vegan tamales – 2 ways

After the race on Sunday, we went to a farmers market and I got a 3 pack of vegan tamales. They. were. amazing. (And all eaten by the end of the day). I haven’t had tamales in forever and these reminded me just how much I love them. I asked my mom about making them and she said they were a pain.

Vegan Tamales

  • 3c vegetable broth (low sodium would be best)
  • 3 1/2c polenta or cornmeal
  • 2Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp sugar
  1. Turn the stove to medium heat and fill a pot with the vegetable broth.
  2. When the broth begins to simmer, turn off the heat and add the polenta/cornmeal.
  3. Now add the olive oil, salt, and sugar.
  4. Set aside while you make the filling.
Mushroom Filling:
  • 2c button mushrooms
  • 1Tbsp finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/4tsp minced garlic
  1. Put a pan over medium heat and coat with oil.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
  3. Now add the jalapeno and garlic. Cook for a minute or 2 more. 
Beet and Tofu Filling: (to be quite honest, I didn’t measure)

  • Cooked red beets
  • Tofu
  1. Chop the beets and tofu into similar sizes and mix until you have the ratio you like.


  •  Parchment paper
  • Steamer
  1. Cut the parchment paper into squares. They can be big or small, depending on what size you want the tamales to be.
  2. Put a layer of dough onto the parchment paper and form into a somewhat oval shape with a crevice in the middle.
  3. Lay some of the filling in the middle.
  4. Add some more of the dough to the top so that none of the filling is exposed.
  5. Now it’s time to wrap it up! Wrap it up like a candy. With the top folded and the sides twisted. 
  6. Once your tamales are wrapped, put water into a pot and get your steamer ready.
  7. If you don’t have a steamer (like me), you can make your own ghetto style steamer. All you need to do is get a big pot and a big piece of aluminum foil. Fold the foil in half so it’s like there are two layers (this makes it sturdier). Now poke holes in the foil with a knife, fork, pen, whatever. Lay over the pot with 4 flaps hanging onto the side. Make sure it’s stable! 
  8. Lay the tamales in the “steamer” with as many as can fit and cook over medium-low heat. Put the lid on top.
  9. Mine took about 45 minutes to cook. To check if they’re done, take out a tamale and if the dough is still sticky, leave them in there for longer. But if the dough has formed into a shape, they’re done.

The fillings are super versatile! You can all different kinds of meats and veggies. Whatever floats you tamale boat 🙂 Either way, enjoy!

18 thoughts on “vegan tamales – 2 ways

  1. okay, whoa. time for #real talk. I LOVE tamales and made my own vegan ones a while back too! yours look like they came out even better, which means we need to have tamale making parties 🙂

  2. I love the idea of Vegan Tamales!! I buy my tamales from the tamale man because I’ve always been afraid to even attempt making them, but this recipe looks so do-able!

  3. I’ve never had a tamale but now I really want to because these look incredible! As soon as I am done with school and have some time I am making these ASAP!

  4. When I read the title of this post,I was like “Eeeeer… Wait,what’s a tamale?!”
    I’ve seriosuly never heard about this dish,but I love polenta & it sounds really good! Great that the fillings are that versatile,too. I think I’ll give it a try sooner or later 😉

  5. I’ve never tried tamales before, but these look amazing! Especially with the mushroom filling. 😀

  6. Pingback: Saturday Link Love 7/21 | You, Me, & A World to See

  7. Waaah, I’ve been meaning to try tamales forever! How many does your recipe make? I think I’ll have to try a far smaller batch seeing as I’m living alone.

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