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Sweet & Spicy Vegan Tamales

Soft moist masa dough filled with flavorful veggies and spices.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours
Servings: 20
Author: Amanda Nicole Smith


  • 1 package frozen banana leaves


  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2 cups butternut squash
  • 2 cups sweet potato
  • 1 cup bell pepper
  • 1 cup poblano pepper
  • 3/4 cup onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chipotle
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 cups masa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Let banana leaves thaw, then rinse, drain and cut into 8"x4" rectangles. Tear a section of banana leaves into strips along the plant's vein, these will be used to tie up the tamale.


  • Peel the butternut squash. Cut the butternut squash and sweet potato into cubes.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and water to a pot and simmer on low until they begin to soften, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add in the rest of the filling ingredients and then simmer for another 10 minutes or until all the veggies have softened.


  • Add all of the dough ingredients to a bowl and mix together.


  • Mash out a spoonful of dough onto the banana leaf, make sure there is space to fold in the ends and enough dough to meet edges when rolled around the filling.
  • Add a strip of filling to the middle of the dough.
  • Roll up the tamale and make sure the ends of the dough meet.
  • Tie up the ends like a tootsie roll, or fold in the ends like wrapping a gift and tie up the middle.


  • Boil about a quart of water in a pot, use a steam basket or a metal strainer to hold 5-8 tamales at a time, and cover with a lid.
  • Steam each batch for about 45 minutes or until the dough has set and doesn't feel mushy when poked, it should bounce back.


Serve hot and top with salsa.