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Vegan Tamale Skillet

Vegan Tamale Skillet

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop/Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Southwestern spiced feel-good ingredients and dollops of flavorful golden cornbread come together creating comfort food at its best. This ultra satisfying and delicious Vegan Tamale Skillet is a fun twist on the traditional Mexican Tamale. Keeping all the flavors, but ramping up more of that tasty filling goodness in the form of hearty beans, nourishing veggies, and aromatic spices. A perfect dish for Cinco de Mayo celebrations or an everyday dinner, this tasty meal is bursting with flavor and will surely have the entire family running to the dinner table.

Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no processed highly processed ingredients.


  • 1 cup red onion, small dice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, small dice
  • ½ red bell pepper, small dice
  • ½ green bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon flour (WFPB thickener of choice – we used GF flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons masa harina (optional)
  • 18 oz. can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable broth *
  • 1 ¼ cups water (or broth)
  • 115.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 115.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 115 oz. can corn, drained (or frozen)

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder (+/-)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular dried oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)

Cornbread Topping Ingredients (See Notes):

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, fine dice
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 Tablespoons almond flour (or WFPB flour of choice) *
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted almond butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/- to taste) *


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  3. In a large oven proof ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven/pot (or similarly large stockpot/skillet) add the diced red onion, jalapeno, and bell peppers, sauté over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes until tender.
  4. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the flour and tomato paste, sauté for one minute. Add the Herb/Spice Ingredients, and sauté for 30 seconds to release their fragrance.
  5. Add the vegetable broth, water, tomato sauce, and masa harina, then increase the heat to a boil, stir well, then immediately lower to a low simmering boil. Then add the beans and corn. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste test and add additional seasoning to achieve the desired flavor. Remove from stovetop.  You don’t want to evaporate the juices as it continues to cook in the oven.  Take note of the liquid currently in the skillet, this will reduce, so if you think you need more liquid, add about 1/4 cup more broth, mix well and set aside until ready to dollop with the cornbread topper.
  6. In the meantime, make the Cornbread Topping by adding all the ingredients (except the jalapenos) into a bowl and mixing just until combined. Then stir in the diced jalapenos until combined.
  7. Dollop the cornmeal topping over veggie/bean mixture in scattered sections, place in a preheated 400 F oven for 22 to 25 minutes (Note: if the cornbread starts to overbrown, cover with a flat piece of foil or parchment paper), or until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread layer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then serve with some fresh cilantro.


*Vegetable Stock:   We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Cornbread Topping: Use half the amount of cornbread topping if you want more juice and tamale mixture to cornbread ratio.

*Serving:  4 to 5

*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.

*Nutrition Information: Does not include optional add-ins of masa harina.

*Nutrition Information: Recipe using half the amount of cornbread topping has the following estimated nutritional facts for 5 servings: Calories: 352  |  Total Fat: 4.7g  |  Cholesterol 0mg  |  Total Carbohydrate: 66.1g  |  Dietary Fiber 15.2g  |  Protein 15.5g