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vegan tamales recipe

Vegan Tamales

  • Author: Anna Rios
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Diet: Vegan


This is the best vegan tamales recipe, an authentic and flavorful recipe passed down by my grandmother for you to enjoy! They are very popular during the holidays but make them for any celebration year-round. For video recipe click here.


Filling ingredients:
  • 18 Guajillo Chiles, dried
  • 1/2 corn tortilla
  • 1/2 slice of whole wheat bread
  • 34 garlic cloves
  • 3 small peppercorns
  • 2 tericherry peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of guajillo chili seeds
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 23 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 2 large cans of jackfruit
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Dough ingredients:
  • 2.5 cup coconut oil or olive oil
  • 4.4 pounds of tamale Maseca
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 48 oz vegetable broth (1.52 cartons)
  • 6080 corn husks


  1. Soak the horn shells in hot water for at least an hour. Place a plate on them to make sure they are all submerged in the water. I use my sink to do this.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried guajillo peppers.
  3. Turn a skillet over medium heat and add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Fry the tortilla, bread and garlic cloves until golden brown. Set aside in a large bowl.
  4. Add more oil to the skillet and toast the dried guajillo chiles for 5 seconds on each side. As soon as they puff up and turn slightly red, flip them over and make sure you don’t overcook or burn them. Place them in the large bowl with the bread, tortilla and garlic.
  5. Lightly toast the peppercorns in the same way and add them to the large bowl with all the other ingredients. At this point, ALL the sauce ingredients should be in this large bowl.
  6. Add enough hot water to cover all the ingredients in the bowl and let it soak for at least 2 hours OR add boiling water and soak for 20 minutes.
  7. Add all the soaked ingredients to a blender along with 2.5 cups of water that were already soaking and mix well.
  8. Strain the sauce and add to a skillet over medium heat. Heat to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
  9. Add the shredded jackfruit to the sauce and stir until well incorporated. Taste and season as needed. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Start making dough by melting coconut oil (or using olive oil) and then adding maseca flour, baking powder, vegetable broth, and salt. With your hands, mix everything until a dough forms. The dough should be sticky, not too wet but not dry. The amount of oil can vary – add it slowly and continue until you achieve a dough texture like above. You can also watch the video.
  11. Take a corn husk and take about 1/4 cup of masa and spread it on the corn husk with a spoon.
  12. Take 1-2 tablespoons of jackfruit filling and place it right in the middle of the dough.
  13. Fold the corn husk on one side and then the other. Now take the part that sticks out in the middle and fold it inward. Place on a tray and repeat until all the dough and filling are used.
  14. Steam the tamales for 1.5 hours, depending on how many at a time. My pot is small so I cook 15-20 at a time.
  15. Once the corn husks can be easily peeled, they are done! Sometimes they may not seem ready. Test by squeezing the tamale and check if it is firm instead of soft. Once it cools, it will harden even more.
  16. Let cool for at least 30 minutes, unwrap and enjoy.


  • Serving Size: 60-80 tamales