This Easy Vegetarian Mexican Tamale Casserole recipe will surely delight all your family.
Why is This Tamale Casserole Great
- This tamale casserole is a great “what are we having for dinner “recipe” to have in your back pocket”. I always have everything in my pantry.
- It’s easy to make: Tamale casserole is easy to make, as it only requires a few simple ingredients and steps. You can make the dish in one pot or casserole dish, which means less mess and fewer dishes to clean up.
- It’s customizable: These days, I make a vegetarian tamale casserole, but this is ever adaptable. Add a few cups of cooked chicken, ground beef, pork, whatever you have around. Have some veggies that have seen better days in your fridge? Saute them up and add them in. Covered in cheese and enchilada sauce, your kids won’t know the difference.
- It’s convenient: Tamale casserole is easy to make ahead of time and reheated when needed. This makes it a great option for busy weeknights, when you don’t have much time to cook.
- It’s satisfying: Tamale casserole is packed with flavor and nutritio which will help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
These days, I make a vegetarian tamale casserole, but this is ever adaptable. Add a few cups of cooked chicken, ground beef, pork, whatever you have around. Have some veggies that have seen better days in your fridge? Saute them up and add them in. Covered in cheese and enchilada sauce, your kids won’t know the difference.
What is a Tamale //
A tamale is a traditional Mexican dish made of steamed or boiled cornmeal dough (called masa) in a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is filled with a variety of ingredients, such as meat, vegetables, cheese, or beans. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a main dish. I like topping mine with sour cream and green onions.
Tamale Casserole Ingredients //
- 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 1 can creamed corn
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I like a cheddar/jack blend or pepper jack if I’m feeling a little spicy)
- 1 can (10-ounce) enchilada sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup corn
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Sour cream
- Chopped tomatoes
- Hot sauce
How to Make a Perfect Tamale Casserole //
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Step 2: Mix corn muffin mix, creamed corn, eggs, milk, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Mix until combined. Fold in half of the cheese and pour into the pan.
- Step 3: Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is just set. (It can have a little jiggle, but the top will look cooked.)
- Step 4: While the corn mixture is baking, heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and peppers until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add corn and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Step 5: Take the pan out of the oven, poke some holes with a fork and pour half of the enchilada sauce on top. Add the bean mixture, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce and then cover with the rest of the cheese.
- Step 6: Back in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Step 7: Serve with whatever toppings you like. I like shredded lettuce, sour cream, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
Tips for making Vegetarian Tamale Casserole //
- Whatever you want to add to this should already taste good before you add it to the pan. So make sure that is well seasoned before you add it.
- You can use ground beef, chicken, shredded pork, whatever protein you like. You really can’t go wrong.
- The recipe calls for Jiffy mix, but I really love the Trader Joe’s cornbread mix.
- I like to put mine on a bed of shredded lettuce and top with sour cream, green onions, and a squirt of lime juice.
- It also goes perfectly with an icy cold beer.
How to Store a Tamale Casserole //
This casserole is great for meal prep. This is how you can safely store it.
In the fridge:
It will keep for 3 days. You just need to let the casserole cool to room temperature after it is prepared. Once cooled, transfer it in an airtight container, making sure to remove as much air as possible.
To reheat: preheat the oven to 350 F, and transfer the casserole to a baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake the casserole for 25 minutes, or until it is heated through and bubbly.
In the freezer:
You can also freeze the casserole to store it for longer. To do this, follow the same steps as above, but instead of placing the container in the refrigerator, put it in the freezer. The casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat: thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight, and follow the same steps as above to reheat.
Friday 7th of October 2022
For the red pepper, do you mean bell pepper or a spicy pepper?
Sunday 9th of October 2022
i Pia, I meant red pepper. Hope you will like the recipe, let me know!
Sunday 27th of March 2022
Jimmy corn muffin mix contains lard / animal shortening. Great recipe, but replace with other mix if you want vegetarian.
Monday 30th of May 2022
There is a vegetarian Jiffy mix that I use.
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Wednesday 7th of October 2020
[…] Vegetarian Tamale Casserole […]
Monday 17th of June 2019
This is insanely and surprisingly delicious. I highly recommend using fresh corn. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Monday 17th of June 2019
I know, right? Not the prettiest, but super delicious.
Tuesday 23rd of April 2019
I'm having trouble opening the recipe. I've tried two browsers and never had trouble before. Would you mind checking to see if there is a glitch? I love your recipes!
Tuesday 23rd of April 2019
Ahhhh!! Thank you for catching that! I fixed it.