Chipotle Black Bean Tamale Pie

19 Jan

My love of tamales is a fairly new one, but strong nonetheless. A flavorful filling inside a gorgeous masa dough, steamed within banana leaves is just simple perfection. But I know it’s a laborious process. And while restaurant and store-bought varieties often suffice, sometimes you just need that homemade touch.

Short of learning the real tamale-making process, I figured a pie version would be the next best thing! Because pie.


This actually takes on the feel of a shephard’s pie, which traditionally has a lamb and vegetable base covered by a fluffy whipped potato topping. The crust of the masa dough in this tamale pie is nice and crispy, whereas just underneath it’s steamy, fluffy and amazing. Adjust the vegetable and black bean mixture to your tastes – add or subtract veggies as you see fit! In the end, you’ll have a delightful meal that takes a fraction of the time it does to make real tamales, without sacrificing flavor or texture!


Chipotle Black Bean Tamale Pie, adapted from Plan to Eat

Serves 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced finely (sauce included!)
  • 1 C vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Tamale Dough:

  • 1-1/2 C masa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 2 C vegetable stock
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high. Note, if you do not have a skillet that can transfer to a hot oven, use any saute pan you have, and then transfer the veggie mixture to a greased 2 quart baking dish.

Saute onion and garlic until transparent and fragrant.

Add bell and jalapeño peppers, black beans and tomatoes. Cook 2 minutes. Then add all the spices and chipotle peppers. Stir well and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, and vegetable broth, cooking another 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Taste it now to make sure you like it, adjust to suit your flavor preferences. Once it’s perfect, turn off the heat and transfer mixture to your prepared baking dish.

In the meantime, mix together the masa with baking powder in a medium bowl. Mix in the melted coconut oil, two cups of broth, and juice of half a lime, until a batter forms.

Remove the skillet of veggies from the heat. Pour the tamale batter on top, covering the veggies as much as you can. Put your uncovered skillet or dish on a baking sheet to catch any spillover in the oven. Bake the tamale pie on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes at 400° degrees.

20170514_184848Serve hot as is, or garnish with plain yogurt, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, or pico de gallo!


29 Responses to “Chipotle Black Bean Tamale Pie”

  1. genevieve y January 19, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    Love the idea! I have never tried making my own tamales at home, but it’s definitely on my to do list somewhere. I think a homemade touch always makes food better 🙂

    • xtinaluvspink January 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks! I’ve heard it requires several people and an entire day to make tamales. I’d rather do it this way!

  2. Serena Ball MS, RD (@tspcurry) February 15, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    My kids will love! Pinned!

  3. Strength and Sunshine February 15, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I am in love with that masa topping!

  4. Kelly Page (@TastingPage) May 15, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    What a great idea to make a pie with all of these ingredients. Sounds like a crowd pleaser!

    • xtinaluvspink May 15, 2017 at 10:16 am #

      Thanks! It’s always a favorite at our house 🙂

  5. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner May 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    I’ve never made my own tamales but these are my fave flavors yum

    • xtinaluvspink May 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

      It’s such a great way to get all the veggies and tamale experience together!

  6. Chrissy Carroll May 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    Oh man, I want this with ALL the toppings you mentioned! 😉 Mexican food is definitely my fav kind of cuisine, and this sounds just awesome.

  7. Abbey Sharp May 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    This recipe is so creative! I will definitely have to try!

    • xtinaluvspink May 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you!! It’s the result of my desire for an easy tamale 🙂

  8. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health May 15, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    tamales are always hit and miss for me…i love adding chipotle to everything so this one is definitely delish, i can tell 🙂

  9. SuzLyfe May 15, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    Love tall the layers! I’m not a big tamale person, but I love the flavors here!

    • xtinaluvspink May 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm #

      Maybe this pie would get you to change your mind about tamales 😀

  10. Carmy May 15, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    You had me at pie haha. I’d love to give this a try!

  11. Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit May 16, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    Ok, great. Now I’m hungry and I just ate breakfast! Haha!

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Haha! I usually plan out dinner/recipes while I enjoy breakfast – sometimes even before breakfast!

  12. Mikki May 16, 2017 at 8:39 am #

    I am so going to pin this and make this for dinner. Looks like it would be a great new recipe I think everyone would like.

  13. Julie Wunder May 16, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    This looks so tasty! I love anything with black beans.

    • xtinaluvspink May 16, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      Me too! I make a crockpot full of them on the weekend and then just freeze extras to have on hand.

  14. Emily @SinfulNutrition May 16, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    This is genius! I love tamales, but never thought of making them in this form!

  15. Jill Conyers (@jillconyers) May 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

    Tamale pie sounds so good and so much easier to make than traditional tamales.

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