

Cook time:  40 mins

Total time:  1 hour 40 mins

Serves: 8 servings

Vegan Tamale Pie  with Masa Harina The taste of homemade tamales without all the work! A tasty Masa pie shell filled with a yummy combination of beans, sweet potatoes, and RoTel tomatoes. All smothered in a spicy Enchilada Sauce. Muy Bueno! Ingredients
  • 1 cup Masa Harina
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell paper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and diced
  • 15oz can low sodium Pinto Beans
  • 15oz can low sodium Black Beans
  • 10oz can RoTel Tomatoes with Green Chile
  • 1 batch Enchilada Sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 batch Tofu Sour Cream (see recipe)
  • Oil free corn tortilla chips for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel, chop, and boil the sweet potatoes until done (20 min or so)
  3. Prepare the Masa
  4. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together
  5. Add veg broth and stir until dough forms
  6. Spread into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven
  8. Saute onion and peppers until soft
  9. Drain and rinse beans and add to onions
  10. Drain tomatoes and add to onions
  11. Stir until heated through and spoon into masa pie shell
  12. Top with enchilada sauce and bake for 15-20 min or until bubbly

vegan tamale pie pin

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