This super filling and delicious vegetarian tamale pie recipe is the ultimate healthy comfort food casserole – Even carnivores will love it!
Vegetarian tamale pie is much easier to make than you might think.
I first served the recipe to my non-vegetarian parents when they came to visit a few months ago, and it was such a success that they’ve now made it three more times on their own!
Thick and hearty chili gets covered in a creamy cornmeal crust and baked in the oven, for a family-friendly meatless weeknight dinner. You can throw the meal together quickly and freeze leftovers for a rainy day.
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Popular in the southwestern United States, the dish gets its name thanks to its similar flavor profile to that of traditional Mexican tamales.
It’s often made with beef, but this one calls for bean chili as the base to keep it vegetarian. The chili is layered into a baking pan and then topped with a layer of cornbread.
When I was growing up in Texas, friends and neighbors would often bring tamale pie to parties or potlucks, because it’s easy to transport and great for feeding a crowd.
(Plus, chili and cornbread go well with watching football, and if there’s one thing Texans love more than anything else in the world, it’s football!)
For dessert, make a batch of Vegan Brownies
Start by adding all ingredients except the topping to a pot and cooking for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk the topping ingredients in a separate pot, stirring often to prevent sticking.
Transfer the tamale pie filling to a baking dish, smooth the cornmeal topping over the filling, and bake on the center rack at 380 F for 30 minutes. Let cool, and it thickens as it cools.
If desired, top with sliced avocado or serve with Avocado Salad.
The recipe makes about six to eight servings, and leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. Or they can also be frozen for a month or two.
After searching for a (not-super-expensive) red casserole pan for months, I finally found one that I love…
It says Merry Christmas on the bottom, but who needs to know??
Above, watch the vegetarian tamale pie recipe video
The tamale pie was adapted from this Vegetarian Chili Recipe.
Or this Sweet Potato Chili