Are Hot Tamales Vegan- Pro Food Recipes

Last Updated on January 12, 2024 by Amanda P. Brown

No, Traditional hot Mexican tamales are not vegan. But you can make it vegan with a few hacks and replace non-vegan ingredients. The traditional masa is vegan. So, just to turn your tamale vegan, include vegan tamales filling like colorful beans, veggies, or fruits.

However, in this article, you will find the answer Are hot tamales vegan? with the solution of How to make vegan tamales. Moreover, 11 brilliant Vegetarian/Vegan tamale filling ideas are waiting below.

So, whether you’re a seasoned plant-based enthusiast or just exploring the world of vegan cuisine, the guide below will provide a cruelty-free twist on the classic Mexican dish tamale food.

Are Hot Tamales Vegan
Are Hot Tamales Vegan

What Are Tamales or Vegan Tamales?

Tamales are a yummy Mexican dish with a long history. They’re like little packages made of masa, a corn dough stuffed with tasty fillings. These can be anything from meats and cheese to chilies or sweet ingredients.

Vegan tamales are a plant-based version of this classic Mexican dish. They are free from animal products. The dough is made with corn flour, vegetable broth, and plant-based oils. It serves as the base. Instead of meat, the vegan tamales filling features black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cilantro. Then, it is seasoned with cumin and chili powder.

It is enclosed in softened corn husks. These tamales are steamed until perfection. The result is a flavorful and cruelty-free rendition of the traditional recipe.

This showcases the versatility of plant-based ingredients. It’s a straightforward yet delectable way to experience the heart of Mexican cuisine without decreasing taste or ethics.

Vegan Tamales Recipe

Vegan Tamales
Vegan Tamales

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, the recipe below will offer you the most delicious Mexican Tamales plate. Let’s see how you can simply make a vegan tamales recipe.

Ingredients for Tamales Vegan:

  • 4.4 pounds – tamale Maseca
  • 2.5 cup – coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons – salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons – baking powder
  • 48 oz vegetable broth (1.5-2 cartons)
  • 60–80 corn husks
  • 18- Guajillo Chiles (dried)
  • 1/2 slice – whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 – corn tortilla
  • 3–4 – garlic cloves
  • 3 – small peppercorns
  • 2 – tericherry peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon – guajillo chili seeds
  • 2–3 tablespoons – canola oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 2.5 cups – water
  • 2 large cans – Jackfruit
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste


  1. Dip the horn shells in hot water for a minimum of an hour. Put a plate on top of them to ensure they are all immersed in water. 
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried guajillo peppers. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook until the tortilla, bread, and garlic cloves are golden brown. Put aside in a large mixing bowl.
  3. More oil needs to be added to the skillet, and the dried guajillo chiles need to be toasted for 5 sec on both sides.
  4. Flip them over as soon they start to puff up and get somewhat red, being careful not to overheat or burn them. Place them in the big mixing basin with the bread, tortilla, and cheese.
  5. Gently roast the peppercorns in a similar way, then add them to the big mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. At this stage, ALL of the sauce ingredients need to be combined in this large mixing bowl.
  6. Include enough steaming water to cover all ingredients in the container and absorb them for a minimum of 2 hours, or soak them for 20 min in boiling water.
  7. Mix all of the soaked items in a blender with 2.5 glasses of the already-soaking water.
  8. Place the sauce in a pan over medium heat after straining it. Stir to come to a boil, then lower to a low heat. 
  9. Stir in the shredded Jackfruit until fully combined. Season to taste. Cook for 10-15 minutes over low heat.
  10. Begin by melting the coconut oil (or olive oil), and then add the masa flour, baking powder, veggie broth, and salt. With your hands, combine everything until it forms a dough.
  11. The dough must be moist but not wet or dry. The amount of oil used will vary; add it gradually and continue till you obtain the perfect dough texture. 
  12. Pick a corn husk, then put around 1/4 cup of the masa on it with a spoon.
  13. In the center of the dough, put 1/2 tablespoons of Jackfruit fill.
  14. Fold the husk in half and then in half again. Fold in the middle bit. Repeat until all of the dough and fillings have been used.
  15. Tamales should be steamed for about 1.5 hours, depending on the quantity. If your pot is small, you can feed 15-20 people at once.
  16. When the corn husks are easily peelable, they’re ready! At times, they might not appear done. Confirm by gently squeezing the tamale; it should feel firm, not soft. As it cools, it will further harden.
  17. Allow a minimum of 30 min to cool before unwrapping and serving.

Read More:

11 Vegetarian/Vegan Tamale Filling Ideas (Savory and Sweet)

Let’s see how you can make your vegan tamale more gorgeous with taste and nutrition. Below are 11 ideas. Some will guide you to savory tamales, and some will guide you to sweet tamales. All options assure you a flavorful tamales vegan/vegetarian plate. 

1. Black Bean Tamales

Black Bean Tamales
Black Bean Tamales

Black bean tamales vegetarian/vegan are a tasty twist on traditional ones. They feature seasoned black beans mixed with spices and herbs.

This tasty bean combination is wrapped in corn husks, wrapped in masa dough, and steamed until done. You can also make banana leaf tamales as an alternative to corn husk tamales for a flavor twist. 

However, It’s a delicious and satisfying vegan or vegetarian option with rich flavors and a hearty texture.

2. Green Corn Tamales

Corn Tamales
Corn Tamales

One of the common vegetarian tamales dishes is Green corn tamales. These tamales feature fresh or roasted green corn kernels mixed into the masa dough. It lends a unique flavor and color. The masa is filled, wrapped, and steamed to create a tasty and distinctive dish.

Then, unwrap steamed green corn tamales and place them on a plate. Combine it with topping like guacamole and salsa for a tasty supper.

3. Green Chile Tamales with Walnut

Green Chile Tamales with Walnut
Green Chile Tamales with Walnut

One of the cherished Vegan tamale filling ideas is  Green Chile Tamales with walnuts. This dish features masa dough spread on soaked corn husks, filled with a mixture of chopped green chiles and crushed walnuts. 

After folding, these tamales are steamed for about an hour. Then, you can enjoy this flavorful and festive treat with family and kids. 

4. Sweet Potato Tamales

Sweet Potato Tamales
Sweet Potato Tamales

Sweet potato tamales are a tasty spin on the classic. This tamale food combines masa harina with mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, and cheese. It’s a brilliant recipe for vegetarian tamales.

They are steamed in maize husks after being spiced with cumin, chili spice, and salt. Pair with guacamole or the salsa for a tasty and filling savory entrée.

5. Mushroom Tamales

Mushroom Tamales
Mushroom Tamales

The earthy mushrooms, sautéed with onions, garlic, and spices in banana leaves, offer an amazing traditional mushroom tamale plate. The savory mushroom filling in masa dough adds a delicious and flavorful touch.

To boost your dining experience, you can pair this vegetarian tamale recipe with Mexican rice or black beans.

6. Jackfruit Tamales

Jackfruit Tamales
Jackfruit Tamales

Jackfruit tamales are a plant-based twist on traditional tamales. This popular tamale food features Jackfruit as the main filling. The tropical fruit’s meaty texture, seasoned with spices, offers a savory, slightly sweet taste.

They’re wrapped in masa and then cooked in husks of corn or banana leaves. These homemade tamales provide a unique and delicious vegan option. 

7. Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales

Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales
Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales

Jalapeño and cheese tamales are a tasty Mexican dish. This popular tamales recipe vegetarian is made with masa dough, spicy jalapeños, and savory cheese. 

Then, it is wrapped in corn husks, steamed, and served in a traditional way. They create a delicious blend of heat and richness. It makes them a firm favorite among individuals who love a little heat in their meals.

8. Strawberry Tamales

Strawberry Tamales
Strawberry Tamales

After a savory dining menu, a sweet tamale can be a good addition. Strawberry tamales are a sweet and fruity variation of traditional tamales. These delightful treats feature masa dough infused with strawberry flavor and filled with a sweet strawberry compote.

They are then wrapped in husks of corn or banana leaves and cooked till tender. This fruit tamale recipe will offer a delectable and unique dessert experience.

9. Pineapple Tamales

Pineapple Tamales

Another one of the amazing fruit tamale recipes is Pineapple tamales. These fruit tamales feature pineapple-infused masa dough and are often filled with a sweet pineapple mixture.

Wrap in the husks of corn, banana leaves, or other alternatives like aluminum foil or parchment paper. However, these dessert tamales can be a delightful combination to serve at gatherings.

10. Blackberry Tamales

Blackberry Tamales
Blackberry Tamales

This tamales fruit version comprises masa dough infused with blackberry flavor. It is often filled with a sweet blackberry compote. Then, as usual, fold in corn husks the traditional way and go for steaming. At the end, come out with a luscious and unique dessert, Blackberry tamales. 

However, to enhance the flavor of blackberry tamales, you can add complementary ingredients like a hint of lime zest or a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

11. Vegan Chocolate Tamales

Vegan Chocolate Tamales
Vegan Chocolate Tamales

One of the great dessert tamales for chocolate lovers is Vegan chocolate tamales. They are delicious treats made with corn flour, cocoa or vegan chocolate, plant-based oil, baking powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt.

The filling includes dairy-free chocolate chips, sugar, and plant-based milk. These ingredients combine to make a delectable, cruelty-free dessert for vegan chocolate lovers.

How to Make Oil Free Vegan Tamales?

To prepare oil free vegan tamales, you can follow below:

  • Swap regular oils for plant-based options like applesauce or mashed avocado.
  • Mix masa harina with vegetable broth to make the dough.
  • Choose colorful and tasty fillings like black beans, veggies, or fruits.
  • Steam the tamales without using oil for a healthier choice.

How Do You Serve Tamales?

You can serve tamales in different ways. Below are some ideas.

  • You can pair it with Tomatillo Salsa
  • You can enjoy one glass of Hot Atole.
  • You can grab handheld treats from trucks and stands.
  • Or you can relish the deliciousness solo.


What Toppings Go Well With Vegetarian Tamale Pie?

To enhance your vegetarian tamale pie, you can include the below toppings. They will ensure a perfect, delightful vegetarian plate. Let’s check what they are:
1. Fresh Salsa
2. Guacamole
3. Vegan Sour Cream
4. Chopped Cilantro
5. Pickled Jalapeños
6. Sliced Green Onions.

How to Make Vegan Masa for Tamales?

Make vegan masa by mixing masa harina, veggie broth, baking powder, and a plant-based fat-like vegetable shortening. If necessary, add extra broth to achieve the desired consistency. This vegan masa ensures delicious tamales. It is ideal for a plant-based diet.

Is Masa Gluten Free?

Yes, masa is gluten-free and vegan dough made from corn treated with lime. So, for vegan, vegetarian, or gluten intolerant, this is totally fine. For your gluten free vegan tamales or tortillas, you can use this masa. It offers benefits like enhanced niacin and improved protein quality.

Final Verdict

While traditional tamales are not vegan due to meat filling, it doesn’t mean vegetarians or vegans will miss this incredible Mexican dish. So, if you are stuck Are hot tamales vegan, you can easily get over it.

Just try our above-mentioned vegan tamale recipe and 11 Vegetarian/Vegan tamale filling ideas. All will amaze you, from savory Black bean tamales to sweet Vegan chocolate tamales. 

So, Don’t be late; cook homemade tamales and share them with family and friends.

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