While tamales traditionally contain lard in the masa mix, it is easy to make them vegan by using vegetable shortening as the fat source. Countless plant-based filling options can provide you with an amazing vegan bite. From mushrooms to beans to fruit, you are sure to love the experience of making and eating the results of these vegan tamales recipes.
If you are passionate about vegan cooking, you know jackfruit is a great way to get some texture into your meal. Jackfruit is also an irresistible ingredient to entice meat-eaters to eat vegan food since it has a similar texture to pulled pork. The chili sauce accompanying these tamales is complex and a flavor-enriching compliment to the jackfruit.
These tamales offer a balance of spice and creaminess. The ingredients contain plenty of tasty vegetables, offering tastiness and nutritional value. This recipe uses baking paper rather than cork husks or banana leaves.
If you love the flavor of tamales but want a slightly different spin, try this vegan tamale pie. The result is quite different from a standard tamale but is a welcome addition to any dining experience if you are craving one but do not have time to make some.
Vegan tamales can be sweet as well as savory. Take this offering as an example, which uses chocolate as a natural complement to corn. These chocolate tamales are a light but flavorful dessert, and are a simple dish. You do not need many ingredients for this recipe, and the process can be less involved than some conventional alternatives.
Try this tamale recipe if you are looking for an oil-free recipe. This Brand New Vegan creation includes a homemade chili sauce and a filling that consists of sweet potato, black beans, green chilies, and onion. While the assembly can be somewhat involved, you are sure to love the result.
While many of the recipes on this list use a steamer or the oven, this one allows you to make your tamales in an Instant Pot. That may take time off from the cooking process. What’s more, Conflicted Vegan offers several ideas for your tamales, including refried beans, poblano pepper, vegan mozzarella, and soy curl filling.
Mole and tamales are two delicious Mexican delicacies. So, it only makes sense to combine them. While you can make your own mole sauce, this recipe recommends using a jar. Meanwhile, jackfruit provides a complex texture that compliments the smooth masa exterior.
While many of the tamales on this list contain complex seasonings and fillings, this tamale is a simple celebration of delicate corn flavors. If you want a bit of flavor, feel free to serve them with salsa, mole, or another sauce. These plain tamales also make a great compliment to a stew or mushroom dish.
You don’t need to go through the process of making a whole tamale to enjoy everything about it. If that sounds appealing, this deconstructed vegan tamale may be right up your alley. Instead of a masa-based tamale, the bulk of this dish consists of polenta. Black beans, jackfruit, bell peppers, poblano peppers, avocado, and other vegetables round out the dish.
Masa, black beans, green chilies, vegan cheese. What else do you need from a cozy dish? Each bite of this tamale will show you why they are such a perfect comfort food. If you do decide you want other fillings, this recipe suggests several enticing possibilities.
Blackberry and pecan are a perfect combination in this unique dessert tamale. Imagine the excitement as you slice into a beautiful light yellow tamale to unveil the vibrant purple filling within. Meanwhile, the pecans add a bit of texture and a nutty taste that cuts through the taste of the blackberry.
Corn comes in several colors, including blue. As a result, you can make vibrant tamales with blue cornmeal and butterfly pea tea. This recipe embraces that wherever it can, including in a filling of blue potatoes and black beans.
As tasty as they are beautiful, The Herbal Academy uses edible flowers to provide gorgeous designs on the outside of these botanical vegan tamales. Despite that, the floral flavors can be tasted in the filling due to the use of hibiscus in concert with jackfruit.
Even though these tamales are fairly simple compared to other items on this list, the masa and pinto bean filling provide plenty of flavor and comfort. If you want a simple introduction to tamales, this recipe may be a good place to start. These tamales are also free of many common allergens.
Taste has managed to come up with a tamale that is both simple and complex. The actual construction of the recipe is easy. However, the flavors of the recipe are engaging and tasty. Jalapeno and pesto meld together to provide brightness and spice, while the potato provides body and earthiness.
Zucchini and black beans make up the filling of these low-fat tamales. The dough itself includes pumpkin puree instead of a vegetable shortening or oil. The result is less fat and more flavor. These autumnal tamales make a great dish as the weather cools.
This recipe maker transformed her mother’s tamale recipe into one that is friendly for vegans. The recipe includes instructions for a delightful tomatillo sauce and a chili and cumin jackfruit filling. Optionally, you can also add jalapenos, vegan mozzarella, and soy chorizo.
Mushroom tamales are a perfect choice if you are looking for a vegan option. The earthiness of the mushrooms nicely compliments the sweet corn flavor of the masa. Add chipotle peppers and other spices to achieve a strong flavor and pair with salsa to add brightness.
Oyster mushrooms provide a vigorous texture to these tamales, while mole injects a delicious and complex punch of flavor. While some recipes use premade mole, this recipe includes instructions on making mole from scratch. Enjoy this recipe any time of the year.
Choose this recipe if you are new to making tamales, and want something that is a gentle introduction to the dish. The masa itself is seasoned with a red chili sauce. This recipe includes several filling options, including chili and cheese, vegan meat, and spinach.
Tamales can be made with banana leaves as well as corn husks. Often, this is called an Oaxacan tamale. If you want to make these tamales with corn husks, the recipe will not change much. One Green Planet uses seitan and plenty of flavorful veggies. As a result, you’ll find this tamale to be more than hearty.
22. Stupid Easy Vegan Breakfast Tamale by Kitchen Dance Partii
Technically, you can eat tamales any time of the day. However, Kitchen Dance Partii has an exquisite offering perfect for breaking. The filling includes vegan eggs, mushrooms, and nutritional yeast. What a delicious way to start the day! Serve the tamale with enchilada sauce, salsa, or mole.
These tamales are made with banana leaves. The filling includes butternut squash, sweet potato, bell pepper, poblano pepper, and plenty of seasoning. The masa includes vegetable broth for extra flavor. As a result of those components, these tamales are indeed sweet and spicy.
Sweet potato and black beans are a classic combination, so this recipe is sure to be a delight. While this flavor profile is traditionally very autumn-friendly, you can enjoy it at any time of the year. Tamales are very easy to freeze, and this dish will be a treat regardless of the season.
Dora’s Table has a recipe that captures the wonderful simplicity of many tamales. Other than the masa mix, this recipe includes pickled jalapeno and vegan cheese. These tamales are an easy choice if you are looking for a simple introduction to the food.
Lentils and green chile play beautifully together in these tamales. The earthy lentils deliver depth, while the green chilies provide spice and brightness. Sweet corn offers some lightness and a tie-in to the masa itself. Season both the filling and the masa mix with vegan bouillon.
Create Mindfully has come up with a relatively simple dish that’s easy to assemble and doesn’t require many ingredients. While the components may be few, the flavor result packs a significant punch. These tamales include fresh corn, vegan cream cheese, and green chilies, offering both flavor and texture.
One of the spiciest vegan tamales recipes on this list is this dish by Cook For Good. While potatoes, onions, and peas make up the bulk of the filling, the seasoning is much more complex. Dried chilies, garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and vinegar all contribute to the depth of flavor of this tamale. The masa dough is fairly similar compared to other entries.
This recipe does not yield the simple little tamales that many others on this list do. Instead, these are full of poblano chilies, potatoes, onions, garlic, and soy chorizo. The result makes a perfect, hearty breakfast. You can even freeze them and then thaw them as needed. Serve these tamales with a salsa, mole, or other sauce.
Strawberry tamales are a classic dessert option for this food. You can get layers of strawberry flavor as a result of the strawberries in the masa dough and the strawberry jam in the filling. While this recipe uses premade jam, you can also replace that ingredient with homemade jam.
Pineapple and corn go together very well. These ingredients are both light and sweet, though corn is slightly earthier while pineapple is bright. These delicate flavors play together delightfully in this sweet tamale. A dash of cinnamon and some raisins provide complexity, flavor, and texture interest. Frozen Fruit Co.’s dish is best enjoyed as a pleasant finish to a summertime meal.
If you are looking for an easy recipe that has more complex flavors, you may want to try this creation by Clean Cooking Caitlin. A delightful red chile sauce brings the dish to life as jackfruit drifts through the seasoning of jalapeno, lime juice, soy sauce, green chilies, and other seasonings.
The masa dough is fairly simple and similar to other recipes on this list except for the addition of vegetable broth and other seasonings.
Spinach and mushroom are a well-known combination for a reason. Add a little bit of red pepper to bring the whole thing up a notch. Beyond the fun fillings, these tamales are similar to other recipes, though the nutritional yeast adds a sumptuous layer of umami flavor.
With this dish, you get to play around with a few sauce options that you can include as a topper for your tamale.
Walnut and green chile may seem like an odd combination. However, the texture of the walnuts goes a long way toward adding complexity to this dish. The green chilies provide plenty of exciting flavors.
Willamette Transplant’s recipe includes an ingredient that is fairly unique to this dish: olives. If you can not find corn husks, don’t worry! This recipe provides instructions for how to make tamales with parchment paper.
These tamales are choc-full of delicious vegetables. From wild mushrooms to squash to black beans, there are a lot of textural and flavor elements to enjoy. Kale and cilantro introduce some delicious brightness while also balancing the more earthy ingredients.
This recipe is a fantastic dish to consider if you enjoy zero-waste cooking. The liquid used to hydrate the mushrooms adds extra taste to the masa dough.
Here is a recipe that is another unique take on tamales. The dish consists of a mix of onion, jalapeno, peppers, tomato paste, masa harina, vegetable broth, black beans, pinto beans, and corn. A corn-based bread cooks inside of the mixture. While this meal is yummy on its own, you can easily pair it with fresh guacamole and sour cream.
While many recipes on this list consist of a pouch of masa that surrounds various fillings, this tamale has vegetables mixed in with the masa. Those vegetables include corn kernels and zucchini cubes. As a result, this recipe results in a delicious snack in warm weather.
This recipe is another excellent option if you are a beginner. You have several fat options to consider with these straightforward tamales, including oil and shortening. This recipe also uses soyrizo, jalapenos, and vegan cheese. However, it also discusses other fillings that you can use. Black beans, jackfruit, and whatever other items on hand may also work as fillings.
Before the Spaniards came to the Americas, tamales were routinely made without any kind of non-vegan ingredients. This tamale recipe harkens back to that time by mixing vegetables with the masa dough. In this recipe, carrots, squash, poblano peppers, corn, and red peppers combine with the masa. However, if those don’t strike a chord with you, this recipe does offer other filling suggestions.
What is better than one tamale? How about two different types of tamales? Both the potato and pinto bean filling and the green chili and cheese fillings are delicious. Each of the fillings is simple to make, but you can easily choose one filling if you have a preference. Serve these tamales with guacamole, sour cream, or other sauces.
This recipe is an excellent choice if you are in the mood for corn and zucchini but you do not have the time to put into making tamales. This casserole is an interesting twist on tamales and may be easier to make. Yet, it provides plenty of flavor and comfort regardless. Try eating this hearty meal alongside your other favorite plant-based dishes or on its own as a cozy snack.
Easy Vegan Tamales Recipes, Final Thoughts
Whether it is a special occasion or a hearty and delicious snack, tamales can hit the spot. While any of these recipes would be delightful, tamales are versatile. These vegan tamales recipes are best made with people you love. Complete your tamale meal with vegan chili or vegan hot chocolate!