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Copycat Amy’s Mexican Tamale Pies

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They are almost too cute to eat.

Copycat Amy's Mexican Tamale Pies- easy to make, and completely meat-free!

Almost, but not quite.

And when you see how easy these little pies are to prepare, you might give up buying frozen meals for good.

They take just THREE simple steps, the first of which is to simply throw a bunch of cans into a pot and wait. Not much harder than microwaving a frozen meal, is it?

vegan mexican tamale pie

The perfect comfort food for a chilly Fall night.

Copycat Amy's Mexican Tamale Pies. Meatless and easy to make.

Katie’s Mexican Tamale Pies

(makes 4-5 pies)

  • 1 can (15oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into tiny pieces (optional)
  • 1 can (15oz) corn, drained (or 1 3/4 cup fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp each: onion and garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional: hot sauce or red pepper flakes (for a spicier version)
  • for the topping: 1 cup cornmeal, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups water, and optional 2 tsp oil. Or you could probably just use instant polenta and slice it on top.

Combine first 8 ingredients in a small pot and cook on low-medium for 40 minutes, stirring very occasionally as it bubbles. (If you prefer, you can even make this in a crockpot!) Meanwhile, if using the homemade polenta topping, combine all other ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and stir constantly until it thickens. Preheat the oven to 350 F and portion the bean mixture into oven-proof dishes or aluminum pans (as shown in the picture directly below these instructions). Top with polenta, smooth the tops, and bake 45 minutes. I also set the oven to “broil” for a few minutes at the end, to achieve more of a crust on top. You can either eat in the dish, or go around the sides and pop the pies out. (Note: if you sub fresh corn and/or unsalted tomatoes, you’ll probably want to add a little extra salt.)

View Tamale Pie Nutrition Facts

Mexican Tamale Pies

Above, before being covered with the cornmeal topping.

tamale pie

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Chocolate Banana Bites

…..Chocolate Chip Banana Bites

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Sarah the official CCK drooler @RomneyRyan2012 says:

    Hey, I aint vegan but that sure looks good to me- especially since I’m freezing right now (and yawning after English)
    I’m making it. For lunch!!! TODAY!!! be back with results before you can take a mid term English exam. (and if you’re me that’ll take a while :) )

  2. Andie says:

    Aww! They are so cute! But they look equally as delicious so I’m DEFINITELY making them! :) I love how all of your recipes don’t require obscure ingredients…I’m pretty sure I have all of this in my pantry! Thanks Katie! Right now, frozen meals pretty much save me..I am so busy right now with school and my whole family are carnivores. (But i’m trying to convert them w/ delicious recipes from this blog!)

  3. Heather says:

    When I make my version of this I always throw some chipotle in with the polenta. Also delicious with black beans. Yum!

  4. Jill Paxson says:

    Thank you! Now I know what to make for dinner! Also looking forward to more of that sweet potato chili this fall!

  5. Skylar says:

    OMGosh Katie!!! I love love LOVE your copycat recipes!! Thank you so much for posting this! I will probably make it in my kitchen today :) And as for your question, I do buy frozen meals– I think they are delish. Amy’s burritos, tamales, and vegetable samosa wraps, vegan kung poa chicken and dumplings… I’m addicted to it all. I especially like to raid the sections of Whole Foods and Mrs. Greens dedicated to other vegan comfort foods. Although now, with your YUMMY RECIPES, I won’t need to :). I’m 100000000% grateful for your blog (and so is my wallet!!). Keep up the good work and I’ll be sure to spread the word about your amazing cooking skills!!!!!

  6. The only thing that I buy frozen is fruit! Walmart’s Great Value brand of raspberries and blueberries is seriously the best. My favorite childhood frozen meals were Kid Cuisines. Remember those? Also frozen pizzas were pretty spectacular :)

  7. Samantha D. says:

    Hey Katie, this looks delicious, can’t wait to try make it for the boyfriend and I! And, I think there might be an issue with the site, I’m not longer receiving updates by email! Think I should try and sign up again? I know I haven’t unsubscribed..
    Just thought Id let ya know!

    1. That’s weird! So you’re not getting them at all? Did you get the Greek Yogurt Cheesecake one? Today’s probably won’t go out until tomorrow, so you didn’t miss it!

  8. I’ll have to omit the zucchini but I’ll definitely be making these! I teach night classes so my dinners Monday-Wednesday are usually steamed veggie and something frozen (egg rolls usually). Can’t wait to change things up a bit!

  9. Heather G says:

    Great recipe! I am super busy today but I know I can make this very quickly. I am going to use a boxed cornbread mix for the top, prepackaged chili bean seasoning, and whatever tomatoes I have in the cabinet. I’ll probably make it as one big pie. I’m so excited!

  10. Emilia says:

    I’m usually not a fan of mexican-y, south western-y flavors, but these look great. I’m not usually a microwave meal fan, except when it comes to amy’s. Definitely going to try them soon!

  11. alyssa booko says:

    looks great katie

  12. Where can I buy the little tins? any idea?

    1. Most grocery stores, in the baking aisle.

      1. Jenny says:

        Hi Katie – by chance, do you know what size your little pans were? If I make that mixture up, I would like to be able to portion it the same way you did here, so whatever measurements your tins were, I’d love to know. Thanks!

      2. Caroline says:

        I’ve been to a couple grocery stores & can’t find them! Weird. They only have the larger pie sizes.

  13. These look adorable!! I used to buy frozen meals but I found myself rarely eating them so I stopped buying them.

  14. bree ltc says:

    Rogue tomato! Rogue tomato alert! This recipe looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it. And that tomato wants a piece!

  15. Frozen dinners have saved me in a pinch. But then I realized–why not make my *own* frozen dinners? So I have, in the past, bought containers that make dinners more portable & easy to store in the freezer (much like having the feel of a frozen dinner, but without the cost). Has saved a ton of money, & makes life a bit easier to have meals ready to go (other than heating up).

    That said, nothing like a fresh salad (which can’t be frozen). If I can add a few fresh ingredients as a garnish or side, to compliment a frozen dinner, I won’t complain :)

  16. just sayin' says:

    Hi there, I’m new to your blog and I think it’s wonderful what you do, your desserts look amazing but I have yet to try your recipes…I’m not into single servings with a family of 4. Your tamale pie caught my eye and I have to say I’m disappointed in your choice of using single use foil baking pans for this dish. Yes, you’re promoting better health for your followers, whom I hope are continually inspired by your recipes but you are losing something when you don’t consider the implications on the environment when promoting the use of disposable cookware. Perhaps next time you could lead by example and encourage your followers to use muffin tins, small casserole dishes, ramekins, or making it in a large casserole dish and portioning/freezing in individual reusable containers so not to waste the lovely casserole as well as considering the impact of sending the one time use dishes to our overflowing landfills.

    1. Hi just sayin,

      I actually re-use my tin foil pans many times over. They are easy to clean, and there’s no need to throw them away after one use. :) The environment–and doing my part to protect it as much as possible–is very important to me.

      All that being said, I also wrote into the recipe that one could use any oven-safe dish.

    2. Krista says:

      The use of the little tins is fantastic as a way to have a freezer meal ready to go to a sick friend or an elderly neighbor. Takes the pressure off of them to have to return your dish. Thanks for posting this idea, Katie!

    3. Melissa says:

      And, the tin dishes can be recycled, so, once you are done using them many times over, you can recycle them! :)

  17. sam says:

    OMG. i cant even get over this. okay i know this may sound weird but you are truly my inspiration katie! im 17 years old and a senior in highschool. im devoted to living a happy, healthy lifestye and am currently searching for a college with a nutrition undergraduates program. im not going to lie or hide it, but i am struggling on my journey of recovery from annorexia and it is a constant fear of mine that without the gym and with increased calories i will someday lose all control and become fat. However, every time i see your blog and see how you create amazing, healthy recipes that can sometimes contain calorie dense items, it gives me hope that i can get better. Eating healthy isnt defined by low calorie but by nutrient density and nutritional benefits. its about fueling your body properly and listening to your bodys signals. i want to have an active/healthy lifestyle and i know that i must fuel my body properly in order to pursue this dream. i want to discover health and be as sucessful as you are. thankyou for everything katie.

    1. Emma says:

      I’m currently living with the disorder and you’re really inspirational. Please tell me, does the mindset ever truly go away, do you think?

    2. Aw Sam, good luck. I think just the fact that you WANT to get healthy shows that you WILL. Just think about the food nourishing your body. Think about exactly what the calories are doing– providing energy to your cells and your skin and your hair and your brain and heart.


  18. Kerry says:

    This looks delicious! I occasionally buy some frozen meals, but they can be expensive, so I don’t get them very often. One of my favorites is Amy’s tamale pie. I’m so excited to be able to make my own now! I might even make extra to keep in the freezer for nights when I don’t feel like cooking.

  19. I buy them here and there. I like Amy’s or Kashi, but only use them when I’m in a super hurry or have nothing else in my house to eat. These look delish and my kids would love that they each get their own individual pie.

  20. Renata says:

    Katie, I eat these EVERYDAY for lunch and I was just thinking to myself…Geez, I wish I could make these at home, it would be SO MUCH CHEAPER! Thank you so much, you just made my month!

  21. Cathy says:

    Between full time school and work, yes, frozen meals are totally my savior. I try to do things like make chili and portion them out and freeze them, to go along with the Amy’s gf bean and rice burrito, and whatever other frozen meals I find (but I swear I have like 10 of those in my freezer). But they add up, cost wise. And plus no matter how good they may be, you get bored of burritos after a while. 😛

    Can’t wait to try this! :)

  22. Those are cute! I love how warm and filling they look. Can’t wait to give them a try!

  23. Yum! I love anything Mexican and these look wonderful! Not to mention, adorable to boot. 😉

    I used to buy frozen meals all the time. They’re just so easy! I loved Trader Joe’s taquitos and tamales, TJ’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and especially Hot Pockets. Oh, how I love hot pockets.

  24. Those look great! I don’t even know the original pies, but these look great and they are fresh!

  25. Mary says:

    Wow this looks amazing!!!! I will definetly have to try this soon!!
    I was wondering, have you ever tried making your ultimate fudge pie without chocolate chips, using just cocoa powder and a sweetner?
    I would love to know since I don’t have any chocolate in the house (I know-tragic!!) but I do have tofu and I neeeeeeeeeeed your amazing fudge pie like, now!! If anyone has tried experimenting, please let me know!

    1. Holly F. says:

      I keep wondering that about the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Mousse, which is also delicious! I wonder if you need the cocoa butter for stability (if that makes sense).

      1. I think it wouldn’t taste as rich and decadent. But you could do it if you wanted to sub oil or maybe even some peanut butter? The fat helps mask any tofu aftertaste.

  26. Joan says:

    I avoid eating anything that comes in a can, Have you thought about recommending using frozen corn, fresh tomatoes and aseptic packaged beans?

    1. Hi Joan,
      Very good point! To be honest, I haven’t looked into the BPA thing as much as I probably should. I don’t microwave plastic anymore, and I use glass storage containers, but I do still eat canned goods (although my beans are BPA-free cans). There are so many things to worry about these days that it’s hard to keep up with everything… I’m going to read your link now, and yes I definitely think packaged beans would work well. For the tomatoes, you might just have to add a little extra salt if using fresh.

  27. Emma says:

    These look so yummy! Though I’m not a massive fan of polenta. I think some dried sage, chopped cashews and rolled oats would make a lovely, nutritional crust :)

  28. Holly F. says:

    I’d love more ideas like this! I used to buy frozen “healthy” meals, but since I’ve had to go gluten and dairy free, the options are cut WAY down. Even most of Amy’s dinners have dairy in them.

  29. Alethea says:

    Hi Katie,
    These look so cute and scrumptious…they would be so perfect to take for packed lunch to my University – with this in mind, I was wondering if they would be okay to freeze? I tend to cook food as and when me and my folks need to chow it down, so I am sorry if this seems like a silly question >.<" !

    1. I haven’t actually tried it, since mine are still fresh. If you try it before me, please report back!

    2. Krista says:

      If you can freeze Amy’s version and if you can freeze bean casseroles, you can freeze this–no prob.

  30. Ann says:

    Hi Katie. You dish looks delish! Adding a bit of chipotle peppers with adobo sauce (comes in a small can) will take this recipe to a whoooole new level. It adds an intense depth of yummines, haha.

    On a random note, I’m trying to recreate one of your many chocolate recipes and was wondering what type and brand of chocolate chips you use (company name and cocoa content) and where I can possibly purchase them.


    1. I usually just buy whatever vegan brand is cheapest at the store. Lately, I’ve been buying a lot of Whole Foods brand or Enjoy Life because I used to sometimes use Ghirardelli, but I heard that they purchase cocoa that is made with slave labor :(.

      Or I buy chocolate bars and chop them up, or use my own homemade chocolate bars.

  31. VickiSp says:

    Katie, looks delish…..can these be frozen and then reheated in oven or microwave or are they better eaten right away? I substitute and get called at the last minute to work so grabbing one of these out of the freezer for my lunch would be great then I wouldn’t have to worry about preparing my lunch on such short notice!

    1. They can definitely be re-heated. I’m not sure about freezing, as I haven’t tried it. If you try it before me, please report back!

  32. Lucy says:

    Looks lovely, katie! And I do buy frozen meals on occasion, but I try to keep the sodium content and saturated fat down in the entrees I buy. I like Amy’s teriyaki tofu bowl, Light Life Bella Portabello “Chik’n”, and the butternut squash ravioli from Lean Cuisine. I haven’t had any success with others frozen meals besides those three!

  33. I make this all the time! But instead of cornmeal I use sweet potato :)
    Cornmeal is a good idea!

  34. Jenna W says:

    Love your recipes, Katie! I am a HUGE fan of your desserts, but I’d love to see more non-dessert recipes too. They’re always so simple, healthy and delicious!

  35. I’m addicted to Amy’s frozen non-dairy burritos. Best convenience food ever. I waste waaaay too much money on them. I need to try a homemade version for sure!

  36. Thank you so much for this! My 22 month old son loves the Amy’s version (it’s been our go-to for a quick, healthy lunch on non-cooking days) but we haven’t been able to find them at our local Whole Foods lately (did they discontinue them?). I am thrilled to find a copycat version that I can make for him. He loves hunting for “beanie weanies.”. His other favorite meal consists of Korean kimchi dumplings (he loves spicy foods perhaps because that is what I ate a lot of while pregnant). Any chance you’ll try coming up with a recipe for those? :-)

  37. I’m a big fan of dinners that take just 3 steps!

  38. Susan says:

    I was going to leave a post yesterday, but for some reason my ipad wouldnt let me highlight the comment box. Anyway, i just wanted to say that these look amazing, cant wait to try them, and your so lucky to have started getting some cooler weather, still hot here in Fl. Have an awesome day! Cant wait to see what you come up with next.

  39. Wow, these look delish! Tis would make for a perfect little lunch!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  40. Thanks for the copycat recipe. I have bought those Amy frozen entrees many times and they are delicious but so pricey!

  41. Renee Allen says:

    Thanks for making a dinner food, Katie! I love your desserts, but this will be great to have as another “eat your beans” option!

  42. Sarah the official CCK drooler @RomneyRyan2012 says:

    hey! got busy and forgot to report back- my total bad. But I DID have it for lunch! I made a few changes (nothing major) based on what I had on hand. For the filling I used kidney beans (all I had) and some frozen veggie mix. I only had an Indian chili which is 100 times hotter than your usual one, but it amounted to the same if I used a regular chili powder. For the polenta, I used the oil and added some Italian seasoning too. Mine’s only took 30 minutes in the oven cuz ours is super hot! I was STARVING by the time it came out and it was good but VERY filling. I put it in a medium ramekin and I almost couldn’t finish it :) Taste wise, I can’t say because I’ve never had Amy’s, but for me it was pretty good just a little on the bland side. I have some leftovers, so I’ll have it again for lunch today… with cheddar this time!

  43. Kassy says:

    These look so good! I’m going to have to try them, although I will probably scale the recipe up and make it for the whole familia! I have often wondered about copying the Amy’s Enchilada recipes. I particularly love the vegan vegetable enchiladas. Have you thought about doing that one?

    1. CCK says:

      I can put it on my list of things to try :).

  44. Jess Q says:

    I tried making these yesterday – they were SO delicious. Such a nice meld of the crispy, crunchy cornmeal and the veggies. (Auuugh, and I have 30 minutes to go until lunch. Nooothehumanitywhyyyyy. :P)

    I had to switch a couple of things for lack of supplies. (Mainly: dried green lentils instead of the beans, and I used a 9×9 pan instead of the metal dishes.) I’d prefer to try the original ingredients, but the lentils turned out alright.

    It also stretched out to 6 servings instead of 5 – likely because I used a larger can of tomatoes, too.

    Katie, you’ve got yourself another fangirl. 😛 I’m definitely going to dive into your savory recipes, and give some of the desserts a shot.

    1. CCK says:

      Thank you so much for trying them!

  45. Alyssa says:

    Those look great! I’m a big fan of Amy’s, especially when I have to go on trips for long periods of time. I’ll be away from home, without a kitchen, for 2 months and I’m relying on Amy’s to sustain me a night or two here and there :-) When I get home, I’ll be sure to recreate my own frozen meals!

  46. Alyssa says:

    I also had a question about sponsorship/marketing. If you are willing to take some time, I’d love an email on how you went about determing what to charge for sponsorship/marketing on your blog. Thanks!

    1. CCK says:

      I’ve actually been with foodbuzz for years, and they contacted me originally. :)

  47. MrsOgg says:

    This looks amazing!! I’ve been looking for easy and healthy vegetarian meals. This fits the bill and seems like the perfect cool weather comfort food. I rarely buy frozen meals these days mainly because I’m a SAHM so I have time to cook (and I love to) but, my all-time fave is Amy’s cheese Enchiladas. If you could copycat that and replicate that sauce you would be my hero and I would love you forever! 😉

  48. Gwen Frazier says:

    I make this exact same recipe and I have added Hatch green chiles! I bought a case of roasted peppers that I froze this summer and they add a yummy flavor and lots of vitamin C! I also use Crimini (baby Portabello) mushrooms instead of zucchini and it adds a really good meaty flavor for us vegans! I love your recipes and like the idea of making individual meals. I make this in a 9×13 pyrex baking dish and cut it into pieces. This would make them individual right from the start! Keep up the yumminess!

    1. Alexa says:

      I had just been thinking of adding some green chiles when I saw this comment. So now I have green chiles and some mushrooms :) I made a whole 9×13 dish and just pulled it out of the oven, I’ll be eating this all week! 😀

    2. Krista says:

      Ooh, that’s a great idea, Gwen! Can’t wait to make these with some mushrooms and the hatch green chilis i canned this summer.

  49. Jody says:

    What would make this better is a dollop of guacamole on top! :) Look delicious!

  50. Tara Lidell says:

    Wow, that looks totally delicious! And I love the guacamole idea!!! Tara Lidell

  51. This looks great! I never buy frozen meals…not because I’m not lazy (because I am!) haha, but because I really don’t care for them at all

  52. Anima says:

    These look really good, but cornmeal is not available where I live (nor is polenta). Can you recommend a substitute (perhaps something using corn itself?).

    1. CCK says:

      Sorry, I haven’t tried anything else so I really don’t know :-(

    2. Lily says:

      Other Amy’s dish (mexican sheppard pie) use sweet potatoes mash on the top…
      would taste different but might be a nice flavor combination.

  53. kennacoconut says:

    I made those for dinner last night, except in cupcake pans. They were delish!

  54. Niki H says:

    I am so thankful for vegan frozen isle items on days when I have left the house without my lunch! But in general I try to avoid them as they usually have super high sodium content. Lately whenever I make a meal I double it and freeze half so I have healthy options for lazy days. This looks like a good one and I’ll certainly be trying it out soon!

  55. This is great! (And they ARE cute!) I’m a terrible cook, but I think I can handle these. You’re amazing!

  56. Looks so cute and delicious! Also love how easy and simple it is! WAY better than a frozen meal!

  57. Elisabeth says:

    Hi Katie!!

    This looks AMAZING! I love amy’s food; which bring me to wondering if you would be able to do a copycat recipe for a single serve light & lean soft taco fiesta :)

  58. Haylee says:

    Wow. Just when I thought I could not love you more Katie. I am obsessed with Amy’s products, and the Mexican Tamale Pie is definitely one of my favorite so this will undoubtedly be of good use in the future. Thank you so much Katie, I’m serious, you amaze me. I always think you couldn’t possibly think of any more genius ideas and then you do! I’m also impressed with how similar these pies look to the real thing. Actually scratch that, these look 10x better.

  59. Yvonne says:


    I repinned your Greek yogurt cheesecake recipe. I hope I win, I really do want a food processor! Thanks for all the great recipes.

  60. Bonnie says:

    I made this for dinner for my family so I put it in one big baking dish. Everyone LOVED it! Even the carnivores. Thank you!

  61. CJ says:

    Made this tonight! Put it all in one pan, used a little chipotle in the beans and added shredded chicken (sorry vegs). I also whipped 1/2 cup egg whites into the cooked cornmeal, that made it nice and fluffy! (also extra protein) EVERYone loved it!! Thanks!

  62. Katie Jordan says:

    I just made this recipe, turned out amazing! I loved the polenta topping. Thanks for posting your amazing food. I’ve taken so much inspiration from your recipes and I’m so glad that I’ve found a great vegan recipe resource.

  63. cathy says:

    I live on Amy’s soups, tamale pies (add Herdez salsa and fresh tomatoes and a dab of veganaise)
    and on Vegan heights Daniel’s choice deli items, stedda chicken salad, alfredo, mac’n cheese and lasagne. tofurkey itaian sausages.
    I will try to make these pies myself, but in microwave dishes

  64. Cate says:

    Yum. I love the Amy’s ones. Can’t wait to try this!! I’ve been trying to make the Amy’s vegan mac n cheese one at home but they just don’t turn out the same.

  65. Shut the front door!! This looks amazing, I’m glad you come up with this copycat. I have never been able to eat Amy’s Mexican Tamale Pie because of an allergy to a certain ingredient.

  66. Natalie D. says:

    I love your blog! I have such a sweet tooth. So giving them up is just not an option. I love your healthy take on desserts. And I love easy recipes. Hello dinner!

  67. Bek @ Crave says:

    Looking forward to the pancake recipe! These look yummo!

  68. Debbie says:

    Katie, this looks delish but I’m thinking the measurement for the water vs the corn meal must be off. It says 1 cup corn meal with 2-2/3 cups water but that would make for some very runny corn meal topping. Is this the correct measurement?

    1. The standard ratio of cornmeal to water is usually around 1 to 3 or 4 (so 1 cup water for 1/4 cup cornmeal). So this would actually even be a little thicker than normal.

    2. Melanie says:

      I did it exactly as stated and it worked perfectly for me!

  69. Sherlock says:

    Wow, these look awesome! They’re so cute too. I don’t have those tins, do you think these would work in a muffin tin? I know I should just go out and buy them but I so want to make these tomorrow but don’t have them.

    1. CCK says:

      If you try, report back! :)

  70. Ellen says:

    We made these for dinner last night, and they were a huge hit!

  71. carol says:

    The recipe sounds and looks so good. Can’t wait to make it but NOT in the aluminum tins.

    1. CCK says:

      I actually reuse my aluminum tins many, many times over. They’re super-simple to wash :).

  72. Melanie says:

    Made these yesterday and plan on having them for lunch all week. Sooo yummy! I didn’t add any extra spices but I think I will next time.

  73. Amber says:

    Making these for dinner tonight – thinking that if I add a tsp or more of cocoa to the bean mixture, won’t that make some sort of mole sauce?

  74. catthhy says:

    Thank you, I eat so many of these. With Herdez salsa and veganaise like a dab of sour cream, and sometimes with the crumbs from Pico de Gallo rice chips,(the spices on the bottom of the bag are delicious. even my doggies like to lick the bag.)
    Now I can make the pies myself.
    Thank you Katie!!!!!!

    1. cathy says:

      I need new glasses LOL

      1. CCK says:

        Thank you for making them! :)

  75. Sarah says:

    I made these on Sunday and have had one everyday so far for lunch. What a great idea! Quick, easy and healthy! And delicious!

  76. Cathy says:

    This was one of the most repinned items on my boards!!!!
    Yay Katie!

  77. S @MasPublicHealth says:

    Wow, so happy to see this! Amy’s Kitchen Mexican Tamale Pie is one of my very favorite frozen meals. Thanks so much for the DIY inspiration and instruction. I’m sure this took lOts of time and effort. Anyway, I’d love to see more copycat vegan meals like this in the future. Very cool! :)

  78. Jessica says:

    Katie, thanks for this great idea! I just returned from New Mexico and was excited to try this with my fresh pinto beans and green NM chili powder. I did this in the slow cooker (sans topping) after having just soaked the dry pinto beans overnight, and it cooked up great! Maybe it was affected by the extra water for the beans, but I have to say that personally I would use WAY more spice next time (at least double) and maybe add some cayenne. I like spicy.

    Keep all the delicious, healthy ideas coming – can’t wait to see your cookbook!

  79. SuzieQ says:

    The Mexican Tamale Pie is great. I added some rotell tomatoes and chilies and my hubby liked it.

  80. alloyjane says:

    I made this with black beans, because I made the brownies again, and masa harina because I don’t have corn meal. Loved it! I used the stewing liquid instead of water for the tamale part and that really tied it together. Such a delicious meal and perfect for the belated (and totally unwelcome on my part) arrival of fall weather here in Southern California.

  81. suzie blair says:

    Katie, I have two question for you. First do you see any reason that I could not freeze these and make my own “Amy’s” frozen dinners? Two I loved the sound of your eggy corn bread and was wondering if that would work on top of this casserole. You know a little sweet with the spice.

    Love, love your blog. Thank-you for all you do

    1. I haven’t tried either, but they both sound like fun experiments!

  82. this looks like a perfect comfort dish – would love to try it!

  83. Heavensta Mergatroid says:

    Dear Katie,

    You advertise this blog as, and I quote, “A Healthy Dessert Blog.”

    Why, then, do you present readers with recipes for food such as “copycat Amy’s Mexican tamale pie?” Correct me if I’m wrong, but, I suspect this is a main dish. Please alter your blog name or stick to the theme.


    1. Candy says:


      I am glad that this recipe “Amy’s Kitchen Mexican Tamale Pie” was listed under “A Healthy Dessert Blog.” I never would have accidently stumbled across it.

    2. Carol says:

      You have got to be kidding me… Just because Katie’s main focus is desserts does not mean she is restricted to it. It’s HER blog, she can put whatever she wants on it. If you don’t like it, don’t look.

      Thanks for presenting us with a VARIETY of dishes. After all, we can’t eat desserts for every meal. :)

  84. Candy says:

    Thank you so much! I am on a budget and Amy’s stuff is getting too expensive. I usually do not eat what my husband eats “he is a meat-eater” or food I prepare for family get-togethers. This dish I can afford to fix for everyone, as a main dish for myself and a side dish for everyone else. May I add a suggestion–I will be using Spike in addition to the rest of the spices in this recipe.

  85. Katie,

    I made these Mexican Tamale pies today in cupcake liners and a separate pan and they came out AMAZING! I never made polenta before and thought that it was a great addition to the bean mixture. I love that they are filling without meat and super easy to make. I look forward to making more of your non-dessert recipes (I disagree with the above comment, after-all it is your blog).

    I think another great recipe you could make is Mexican Soup containing these similar ingredients, such as homemade tortilla soup.

    Have a great week!


  86. suzie blair says:

    I agree with the girls above. I was delighted to see your Amy’s knockoff. Just as some of the other ladies have commented that Amy’s is expensive, I use it some, because I am the only vegan in the house. Please continue to explore more into the Amy’s. I would love to be able to make my own of her meals. Thank-you for all the work you put into this blog.


  87. mckrobie says:

    Hi Katie,
    When making this recipe, the direction call for 2 2/3 cup water w/1 cup cornmeal for the topping. This was very runny. Did I miss something?

    Thanks for all your delicious recipes!

    1. Make sure to just keep cooking the polenta until it thickens. It will be runny at first, but eventually the water will be absorbed and it will be thick and fluffy.

  88. Krista says:

    That was delicious! We just made this recipe for dinner tonight and set the contents in a casserole dish, sliced polenta and distributed the discs of polenta across the top. Mmm…served with avocado and cilantro. We’ll make this again and the kids liked it too.

  89. Melissa Dempsey says:

    Hi Katie! I love all of your recipes and reading the blog posts that go along with them, you never fail to make me laugh! I made your deep-dish cookie pie for myself and my non-vegan brother yesterday and didn’t tell him beans were in it, he told me it was the best cookie he’d ever had! I told him after of course and he was shocked, the pie was gone by the end of the night! Anyways lol, this recipe here looks amazing! I haven’t tried this Amy’s dinner from the store, but now I won’t need to, can’t wait to try it! Do you take requests??? I would loveee a copycat recipe for Amy’s Mattar Tofu :) Thanks for all you do!

  90. Niki says:

    Just foung your blog and I LOVE that you added Tamale Pie’s onto your “Dessert blog” !
    Mexican food is TOTALLY my kind of dessert <3

  91. Gigi says:

    Made this tonight as a casserole since I didn’t have little pie tins and it was delicious! I also made a side salad with fresh tomatoes and avocado and served it on top. The cool fresh veggies added a nice touch to this great base. Thanks for a great recipe!

  92. Shirley says:

    This recipe was a big hit with my family. The kids loved it. I substituted the garlic and onion powders with sautéed onion and garlic and it came out great. This is going in my favorite meals rotation. Thank you so much for this recipe : )

  93. Mae says:

    The recipe says 2 2/3 cups water when making the topping. Do you mean 2/3 cups water? Because I just did 2 2/3 cups and it is way way way too watery. It’s not going to work.

    1. Hi Mae,

      Are you trying to use instant (already cooked) polenta by any chance? If you are using the grains, and you cook it long enough, the liquid will be absorbed and it will get thick and fluffy. I know it’s not a typo with the recipe, as others have made it successfully. But maybe it just needs to be cooked longer… Be sure, also, that it’s uncovered while you’re cooking it.

  94. Lindsey Bullock says:

    Is that supposed to be 2/3 cup water instead of 2 and 2/3?

    1. Lindsey Bullock says:

      Oops just saw the last comment….

  95. Bec says:

    I just made this but w/ potato on top. Ughhh SO YUM!

  96. This recipe is so easy and so yummy! We have made it our new Friday night dinner, and make it every week! It’s my favorite! I like to add some red pepper flakes to mine. They’re such a fantastic dinner! Thanks, Katie! :)

  97. Bridgette says:

    Do these freeze well? I assume so since you said they are kind of to replace frozen meals, but just wanted to check :) Thanks

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      I froze them successfully. I reheated in the oven, but the microwave would probably work as long as you didn’t use aluminum pans.

  98. Carol says:

    Made this last night, it was delicious! I added an extra can of diced tomatoes and a can of black beans. I also added a layer of extra lean ground turkey, seasoned with taco seasoning, between the veggies and polenta crust. I paired it with some Spanish rice and fresh avocado and my boyfriend loved it! Thanks, Katie!

  99. Sarah says:

    I made this last night and used a muffin tin. They turned out great! Thank you for posting this. I think this would also make a great pot luck type casserole, and definitely omni-friendly.

    1. Becky says:

      That answers the question I came here to ask. I’d love to make these in the muffin tins and then maybe freeze them!

  100. Mannette says:

    How can I print your recipes? Just found your site and immediately jumped up and made your brownie pancakes. Can you say YUUUUM!?!? I topped with sugar free syrup and fat free whipped cream for a whopping extra 40 calories. What a treat. Thank you, thank you.

    1. Hi! You can highlight just the recipe portion and press the “control” and then “c” buttons on your computer. Then open a Word document and paste :).

  101. chantal says:

    Katie, that was just amazing…blew me away. A meal that I will do over and over again. Thank you for creating this amazing dish. The only thing different I did to it was add some onions, orange pepper and a clove of galic…had to use up what was in the fridge. TWO thumbs up on this!!!!

  102. chantal says:

    ummm I think I lost my message to you…here we go again.

    Katie, I have just made this dish…and OMG that is just amazing, it blew me away. I loved it, it is a dish I will make again and again. Thank you for sharing this little amazing full of flavor dish. The only thing I did different was I added a small onion, a half orange pepper that I wanted to use up and a clove of garlic. DELICIOUS!!!!

  103. Greta Z says:

    DELICIOUS! So easy to prepare. Turned out great! I didn’t have ramekins, so I just made it in a casserole dish. Thanks for this recipe Katie!

  104. AmyP. says:

    All four of my kids ages 4-13 liked this -yay! Talk about a frugal dinner. I made in muffin cups. Subbed chopped red pepper for the zucchini. :)

  105. Kathy says:

    I was wondering if these recipes freeze well? Is there any that you would not recommend freezing? Love all the recipes and want to make some ahead of time, specifically the Mexican tamales, sweet potato chili and the quinoa bites. I would appreciate a response as I plan to make them all this weekend! Thanks!

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Judging by answers to previous comments, it looks like the answer is yes. There are many recipes on this site that freeze well, and the chili is also one of them.

  106. sb says:

    Just thought you’d like to know- I subbed corn flour (maseca) in equal amounts as the cornmeal, and it turned out excellent. Just baked it for about ten or so minutes less.

  107. Vickie H. says:

    So: I am making this right now….and my polenta is REALLY watery……1 c. of corn meal and 2 2/3 C of water is so thin…..I am wondering if those 2 measurements are reversed in your recipe accidentally…….don’t know if you will see this or not……your post is 2 yrs old! Thanks!

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      No problem at all! Just keep stirring and it will get thick. The water evaporates, I promise! I’ve made polenta like this many many times, not just in CCK’s recipe but in general. Just be patient and it will be rewarded :-)

  108. Alexandra says:

    Making this for the second time tonight! I love these. They are so easy to make and quite delicious.

  109. charlotte says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe. made it last night in vegan for me and vegetarian for my meat eating French husband. He didn’t even complain, and even said thank you. I loved it! Will be keeping this recipe if I may! Very nice, easy and filling too. Who knew guilt free food could taste so good?! I’ll have to eve up the rest of your website. Thank you!

  110. Olaf Ortega says:

    Excellent website. I suggest that it would be nice to know the size of casserole pan and aluminum pans called for in this and similar recipes.

    The thickness of casserole ingredients in the pan depends on the surface area of the dish or pan.

    Depth of pans is also a factor to accommodate the maximum fill level of any casserole.

    Thanks for this recipe. :-)

  111. Robin Newberger says:

    Hey Katie!
    I love your recipes. I’m making these tamale pies right now and I’m wondering if the measurement for cornmeal to water is right. I have a mix that’s very, very water with all the cornmeal in the bottom. I’m thinkin’ I have to drain off some of the water. I’m sure it will still turn out great, but wanted to ask! Thanks.

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Maybe it depends on your climate, as I’ve never had a problem. But if you do end up with too much liquid you can always either just keep simmering until it evaporates or you can put in the fridge overnight and it will thicken.

  112. Lindsay says:

    I followed the recipe exactly. The corn meal would be better as mashed potatoes. I will add a touch more seasonings too. Otherwise it was a great recipe.