Vegan Tamales

Alright these have a huge disclaimer on them. Tamales are a lot of work and tend to be more worth it if you make a lot. I suggest doubling this recipe and spending a saturday to make them and then freeze them. They freeze great. The flavor of these are unreal and worth the extra time. Also we are newbies to making tamales so our masa spreading skills leave  alot to be desired! Practice make perfect right?


  • 24-28 dried corn husks
  • 8 oz mushrooms (any kind will work!)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz ) can of black beans, drained
  • 1 cup fire roasted corn
  • 1.5 cups frozen assorted bell peppers, thawed
  • 4 oz can mild green chilis
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Masa Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 tbsp vegan butter (we used earth balance)
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth

Bring a large post of water to a boil, add the dried corn husks, remove from heat and allow to soak for at least an hour. Heat oil in a pan, add the onion. After cooking for 3-4 minutes add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Cook until soft. Add the beans, corn, assorted peppers, cilantro, cumin, lime juice, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Mix and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Place masa, baking powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and cayenne in your kitchen aid (or in a bowl if using an electric mixer). Using the whisk attachment mix the dry ingredients. Add cold butter to the flour mixture and mix on low until the butter is crumbled with the flour. With the mixer on medium speed slowly add the broth. Scrape the sides and mix for an additional 10 minutes. You want it thick enough to coat a spoon.


Time to assemble. Now remember we are amateurs at this so if you have a tried and true way of assembling go with that!  Cut 1 or 2 corn husks into long strips to use to tie the tamales. Spread two tablespoons of the masa in the center of  a husk and then place filling mixture in the center. Fold the sides over to envelope the filling and then roll to close. Tie the tamale and hope for the best!


Continue the process until you run out of corn husks! We made it a family affair. Blair loved rolling them.


Once they are all rolled fill a pot with two inches of water and place a steamer basket inside. Line the steamer with corn husks, and place wrapped tamales standing upright. Cover pot with a damp dish cloth and the lid. Steam for 90 minutes (I know…. 90 minutes. Torture) Halfway through check to be sure there is still water in the pot.

Cooked tamales will last in the fridge for 4-5 days or can be frozen!



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