Vegan Tamales Recipe

  • Yield:

    12 servings

  • Total Time:

    1 hr 20 mins

  • Prep Time:

    20 mins

  • Cook Time:

    1 hr


  • 2½ cups (280 grams) masa harina
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 2¼ cups warm water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups mixed finely-chopped vegetables (carrots, squash, Poblano peppers, red peppers, and fresh corn kernels)
  • 12 large corn husks, (plus 10 extra husks, for lining the steaming pot)


  1. Step 1) Soften the corn husks by submerging them in warm or hot water. Fill a large pot with the water, then place all the previously-separated corn husks into the pot. You can place a heavy plate on top of the husks to keep them submerged inside the pot.
  2. Step 2) In a large bowl, mix the masa harina with the baking powder, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix these well.
  3. Step 3) Next, gradually begin to add the warm water (or vegetable broth), mixing well between each addition to make sure that the masa harina at the bottom of the bowl is also integrated.
  4. Step 4) Slowly start pouring the Mazola® Corn Oil into the bowl, mixing it into the dough to form a creamy texture. After that, taste the dough for flavor. Keep in mind that the dough will lose some of its salty taste during the steaming process. You can adjust the salt, garlic powder, and onion powder flavors in case you want them a little bit stronger.
  5. Step 5) Remove the corn husks from the water bath and drain them on a kitchen towel.
  6. Step 6) Mix the chopped vegetables into the corn dough and stir well. Start forming the tamales by spreading 6 tablespoons of the finished dough onto each corn husk. Fold the sides of the corn husk and then fold the narrow end part towards the center of the tamal. Place the already formed tamales on a tray while you proceed to assemble the rest.
  7. Step 7) Once all the tamales are assembled, prepare your pot by adding the steaming rack to the bottom, and filling the pot with warm water up to the level of the steaming rack. Use some of the extra corn husks to line the steaming rack. Place the tamales inside the pot in an upright position, with the open ends of the tamales facing up. Cover the tamales with the leftover corn husks and place the lid on the pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water every 30 minutes or as needed (pour the water close to the side of the pot, making sure the water doesn’t get into the tamales). Be careful when opening the pot as hot steam will escape.
  8. Step 8) To check if your tamales are ready, use kitchen tongs to carefully remove one from the pot and let it sit on a plate for 5 minutes. This will give the dough a chance to solidify after coming out of the steaming pot. After the waiting time, open the tamal. If the corn husk separates easily from the dough when you open it, then the tamales are ready. If not, then return the tamal to the pot and continue cooking for 15 more minutes. Serve your tamales while they are still hot and enjoy with a spicy salsa.

  9. Recipe by Mely Martinez