Hot Tamale Pie


This is the easy version of making those labor-some tamales that are oh so delicious. It’s essentially a three bean chili with a polenta crust. This inspired recipe came out of my new cookbook Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.



1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

1 large bell pepper (or two smaller), seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 1/2 cups water, divided

1 can of diced tomatoes (I used Adobe Fire Roasted for extra flavor)

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups frozen corn 

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 pinch cayenne pepper 

1 teaspoon salt, or as needed, divided

1 cup coarse cornmeal 

1/4 cup nutritional yeast



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. 
  2. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic and cook until softened--about 5 to 7 minutes. 
  3. Stir in 1/2 cup of water, tomatoes, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
  4. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables soften. 
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. 
  6. Meanwhile, in a 3-qt saucepan, bring the remaining 3 cups of water to boil. 
  7. Add the cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine. 
  8. Return to a boil over medium-high heat and then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened--about 5 minutes. 
  9. Add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. 
  10. Spoon and spread the cornmeal over the bean mixture. 
  11. Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 


Serve as is for a delicious vegan meal or with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream if you feel like indulging.