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Sweet and Spicy Tamale Stuffed With Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Peppers [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Sweet and spicy vegan tamales topped with salsa and stuffed with sweet potato, butternut squash, bell pepper, spicy poblanos, onion, and garlic — yum! A tamale is basically steamed corn dough stuffed with flavorful filling and all wrapped up in some kind of husk. You cook the filling first, then prepare the dough, assemble the tamales, and steam to cook. There are many different ways to make tamales, but no matter how different our recipes, we can all probably agree on one thing … the best way to make tamales is with friends and family! That way everyone can pitch in, sharing laughs and good food along the way!

Sweet and Spicy Tamale Stuffed With Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Peppers [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



Cook Time



For Cooking:

  • 1 package frozen banana leaves (see notes)

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/2 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 tablespoon chipotle
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups masa (see notes)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


To Prep:

  1. Let banana leaves thaw, then rinse, drain and cut into 8×4-inch rectangles. Tear a section of banana leaves into strips along the plant’s vein, these will be used to tie up the tamale.

To Make the Filling:

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

To Make the Dough:

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

To Assemble:

  1. 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.
  2. Add a strip of filling to the middle of the dough.
  3. Roll up the tamale and make sure the ends of the dough meet.
  4. Tie up the ends like a tootsie roll, or fold in the ends like wrapping a gift and tie up the middle.

To Make the Tamales:

  1. 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.
  2. Steam each batch for about 45 minutes or until the dough has set and doesn’t feel mushy when poked, it should bounce back.
  3. Serve with salsa.


You can find banana leaves and masa at any Latin grocery.

You can also adjust the filling according to whatever produce is seasonally available.





Amanda Nicole Smith is all about pure food and fitness, which make up what she calls a “Purified Lifestyle." When she’s not practicing and teaching aerial acrobatics or hanging from trees, she's experimenting with raw vegan recipes, sprouting, fermenting, and taking photos of all her creations. Amanda finds joy in recreating favorite recipes, making them with simple whole ingredients and sharing them with friends and family. She sees food as fuel to do the things we love and to feel the best we can. "By learning to listen to our intuition and instinct we are able to be and do what we feel is ultimately best for ourselves." Her goal is to help others purify their own lifestyles by focusing on inner thoughts and feelings, replacing favorite go to foods with healthier equivalents, and finding fun fitness activities that empower.



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One comment on “Sweet and Spicy Tamale Stuffed With Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Peppers [Vegan, Gluten-Free]”

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1 Years Ago

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