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Homemade Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales

What a great rainy weekend here in Arizona. It was the perfect excuse for making Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales.  I normally only make tamales once or twice a year. They really don’t take that much work, it’s just all of the steaming that takes time.  Note to self: buy a larger pot for steaming tamales!!

Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales

Roasting Peppers

You don’t have to roast the peppers, you can cook the diced peppers with the onion, but I love the taste and smell of roasted peppers.  This year I was excited to actually use peppers from MY garden.  If you don’t care for spicy food add as little of the peppers as you’d like.  I love spicy food, so the more the better!

When roasting you want the peppers to blacken and blister, trust me you’ll feel like you’re burning them, but it’s all part of the process. The key is after they roast and you put in a bowl, cover with tin foil, WAIT for that 30 minutes!  It makes it much easier to pull the blacken skin off.

Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales

Masa flour can be bought at most grocery stores like Walmart.  You normally can find it in the baking isle along side the all purpose flour.

Normally when I make tamales I make about three batches and freeze a bunch to eat through out the year.  With the rain over the weekend this was the perfect stay-indoors-activity!

Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales

Print Recipe
Serves: 15-20 Cooking Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Orange Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Pepper
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 2 Poblano Peppers
  • 2 Serrano Peppers
  • 2 cups Masa Flour
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, diced
  • 1 can Diced Green Chilies
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1 cup Cashews (soaked for 4–6 hours if you don’t have a power blender)
  • 1¼ cup Water
  • 20 dried corn husks



Begin by roasting your peppers. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.


Wash the peppers and then cut them in half lengthwise. Cut off the stem with a paring knife and scoop out all the seeds and membranes.


Place the peppers cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or tin foil. Roast the peppers in the oven for about 25 minutes; or until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly.


Let the peppers cool for a minute or two, and then remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a bowl. Cover the bowl with foil, and let cool for about 30 minutes.


When the peppers are cool enough to handle (you may want to wear gloves when doing this), peel off the skins and discard them, dropping the peppers back into the bowl.


Place peppers in the food processor and pulse until diced. Sit aside (this made enough for me to make three batches of tamales).


Place the corn husks in a large bowl of hot water. Cover with a plate so that the husks stay submerged.


Next make cashew cream: combine cashews with the water and liquid smoke and blend until completely smooth. Set aside.


Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, add the onion and carrot. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes and add the garlic. Heat for a minute or two more. Set aside.


In a large bowl, combine masa flour, baking powder, sea salt, and nutritional yeast with a wire whisk.


Add the vegetables (including the canned green chilies and black beans) to the masa mixture and stir to evenly distribute. Add about 1/2 cup of the roasted peppers (more if you like the spice).


Slowly add the cashew cream and mix all to combine into a nice, moist dough. If dough seems too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time.


Spoon in about a 1/3 cup of the tamale dough onto a corn husk. Roll up tightly like a burrito, tucking in the ends as you go. YouTube has great videos if you need direction. If there are smaller corn husks, use two husks together to get it to roll up properly.


Next, put a steaming basket inside a large lidded pot, and add water, making sure the water doesn’t rise above the bottom of the steaming basket. Heat on stove until water is boiling.


Add the tamales carefully to the steaming basket so they don’t unravel. Reduce heat to medium-low and steam, with the pot lid on, for 45–50 minutes. You may have to steam in batches depending on the size of your pot.


Tamales are ready when the dough is firm and holds together. Remove from heat and let cool for 5–10 minutes before serving.


Options: For the first time this weekend I added potato to my mixture. Dice red potatoes, add in a pot, cover with water and boil until soft (about 15 minutes). Add to mixture with veggies. Serve with Salsa Verde or Salsa. Freeze in freezer zip lock bags.

The possibility of what you can add to these vegan tamales is endless.

If you like the “meat” of tamales, try adding a Soy Chorizo! I like to make a batch, roll them all up, start cooking, then make my next batch.  To make three batches of this recipe I found buying two bags of the husk works out perfect.

Happy Tamale making!

XO Kate

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