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vegan tamales

Oil Free Vegan Tamales

  • Author: Chuck Underwood
  • Yield: 20 Tamales 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This year, I decided to make some homemade Tamales, and let me just say ... these Oil Free Vegan Tamales will definitely melt in your mouth and become a new holiday tradition!


Units Scale

The Tamales

  • 1 pck Dried Corn Husks
  • 1 batch New Mexican Red Chile Sauce ((see recipe below))

The Filling

  • 1 large Sweet Potato (peeled & cubed)
  • 1 can Black Beans (15oz)
  • 1 can Whole Green Chiles (7oz)
  • 1/2 small Onion (diced)
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Salt

The Masa

  • 3 1/2 cups Masa Tamal Corn Flour
  • 3 cups Vegetable Broth (low sodium)
  • 1 can Whole Kernel Corn (15oz)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder


The Prep

  1. Prepare Red Chile Sauce from the following recipe and set aside.
    Link to Easy New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
  2. Soak 25-30 Corn Husks in a bowl or pot of cold water for at least 1 hour.  Make sure to add a plate or something to the top to keep them immersed.

The Filling

  1. Peel and cube Sweet Potato and boil until fork tender.  About 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the onion and add to saute pan.  Also, cut Green Chiles into strips and add to saute pan.  Simmer until softened.
  3. Drain and rinse the Black Beans and add to onion mixture. Season with Cumin and a pinch of Salt.
  4. When Potato is tender, drain and add to Beans.  Also, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Red Chile Sauce and mix well.
  5.  Lightly mash with a potato masher and set aside.

The Masa

  1. Drain the can of corn and add to a blender.  Puree on high until smooth.  You may need to add 1-2 Tbs of water to get it started.
  2. Add the corn to a mixing bowl and whip for 1-2 minutes.  Slowly add Baking Powder, Salt, Oregano, Garlic Powder, and 2-3 Tbs of Red Chile.  Mix well.
  3. Slowly add 1 cup of Masa and mix.  Add 1 cup of Broth to thin.
  4. Add another cup of Masa and allow to mix, and then thin with another cup of broth.  Repeat one more time.
  5. Masa should have the consistency of Peanut Butter or a thick Pancake Batter.  Use remaining 1/2 cup Masa Flour to achieve that consistency.

The Assembly

  1. Prepare your Steamer or Instant Pot by filling the bottom with water just up to the wire rack of the trivet.  Cover with Corn Husks if necessary to prevent Tamales from falling through.
  2. Take 3-4 smaller Corn Husks and rip them into long strings to be used as ties.
  3. Take a large Corn Husk and lay it down in front of you, smooth side up, and the pointy, tapered end towards you and pat dry.
  4. Spread 2-3 Tbs of Masa in the center of the Husk leaving the edges clear as well as the bottom 2-3".  I made a 3" or 4" square, approximately 1/4" thick.
  5. Lay 1-2 tsp of filling down the middle of the Masa and gently roll the sides until the Masa is sealed.  Wap the husk around and fold the bottom up to seal.   Secure with a Corn Husk Tie.  Leave the top open.
  6. Place assembled Tamale in Steamer Pot vertically and repeat until the pot is filled.
  7. Attach Lid and steam for 45 minutes or until Masa is cooked through.  IP Users make sure your lid is set to SEALING and use the STEAM Feature on your IP.  You can cut off the empty Corn Husk tops if your Tamales poke up past the rim.


Recipe Link for Easy New Mexican Red Chile Sauce

Tips are always welcome!