Tamale Pie Recipe with Vegan Cornbread Recipe

vegan tamale pie with jalapeno cornbread recipe

Mains, Recipes | May 22, 2016 | By

I cannot believe that Tamale Pie isn’t as well-known as I’d thought. Seriously!? Think authentic Tex-Mex flavor under a thick layer of delicious cornbread. The traditional recipe is made with ground beef (but due to the hormones, antibiotics, and greenhouse emissions, I choose not to partake) I decided instead to revamp my family’s traditional recipe with TVP, also taking the spicyness up to an “11” with the infusion of a Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread!

tamale pie recipe with vegan jalapeno cornbread

homemade salsa for vegan tamale pie

It was really hard for my family when I came out. Everything they thought they knew about me changed. Coming from a deeply religious family, they sometimes found it hard to adjust to my “extreme lifestyle”. I was out of control! Hanging out with different people, eating weird foods, and *gasp* even organizing protests!

Oh wait.. You thought I meant coming out as gay? That was easy-peasy! I was talking about coming out as a vegan.

nick protesting mcdonalds

Check out that haaaaaaair!

Bless my mother for putting up with my bullshit! From me ravaging her entire pantry to throw away every item that contained MSG, to sabotaging family trips to McDonalds.. she had to be on her toes with me growing up in the house! Luckily, as a former vegetarian herself, she was sympathetic 😉

Despite me being a (way too) outspoken vegan activist at home, my mom did her best adapting her dinner recipe repertoire to my new diet. One of my favorite foods growing up was her delicious Tamale Pie. She stuck to my grandmothers recipe, using ground beef, a jar of salsa, and Jiffy brand cornbread (which, by the way, contains lard).

The Magic of TVP!

tvp before and after

My mom went out, bought some TVP, and instead whipped up an amazing homemade vegan tamale pie recipe. She first introduced me to the goodness that is Textured Vegetable Protein! It’s basically dried soy protein that, when rehydrated, resembled a flavorless “ground beef”. Better yet, it soaks up flavor just as well as tofu, so it quickly becomes a great faux-meat!

jalapeno cornbread tamale pie recipe


all dressed up

Taking the Tamale Pie Recipe to the next level

My mom did a fantastic job accommodating for her picky vegan kid, but I will take any chance I get to makeover a recipe! I kept the TVP, but we needed some heat. I’m talking peppers and hot sauce, man! My mom thinks ketchup is too spicy! We went homemade for the cornbread and added Jalapeños for extra spice! We also forgot to buy a jar of salsa, so the recipe includes Cameron’s simple salsa recipe (which works fabulously!)

ingredients for tamale pie jalapeno cornbread

squeezing a lime

Serves 4.5 Large Portions

Tamale Pie Recipe with Vegan Cornbread Recipe

Mom's Tamale Pie Recipe, vegan-ized and ramped up to an "11" on the heat scale!

35 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

1 hr, 5 Total Time

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Recipe Image


    For the Base Layer
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • For the TVP
  • 7/8 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein
  • For the Cornbread
  • 2 flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water (x2))
  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain soymilk (+3Tbsp if needed)
  • 3 Jalapenos
  • For the Homemade Salsa (only 1/2 is used in recipe)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1-3 fresno peppers
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped, and loosely packed
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional but it will help thicken)
  • Optional Toppings
  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Hot sauce


  1. If you are making the salsa homemade, start with that. Otherwise, use a jar of salsa you have on hand
  2. For the Base Layer
  3. Simmer the corn, beans, and 1/2 of the homemade salsa on the stove. (The rest can be used as a garnish or on the side with chips!)
  4. In the meantime, measure the TVP and bring the water or vegetable stock to a boil
  5. Once boiling, pour over the measured TVP, stir slightly, and let sit for 10 minutes
  6. Fluff the TVP with a fork, and transfer to the bean mixture
  7. Let simmer, uncovered, while you move on to the cornbread. Remember to stir every so often!
  8. For the Cornbread
  9. Prepare the flax eggs
  10. Whisk the dry ingredients togethher in a large bowl
  11. Add the 1 cup of the soymilk and the flax eggs, and stir with spatula until smooth
  12. (Be cautious of overmixing. If it seems too thick, add a splash more of milk)
  13. Lastly, add the Jalapenos, folding in gently
  14. To Complete
  15. Spread the bean mixture into a glass casserole dish
  16. Spread the cornbread atop, gently smoothing it out
  17. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 375º
  18. Just before the cornbread turns golden, top with the non-dairy cheese
  19. Bake for an additional 2-5 minutes, being mindful of overcooking
  20. Remove from oven when cheese is nice and bubbly, let cool for 15 minutes
Cuisine: Tex-Mex |


A lot of the flavor in this recipe comes from the fresh salsa. If your salsa isn’t so flavorful, feel free to add more seasonings as needed!

337 cal
2 g
65 g
18 g

Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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