Vegan Tamale Pie (Amy’s Kitchen Copycat!)

Spoon scooping serving out of tamale pie baked in round cast iron pan

5 from 12 reviews

This Vegan Tamale Pie is loaded with fresh veggies, beans, and hearty spices – plus there’s a fluffy “tamale” layer on top! Inspired by the Amy’s Kitchen Tamale Pie.



For the Filling:

  • 12 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 35 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped (stems included; reserve some leaves for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 15 oz. (425 g) cans Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce (425 g) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided (add some with onion, rest with tomatoes)

For the Masa:

  • 2 cups (248 g) masa harina
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (optional, see note*)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, for color only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 375F. If your pot is not oven-safe, set a 9×9″ baking dish aside.
  2. Aromatics: Warm the oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add the garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and oregano to the pan. Sauté for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the Veggies: Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and corn to the pan along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to medium heat and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the zucchini is translucent and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Make it Saucy: add the pinto beans and tomato sauce to the pan and mix well. Bring the dish to simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If your pan is not microwave safe, transfer the “filling” to a greased casserole dish now. Smooth the top of the filling in either dish and press it down a bit with a spatula.
  5. Make the Masa: combine the masa, water, oil, turmeric, and salt together in a medium bowl and mix well to form a thick, smooth batter. Use a large spoon to dollop the masa on top of the casserole dish, then use a spatula to spread it out into a thin, even layer on top.
  6. Bake: Bake in the oven for 25 – 27 minutes, or until the masa is golden and set.
  7. Serve: Top as desired and serve warm. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze your leftovers for up to 2 months.


  • Substitutions: you can swap the beans or veggies for equal parts of another bean or veggie combination that you prefer! I have not tested this recipe with a flour other than masa harina.
  • Oil-Free: sauté the veggies in steps 2&3 with water or vegetable broth, adding more to the pan as necessary to prevent sticking. You can omit the oil from the masa “topping”, but it will crack more.

Keywords: vegan tamale pie, healthy tamale pie