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Vegan Tamales Recipe With Customizable Fillings

Vegan tamales recipe.
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / martenh

A vegan diet shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the foods you used to. Use this vegan tamales recipe to enjoy tamales in a variety of flavors and fillings.

Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish and uses dough (masa) made from corn and then steamed in banana leaf or corn wraps. Tamales were the first dish to ever use corn in Mesoamerica and dates back to 8000 B.C.. The wraps can be removed or used as a plate, and the filings vary from meats to cheeses and vegetables. Using our vegan tamales recipe, it’s easy to create a dish that suits your needs.

Vegan Tamales Filling Recipe

Your vegan tamale recipe can be your own depending on what filling you prefer.
Your vegan tamale recipe can be your own depending on what filling you prefer. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Jorgerom)

It’s helpful to make the filling for your vegan tamales first, because they can be time consuming, and it also gives the flavors a chance to develop while you make the masa.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound of oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • ½ an onion, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • half a head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 cup of dried chili peppers
  • A cup of vinegar


  1. Cut mushrooms into small chunks of about 1 inch.
  2. Put vegetable oil on a pan and heat on medium heat.
  3. Add onions, salt, and garlic. Cook until brown
  4. Add mushrooms and cook for at least 5 minutes or until tender, then set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add garlic, cumin, and chili peppers along with vinegar, and vegetable oil. Roast your full peppers with the ingredients until browned and cooked.
  6. Once cooked, place your sauce ingredients into a blender and blend.

If you are not using your filling right away, store it in the fridge in an airtight container.

You can try many fillings for your tamales based on your choice. Our vegetable filling is an easy vegan choice, however you can also fill your vegan tamales with meat alternatives like:

Vegan Tamales Recipe and Assembly

Tamales can be wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves.
Tamales can be wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Vicafree)

Now that your filling and filling sauces are done, you must make the masa. To make your masa, you’ll need the following ingredients:


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Mix your masa harina in a bowl with the baking powder and salt.
  2. Drizzle in extra virgin olive oil slowly and mix, preferably with an electric mixer.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and mix again until light and fluffy.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Now with the masa and fillings complete, assembling the tamales is the next step. Assembly is often done with multiple people as a way to complete the meal together. To assemble your vegan tamales:

  1. Wet and soak the corn husks in hot water for 5 minutes, then dry them.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of dough on each husks center, and top with a tablespoon of your filling.
  3. Fold your tamales.
  4. Tie with kitchen string or shred some husks into quarter inch vertical slices, and tie.
  5. Put in a pot and cover, steam for 45 minutes.

Now you can enjoy your vegan tamales, after letting them cool. You can try your own new fillings or change corn husks with banana leaves. This vegan tamale recipe is easy, and they are fun to assemble with friends or family.

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