Forget “Taco Tuesday”, let’s make this Tuesday “Tamale Tuesday” instead!

We are bringing you a delicious recipe to make this delicious Mexican dish in your own home. Now, don’t be intimidated by the lengthy list of ingredients and instructions! These tasty treats are incredibly easy to make, despite the lengthy process. And trust us: they are well worth it!

If you’re worried about finding ingredients like masa (corn flour) for our dough or epazote (a Mexican herb that also reduces gas–bonus!), don’t be. You can find these ingredients in the ethnic food aisle of many large grocery stories. If you still can’t track down epazote, don’t worry–regular oregano will be just fine.

This recipe uses Randall Pinto Beans as it’s champion instead of meat, so it’s vegetarian-friendly!

So, next time you want to head south of the border for dinner, give this classic Mexican cuisine a try!

Makes 12-15


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Vegetarian Tamales with Pinto Beans


  • One package corn husks
  • 4 1/2 cups Randall Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. epazote or oregano
  • 2 ½ tsp. + 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground red chipotle
  • ¼ tsp. chili con carne
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups masa flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup shredded queso fresco


  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water for 30 minutes or until soft. Prepare the filling and masa while the husks soak.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat pinto beans with butter and stir until half of the mixture is smooth and half is still whole beans, about five minutes.
  3. In a skillet, saute the onion, bell peppers and poblanos until soft, about five minutes. Add the spices and salt and stir. Pour the vegetables into the pot with the beans and stir until incorporated.
  4. Using a stand mixer, spoon or your hands, mix room temperature shortening and butter with the masa flour until incorporated. Start pouring the vegetable broth in slowly as you continue to mix the flour into dough. You want it to be creamy enough that you can spread smoothly onto the corn husks.
  5. Drain the corn husks and pat them dry on towels. Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of the masa dough onto the corn husks in a small 4×4 square up against one side of the husk. If you place the husk horizontal on your table, spread the dough from the left side of the husk to about ? of the way across, leaving about 2 inches of space from the top of the husk.
  6. Add about 2 tablespoons of the bean filling onto the masa dough. Top with a few pinches of queso fresco. Start to roll the tamale by covering all of the dough and filling with one side of the husk, then fold the tail end and continue to roll so that one end of the tamale is open and the other one is pinched shut with the husk. Place the seam side down and onto a plate.
  7. In a large dutch oven add 2 inches of hot water and begin to boil. Place the tamales onto a steamer basket and steam in the dutch oven for 12-15 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve with rice, enchilada sauce, pico de gallo and more queso fresco for topping. Carefully roll the tamale out of the husk and onto your plate.


Tips: Don’t rush the process or you’ll get frustrated. Leave yourself a half day to make these. Make a few dozen and freeze them to steam later since you’ll have several corn husks in your package. Depending on how big or small your corn husks are, your filling may go further. You can substitute vegetable shortening for regular shortening and butter to make this vegan.