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Vegan Tamale Pie

4.8 from 5 votes

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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.

Serving of recipe on a small plate sitting on a striped napkin, fresh cilantro and pan of recipe in background

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:

Cast iron skillet of baked tamale pie, with cilantro garnish, and a green towel next to the pan

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.
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • 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
  • Applesauce
  • Salt

Instructions:

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.

Cast iron skillet with filling for vegan tamale pie

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.

Cast iron skillet with tamale pie ready to go in the oven

Serving suggestions:

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.

A serving of the recipe on a round white plate sitting on an orange and green striped napkin, with a fork laying next to the plate

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A serving of the recipe on a round white plate sitting on an orange and green striped napkin, with a fork laying next to the plate
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4.8 from 5 votes

Vegan Tamale Pie

Delicious black bean and vegetable chili topped with cornbread and baked together in a skillet for a fabulous weeknight meal your whole family will love!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Black Bean, Oil Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 251kcal
Author Teresa Sklenicka

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • 2 14 oz cans black beans
  • 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

Cornbread Topping:

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

For a gluten free tamale pie, substitute the whole wheat pastry flour with a gluten free flour blend.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.2g | Protein: 10.4g | Fat: 2.1g | Sodium: 500mg | Fiber: 12.1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1576.75IU | Vitamin C: 32.42mg | Calcium: 174.79mg | Iron: 3.82mg

Nutrition calculations are approximate.

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By on September 27th, 2020

About Teresa Sklenicka

I love creating tasty, oil-free, vegan recipes that everyone will love (even non-vegans)! Here you'll find vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods, as well as some new tastes! Join me on a path to improving your health, helping the planet, and saving animals.

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