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Vegan Tamales with Queso

I used black beans and jackfruit for the filling in this recipe, but feel free to use any other filling you would like, such as vegan grounds, refried pinto beans, or green chilies and vegan cheese!


For the Tamales:

  • 2 cups organic masa harina

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Corn husks, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes

For the Filling:

  • 1 bpa free can young green jackfruit, drained and shredded

  • 1 bpa free can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Vegan Queso:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 cup plant-based milk (such as almond or cashew)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 bpa free can diced green chilies (optional for added flavor)


1. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a skillet, sauté the chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.

  • Add the shredded jackfruit, black beans, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the flavors meld together. Set aside.

2. Make the Tamales Dough:

  • In a large bowl, mix masa harina, vegetable broth, avocado oil, baking powder, and salt. Stir until a thick batter forms.

3. Assemble the Tamales:

  • Take a soaked corn husk and spread a thin layer of the masa dough onto the center, leaving space around the edges.

  • Spoon a portion of the jackfruit and black bean filling onto the masa dough.

  • Fold the sides of the corn husk over the filling and fold up the bottom. Tie with a thin strip of corn husk to secure.

4. Steam the Tamales:

  • Arrange tamales upright in a steamer basket. Steam for 1.5 to 2 hours until the masa is firm.

5. Prepare the Vegan Queso:

  • In a blender, combine soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, plant-based milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

  • Optionally, stir in diced green chilies for added flavor.

6. Serve:

  • Unwrap the tamales and serve with a drizzle of vegan queso.

These vegan tamales with jackfruit and black bean filling, accompanied by vegan queso, make for a delicious and healthy meal. Enjoy!

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