Pie (including tamale pie) makes everything better
Vegan tamale pie is the perfect recipe for those times when you are searching for healthy, easy, satisfying comfort food. We’re talking a spicy chili filling topped with a cornmeal crust. And it's great with vegan sour cream. Oh ya.
Tamale pie goes vegan
I’ve had several versions of tamale pie in the past – none of them vegan. When I decided to make my own vegan tamale pie, I suddenly realized that I’d not had this dish for some decades (yes, decades). As a result, I ended up creating this recipe from scratch using my principles of plant-based, oil free cooking.
Because it’s a tamale pie
It isn’t pie without a lid of some description. One thing universal for tamale pie that I didn't forget was that yummy, comforting corn meal crust. A vegan version was easy using plant milk and an 'egg' made with chia seeds. Let's face it - that corn-sweet crust puts the pie in tamale pie.
Back up spoon, it's time for pie
I sometimes fret in my lack of artfulness when it comes to certain tasks. Sometimes, this applies to handwriting (hey, I’m a lefty). It sometimes applies to cooking. Fortunately, vegan tamale pie filling is quite amenable to having cornmeal crust applied. No fancy kitchen apparatus required – just use the back of your spoon and work from one side to the other.
Oh, that oven smell. The promise of good things to come. They (and I never know who ‘they’ are) say that we eat with our eyes and our noses. No way. Those are the teasers. Let’s sit down at the table and dig into vegan tamale pie. If I stare at it too long and linger on the smells of corn and spices too long, someone might beat me to that second helping I’m hoping to get in. Let’s eat. Peace.Print
Vegan tamale pie combines a lentil, black bean and corn filling topped with a cornmeal crust to create the ultimate healthy, easy, satisfying comfort food.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup green or brown lentils
- 2 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 - 15 oz. (400 gm.) can black beans
- 1-10 oz. can (300 gm.) corn
- 1 Tbsp. ground chia seeds
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 ½ cups cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup plant milk (I used oat milk, but any plant milk will work)
For the tamale filling
- In a medium pan (ideally one that can go in the oven), sauté the onions and green pepper until they soften and release their flavor (about 5 minutes).
- Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Add the water (or broth) and lentils.
- Bring the pan to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer until the lentils are tender (about 20 minutes). Add more liquid if necessary.
- Add the black beans, tomato sauce and corn. Stir everything and heat through.
For the crust
- Make the chia egg by combining 1 Tbsp. ground chia seeds and 3 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 4250 F (2200 C).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the corn meal, flour and baking powder.
- Mix in the chia egg and plant milk.
- Stir until all the dry ingredients are moist.
*Transfer the lentil mixture into a casserole dish if necessary. Skip this step if your pan is suitable for baking.
- Cover the lentil mixture with the corn crust evenly over the lentil mixture. (I use the back of a spoon for this).
- Bake your vegan tamale pie for 20 minutes or until the crust is firm and browned.
- I’ve substituted red lentils for brown/green and it worked equally as well. Use the same measurements (1 cup lentils: 2 ½ cups water). It will take about 10 minutes to cook.
- If you want to spice things up, add a diced jalapeno to the onion and green pepper.
- We love, love vegan tamale pie with vegan sour cream. Highly recommended.
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Stove Top/Bake
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: vegan tamale pie