This Vegan Tamale Pie is made with a delicious bean and vegetable chili, topped with a lightly sweetened cornbread crust, and baked to perfection! It all cooks in one pan, and is an easy recipe for weeknight dinners.
This tamale pie is one of my favorite new meals, and is sure to become one of yours as well! The savory and spicy chili filling is topped with a slightly sweet cornbread topping – a perfect pairing of flavors!
And this tamale pie is not just vegan, it’s also oil free and packed with vegetables to make it a healthy, but hearty dish.
It’s also a very adaptable casserole. Throw in whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator – it’s a great way to use up leftover veggies!
You can also make it as hot or as mild as you want, by adjusting the spices, or maybe adding in some jalapenos or hot chili peppers.
Of course we all know that chili and cornbread area great pair – but cooking them together in one pan is so easy and saves on cleanup.
This recipe makes a fairly large amount, so it’s perfect to bring to a potluck, or make it at the beginning of the week and enjoy it for meals over the next few days.
Ingredients in this Vegan Tamale Pie:
For the filling:
- Yellow onion
- Bell pepper – I used a red bell pepper, but yellow or green would work just as well.
- Beans – I used 2 cans of black beans, but you can use any type of beans you like. Pinto beans and kidney beans would be great in this recipe.
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Frozen corn
- Chili powder, cumin, dried coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt
For the cornbread topping:
- Corn meal
- Whole wheat pastry flour – a gluten free flour blend can be substituted for a gluten free tamale pie
- Baking powder
- Ground flax seed
- Maple syrup
If you have a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, or another oven safe skillet, you can cook the filling and bake the pie in the same pan. If not, you can use another skillet and transfer the filling to a casserole dish.
Saute the onions and peppers in a small amount of oil. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan at any time during the cooking, just add a bit more water. When the onions are translucent, add in the garlic and saute a couple more minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the mixture is thickened.
For the cornbread topping, start by making your flax “egg”. Stir together the ground flax seed and hot water, and let it set for a few minutes. Combine the dry ingredients, and then stir in the wet ingredients, including the flax “egg”.
Pour the batter over the filling, and bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Top this vegan tamale pie with chopped cilantro or green onions. It would also be tasty topped with vegan sour cream, vegan cheese sauce, or with avocado slices or guacamole.
How to store leftovers:
Leftover tamale pie can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days. This casserole also freezes well. I recommend freezing it in single portions in individual serving sized freezer containers. Then you can thaw out and reheat individual servings for an easy lunch or dinner. Of course, you can freeze larger portions, if you prefer.
If you like this recipe, you might like:
- Black Bean and Grilled Vegetable Tacos
- Quinoa and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Savory Black Beans in the Instant Pot
- Soy Curl Fajitas
- Mexican Quinoa Bowl
- Vegan Jambalaya
- Easy Homemade Guacamole
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Vegan Tamale Pie
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 medium bell pepper diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 2 14 oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 Tbsp hot water
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
- 3 tablespoons applesauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
For the filling:
- In a large cast iron or oven save skillet, or a dutch oven, saute the onions and bell pepper with a little bit of water, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 more minutes.
- Add the zucchini, black beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Stir together and bring to a boil, then simmer until the mixture has thickened.
- While the filling is simmering, make the cornbread topping.
For the topping:
- Stir together the ground flax seed and the hot water. Set aside for a few minutes until it forms a gel.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Combine the nondairy milk, the applesauce, the maple syrup, and the flax seed mixture.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
- Spread the cornbread batter over the top of the filling.
- Place the skillet or Dutch oven in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition calculations are approximate.