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Easy Vegan Tamale Pie

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This vegan tamale pie recipe is not only simple to make, but it’s also delicious. A bean and seasoned tomato filling topped with a tamale-type crust make for an easier traditional Mexican tamale in a casserole form.

Vegan Tamale Pie Recipe

I love savory pie recipes; they scream comfort food to me.

There is something so tasty about some delicious center covered with some sort of bread source. Whether it’s this tamale topping or vegan pot pie, it’s all delicious.

Tamale pie recipes traditionally have ground beef in them. This one doesn’t.

If you would rather have more of a vegan traditional feel, you can remove the refried beans and add some vegan ground beef.

Many recipes also call for enchilada sauce; in this recipe, you’re essentially making an enchilada sauce with tomato sauce, tomatoes, and spices.

Let’s chat about the crust of this tamale pie. 

When researching to make this recipe, it seems like a lot of people use a cornbread topping. Although this to me isn’t a traditional cornbread crust because I like sweeter cornbread and more fluffy, this recipe is more like an actual tamale crust.

It’s made with the cornmeal mixture, but flour isn’t added, keeping it gluten-free and a more traditional tamales flavor.

Now I know that this tasty dish is called a “pie,” and I’m using a 9×13 baking dish; you could use half the recipe and do a pie, but I prefer a large amount to have leftovers. The 9×13 or casserole dish works great for that.

This makes for an easy recipe when you need a low-hassle weeknight dinner.

Vegan Tamale Pie Recipe Q&A

vegan tamale pie recipe

Can I use something other than ground flax seeds for the egg replacer?

Yes, you can use a store-bought powder egg replacer if you would rather.

If you’re going to use flax seeds for this recipe, use golden flax seeds because otherwise, you’ll see flex of flax seeds in the batter, which won’t affect the flavor but will look a bit funky.

I wouldn’t use chia seeds because of the color they would turn.

Can I use different beans?

I would keep the refried beans, but you can mix whatever your favorite beans are; black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans.

If you want to add some additional mix-ins feel free; here are some ideas;

  • bell pepper (red, yellow, green pepper)
  • fresh cilantro
  • poblano pepper
  • green chilis
vegan tamale pie

What ingredients do you need for this vegan tamale pie recipe?

Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

  • black beans, rinsed and drained
  • vegan refried beans
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • petite tomatoes diced
  • tomato sauce
  • corn
  • black olives
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • salt
  • cayenne (less if you don’t like any spice)
  • black pepper

Tamale crust topping ingredients;

  • plant milk (unsweetened)
  • white sugar
  • salt
  • vegan butter
  • cornmeal
  • flax egg
  • vegan cheddar cheese

How do you make vegan tamale pie?

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Get a 9×13 pan and grease, then set aside.

Get a frying pan and heat on medium heat with 1 TB of oil or water and cook the onion until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and spices, mix for about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, olives, and beans, and stir until combined. 

Cook the onions with the spices
Cook the onions with the spices.
Add the tomato sauce
Add the tomato sauce.
Add the beans, corn, olives, etc
Add the beans, corn, olives, etc.

Pour this mixture evenly into the 9×13 pan and set aside.

vegan tamale pie before the crust

Make your three flax eggs with 3 TB flax meal and 6 TB water, stir well and set aside to thicken.

Take a medium saucepan and add your vegan milk, sugar, salt, and vegan butter; cook on medium-high heat until the vegan butter is melted. 

vegan tamale topping cooking

Whisk in your cornmeal, turn it down to medium-low heat, and stir for a few minutes until thickened.

Take your thickened cornmeal batter and spread it evenly over the bean mixture.

vegan tamale pie topping unbaked

Cook in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the cornmeal crust. 

Let cool, and then serve. 

vegan tamale pie cooked

How do you serve this vegan tamale pie?

This is best served warm, but after it’s had time to cool and set up, we actually prefer the flavors the next day, but it’s still good the day of.

You can add some toppings to your individual serving like;

  • green onions
  • avocado slices
  • a dollop of vegan sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • salsa

How do you store leftovers?

Let it come to room temperature, and then place it in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Reheat in the microwave.

Can you freeze this?

Yes, if you want to freeze tamale pie, let it come to room temperature, then place it in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

Let the pie defrost, then reheat in the oven until heated throughout.

vegan tamale pie
Vegan Tamale Pie Recipe

Vegan Tamale Pie

Yield: 9x13 pan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

This vegan tamale pie tastes like a tamale without the work of making tamales. It has a delicious bean mixture with a perfect crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can vegan refried beans
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 oz can petite tomatoes diced
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can olives, drained
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cayenne (less if you don't like any spice)
  • 1/4 cayenne (less if you don't like any spice)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Tamale crust

  • 3 cups vegan milk
  • 3 cups vegan milk
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 TB vegan butter
  • 4 TB vegan butter
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 flax eggs (golden flax seed or egg replacer)*
  • 3 flax eggs (golden flax seed or egg replacer)*
  • 1-2 cups vegan cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 cups vegan cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Get a 9x13 pan and grease, then set aside.
  2. Get a frying pan and heat on medium heat with 1 TB of oil or water and cook the onion until golden brown about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and spices, mix for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, olives, and beans, and stir until combined. Pour this mixture evenly into the 9x13 pan and set aside.
  3. Make your three flax eggs with 3 TB flax meal and 6 TB water, stir well and set aside to thicken.
  4. Take a medium saucepan and add your vegan milk, sugar, salt, and vegan butter; cook on medium-high heat until the vegan butter is melted. Whisk in your cornmeal, turn it down to medium-low heat, and stir for a few minutes until thickened.
  5. Take your thickened tamale top and spread it evenly over the bean mixture.
  6. Cook in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean for the topping. Let cool, and then serve.

Notes

See blog post for recipe Q&A

*Flax egg recipe

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 695Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2172mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 19gSugar: 19gProtein: 32g

The calories are computer generated and may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

If you loved this recipe then give it a 5 star rating and leave a comment! I love to chat with you all. Please feel free to share on social media and tag #courtneyshomestead. Thank you SO much! <3

Want some other vegan casserole-style recipes?

If you loved this recipe, then give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment! I love to chat with you all. Please feel free to share on social media and tag #courtneyshomestead. I would love to see you over on Instagram or Facebook

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