Delicious Vegetarian Tamale Pie Recipe

Are you looking for a tasty and nutritious dinner idea? Look no further than this Vegetarian Tamale Pie recipe! Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking to switch things up, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds.

Packed with hearty beans, savory spices and fresh veggies, this tamale pie is both delicious and nutritious. It’s also incredibly versatile – swap in your favorite ingredients or tweak the spice level to your preference.

One thing’s for sure – this tamale pie is not only satisfying but also easy to prepare. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds (and perhaps even your health) will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Tamale Pie
Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Are you tired of serving the same old boring meals? Do you want to satisfy your cravings for something savory, spicy and comforting all at once? If so, then this vegetarian tamale pie recipe is what you’re looking for!

This plant-based tamale pie is perfect for anyone who wants to eat a hearty and tasty meal without compromising their health. Loaded with a variety of nutritious and flavorful ingredients, this dish is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

But what makes this recipe so special? For starters, the filling is made of a delicious blend of pinto beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro leaves, ground cumin, garlic cloves and more! It’s bursting with protein, fiber and vital nutrients that promote overall wellness.

And let’s not forget the crust! Our tamale pie’s cornmeal crust has just the right amount of sweetness and crunch to complement the spicy filling. What’s more, it’s vegan-friendly because it uses soymilk in place of eggs – perfect for those who want to enjoy comfort food without sacrificing their dietary preferences.

So why will you love this recipe? Well, it’s simple. It has everything you could want in a hot meal: savory flavors, plant-powered nutrition and a perfectly satisfying texture that will instantly transport your taste buds south of the border. Try our vegetarian tamale pie recipe today and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 Savory and satisfying
Savory and satisfying

Before we proceed with the recipe, let us first gather all the ingredients needed for our vegetarian tamale pie. Fear not, as you may already have some of these items in your pantry. Here are the ones you will need:

For the cornbread crust:

  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ cup of soymilk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • ⅓ cup of margarine (or any vegan butter substitute)
  • 1 egg (or any egg replacement)

For the filling:

  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings:

-Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

-Shredded cheddar cheese or vegan cheddar cheese substitute

-Chipotle chile paste

The Recipe How-To

 A Mexican-inspired masterpiece
A Mexican-inspired masterpiece

Now that we have gathered all the fresh and nutritious ingredients, let’s start cooking this delectable Vegetarian Tamale Pie recipe!

Prepare the cornbread crust

First things first, let us make the cornbread crust for our vegan tamale pie. In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of yellow cornmeal, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until well combined.

Then, add in 1 cup of soymilk, 2 tablespoons of melted margarine, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir the mixture until it’s just blended.

Sautee the vegan filling

Using a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add in 1 diced onion and cook for two to three minutes until it starts to soften. Then stir in 2 diced garlic cloves, one diced bell pepper and let it cook for two more minutes.

Next, stir in two cups each of pinto beans and kidney beans along with a spoonful each of ground cumin and chili powder. Add salt to taste. Finally pour in two cans of diced tomatoes with chipotle chile (14 ounces per can) and give it a good mix. Let it simmer for about five to seven minutes.

Assemble the Tamale Pie

Preheat your oven to around 375°F.

To assemble the tamale pie: using a cast-iron skillet or any oven-proof cooker or dish that measures at least nine inches across the bottom, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high flame. Then add diced onions (about one medium onion) and sautee till they turn golden-brown.

At this point pour in the sauteed vegan filling into this cooker or dish spread out evenly.

Now follow with pouring over the cornbread batter you prepared earlier over top of your vegan filling mix. Smooth out uniformly all around.

Place your cast iron skillet into the oven and bake it for about 30 to 35 minutes or until you note that the crust is golden brown color on top aside from being fully cooked.

Once done allow your new tamale creation some time to cool off before slicing up as desired.

Enjoy your Vegan Tamale Pie hot as is!

Substitutions and Variations

 Layers of deliciousness
Layers of deliciousness

Hey there, folks! When it comes to cooking, I always encourage everyone to be creative and play around with ingredients. The vegetarian tamale pie recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try to make this recipe your own.

1. Vegan Version: To make a vegan tamale pie, simply replace the cheddar cheese with a vegan alternative. For the egg wash, use a mixture of soymilk and a bit of olive oil instead of eggs. Substitute margarine for the butter in the cornbread batter.

2. Gluten-Free Option: If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, don’t worry, you can still enjoy this delicious tamale pie recipe by using gluten-free flour and cornmeal.

3. Meat Lovers: You can add cooked ground beef or turkey to the filling if you prefer a meaty version of this recipe. Simply brown the meat in a pan first and then add it to the rest of the filling ingredients.

4. Tex-Mex Style: Add some chili powder and minced chipotle chile to your filling for an extra kick of flavor that will take your tamale pie up a notch.

5. Butternut Tamale Pie: For a seasonal twist on this dish, use butternut squash instead of tomatoes in the filling, along with diced red bell peppers and frozen corn.

There you have it! These are just some options to help you create exciting variations of this vegetarian tamale pie recipe. Let me know in the comments what combination you tried and how it turned out!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect party dish
Perfect party dish

The vegetarian tamale pie is a flavorful and hearty meal that can easily please a crowd. It’s perfect for casual family dinners, potlucks, and gatherings with friends. When serving this dish, consider pairing it with some fresh and crunchy toppings like diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, or chopped fresh cilantro leaves. These toppings add both crunch and freshness to the dish, enhancing its flavors.

If you’re looking to balance out the boldness of the tamale flavors, you might want to consider serving it with a side of fresh green salad dressed in lime vinaigrette. Additionally, roasted or grilled vegetables like zucchini, squash, and bell peppers can also be served alongside the tamale pie as a delicious and colorful side.

To make your meal even more filling, serve the vegetarian tamale pie with a side of black refried beans or Mexican rice. Both of these dishes complement the tamale flavors very well and provide additional fiber and protein to your meal.

Lastly, if you’re serving this dish as a main course for dinner, consider pairing it with a hearty red wine like Pinot Noir or Merlot. The richness of the wine complements the boldness of the tamale flavors perfectly.

Overall, there are plenty of ways to pair this vegetarian tamale pie recipe to create delicious and satisfying meals that everyone will love.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A modern twist on a classic recipe
A modern twist on a classic recipe

One of the best things about this vegetarian tamale pie recipe is it can be easily made-ahead of time, which makes it perfect for meal prep or entertaining. You can make the filling and cornbread crust separately and store them in the refrigerator for a day or two until you’re ready to assemble the pie.

When you’re ready to cook the pie, simply preheat your oven, assemble the ingredients together in a cast-iron skillet or casserole dish and bake until golden brown. Allow the pie to cool slightly before cutting and serving to let the flavors further develop.

If you have any leftover vegetarian tamale pie, it can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days. However, keep in mind that the longer it’s stored, the more the flavors may blend together.

When reheating vegetarian tamale pie leftovers, there are several ways to do so depending on whether you want to reheat individual portions or the entire pie. You can reheat it in the oven at 350°F (180°C) until warmed all over, or microwave individual slices for about 1-2 minutes.

To get the best results when reheating your vegetarian tamale pie, ensure that it’s fully thawed if frozen beforehand. Also, keep track of cooking times as they may vary depending on your microwave or oven’s power output.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Vibrant and colorful
Vibrant and colorful

Creating a perfect vegetarian tamale pie requires attention to detail and patience, but the end result is worth it. Follow these tips to ensure that your tamale pie will come out of the oven perfectly every time.

Firstly, ensure that your cornbread batter is at room temperature before pouring it over the filling. Cold batter can cause uneven cooking and result in an undercooked center.

Secondly, use a cast iron skillet or baking dish for even heat distribution. Before adding any ingredients, preheat your skillet or baking dish in the oven for a few minutes. This will prevent sticking and help give your tamale pie a crispy crust.

Another crucial tip is to make sure that the filling is not too liquidy. If it is, it can cause the cornbread batter to sink to the bottom of the dish while cooking. Drain any excess liquid from canned beans or tomatoes before adding them to the filling.

If you’re using fresh vegetables in your filling, sauté them until they’re almost cooked through before adding them to the skillet. This will prevent them from becoming mushy during baking and add extra flavor to your filling.

Finally, let your tamale pie cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. This will give it time to set and make it easier to slice and serve.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and picture-perfect vegetable tamale pie that is sure to impress everyone at your next dinner party or family gathering.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegetarian tamale pie recipe is an excellent option for those craving the warm, flavorful goodness of a tamale without the meat. It is a perfect plant-based option that will satisfy your hunger and your taste buds.

By using fresh and healthy ingredients like beans, fresh cilantro leaves, diced tomatoes, and spices like cumin and chili powder, you can easily make this vegetarian tamale pie recipe in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you are vegan or simply trying to reduce your meat intake, this recipe is a must-try.

With its easy-to-follow instructions, substitute options, and reheating tips, it’s easy to prepare ahead of time for any occasion. Impress your guests or simply enjoy a cozy night in with this hearty and delicious dish.

So why not give this vegetarian tamale pie recipe a try? All of the ingredients are available at most grocery stores, and it doesn’t require any specialized skills or equipment. Take advantage of the nutritional benefits of plant-based ingredients while indulging in an irresistible taste experience!

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Vegetarian Tamale Pie Recipe

I combined two recipes for this and made modifications to make it vegan. Note that Morningstar Farms recently changed their product to include egg and dairy, so read the label before buying (not all stores carry the brand new bags, Boca is my second choice). Don't be scared off by the vegetarian/vegan label if that's not your dietary preference, this dish is a traditional comfort food. The best part is it's an all-in-one meal, you don't have to serve side dishes (although a dark green salad with a light dressing would go well too). Note that the photo to the side (from me in the baking dish) is the recipe cut in half.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Calories 490.7 kcal



  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Grillers recipe crumbles
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans or (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle chile, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, from can chipotle in adobo
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (regular or soy)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons melted margarine (vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 eggs, equivalent substitute (I use Ener-G)
  • 1 1/4 cups soymilk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the crumbles and heat through. Sprinkle mixture with cumin.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, chiles and adobo sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until heated through and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and cilantro.
  • Spread the crumble/bean mixture in the prepared baking dish, pressing down on it with the back of a spoon to make an even, compact layer.
  • Prepare the cornbread. Combine dry ingredients in bowl, then add remaining wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Spread the cornbread batter over the crumble mixture and bake until the cornbread is golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes (or longer depending on oven, mine took closer to 30 minutes). Let the tamale pie stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 232gCalories: 490.7kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 15.2gFat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 5.6gCholesterol: 67.7mgSodium: 525.2mgFiber: 7.2gSugar: 19.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Oven, Savory Pies, South American, Stove Top, Vegan, Weeknight
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