Doctors’ recipes: Vegan baked tofu tamale pie

Tamale pie is a traditional Southwest U.S. comfort food that’s usually made in a casserole dish with cornmeal, cheese and fillings. It’s a versatile recipe and fun to make because you can improvise, adding your own favorite ingredients. You can even prepare it as a vegetarian dish, using tofu as a protein source rather than meat.

In addition to being a good source of protein, tofu provides plentiful calcium, manganese, omega-3 fats, and vitamin B1. Made from soybean curds, tofu and tempeh, the fermented version of tofu, are low calorie, low fat, nutrient dense super foods.

Vegan baked tofu tamale pie

Nina Greenblatt, MD

Nina Greenblatt, MD

This recipe was recommended by Nina Greenblatt, MD, a physician in urgent care at Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Campus in Seattle.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (16-oz.) can tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1 can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup corn meal

Tofu Tamale PiePreparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 380°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté the onion, green peppers, and garlic until soft.
  3. Purée tofu and water to the consistency of a soft creamy paste or thick liquid.
  4. Add the tofu purée and the remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour into a lightly oiled casserole dish or large iron skillet and bake for 25–30 minutes.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!


For another twist on tamale pie, featuring beans instead of tofu or tempeh, try this scrumptious vegetarian tamale pie recipe from Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health.

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