With plenty of spice and some mushrooms for texture, this masa filling is anything but boring. Bring in black beans and sweet potatoes for a sweet and spicy combo.
By Lauren Cosgrave
Mexican food is very easy to make vegan. I know you are probably asking yourself “What about the cheese, Lauren?” Mexican food has so many spices and delicious flavors that if you up the spices just a little, you will all but forget the cheese quesadilla. I did use just a tiny bit of vegan cheese in this recipe just to add a little binding to the filling. Tofutti makes an excellent vegan sour cream if you just can’t live without it.
This was my first attempt at homemade vegan tamales and I was really happy with how they turned out. I was never a fan of frozen tamales because the masa was so bland and starchy. I added plenty of spice to the masa mixture to give it flavor and depth. Dried mushrooms worked perfectly to add a meaty texture. The reconstituted mushrooms are chewier but fresh sautéed mushrooms would work too. Tamales take a good long time to make but they are well worth the effort and they freeze really well.
Vegan tamales are a great way to get creative. I have been on a big sweet potato kick in my Mexican cooking lately. The sweetness of the potato offsets the spice perfectly for me. Here are some other vegan tamale filling ideas:
- Meatless meat
- Tofu Scramble (Breakfast Tamale!)
- Black Beans and Corn
- Tomatoes and Chiles
- Mushrooms and Onion
- Potato and Roasted Red Peppers
Lauren is a flexitarian sailor navigating the kitchen and creator of the food blog "The Salty Tomato". A self-taught cook and bartender, her kitchen is almost completely vegan with an occasional animal product of the highest quality. She is passionate about food education and sharing new ways to cook with less animal products.