You’re going to be blown away by this tamales verdes recipe. These are vegan tamales and I swear they’re so close to the chicken tamales verdes version. Except these are made with vegan tamales masa, homemade salsa verde and filled with jackfruit and mushrooms. Delicious!
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What are traditional tamales verdes filled with? Shredded chicken mixed with salsa verde.
Tamales verdes are one of the most common or popular tamales. So you’ve definitely have to make them — specially for the holidays.
Don’t worry instead of chicken tamales, my recipe is 100% vegan and it’s incredibly delicious. The texture is so much like the traditional ones that it’s going to blow your mind.
Vegan Tamales Verdes
As I just mentioned, my tamales verdes recipe is vegan and made without chicken.
Instead of chicken, we’re using a combination of jackfruit and oyster mushrooms.
You will find a different version of vegan tamales verdes in my Mexican Tamales Made Meatless cookbook. Check it out here.
It’s no secret that canned jackfruit is a very popular ingredient in vegan cooking. The reason isn’t due to taste, in fact, it doesn’t have much of a taste. Which works perfectly with vegan recipes.
The reason why jackfruit is so popular is because you can cook it and shred it to resemble meat.
Another reason is because, just like tofu, it absorbs all the spices and flavors added to it quite nicely.
Oyster mushrooms you all know I’m a big fan of. They too make a fantastic vegan meat.
Plus mushrooms have more protein than jackfruit. When pulled apart they too mimic the texture of meat.
More Vegan Tamales Recipes
Be sure not to miss these vegan tamales recipes right here on my blog.
- Masa For Tamales | No Lard Recipe
- Birria Tamales
- Sweet Tamales | Pineapple Tamales Recipe
- Cheese and Jalapeño Tamales Recipe | Tamales de Rajas (use vegan cheese)
- Vegan Tamales Recipe | Tamales Rojos
These tamales are not difficult to make. You can purchase both jackfruit and oyster mushrooms at most grocery stores these days. Jackfruit is also sold on Amazon.
- Masa for Tamales: I used my vegan masa recipe that is both here on the blog and in the cookbook.
- Roasted Salsa Verde: Instead of boiling the ingredients we’re going to brown for a deeper taste.
- Oyster Mushrooms: Pulled apart to resemble shredded chicken.
- Jackfruit: Use the canned and preferably the one in water for a better taste than the brine one.
- Corn Husks: These tamales taste best on corn husks instead of banana leaves.
If you can’t get a hold of oyster mushrooms you can swap them for more jackfruit or use regular button mushrooms sliced.
How to Make Vegan Tamales Verdes
Like I always tell you amigos, making tamales isn’t difficult at all, it just takes a bit of time. Please read through the recipe first and also check out all the countless tamale making tips right here in the blog and in my cookbook.
- Soak the corn husks after sorting them. Get more tips about that here.
- Roast the salsa verde ingredients in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Then blend with about 3/4 cups of water until smooth.
- Prepare the jackfruit by draining, rinsing, then using a fork or with your hands begin to pull apart into shreds. You can discard the seeds or do like I do and chop them up to use.
- Make the filling by sautéing the onion and garlic until soft then add the mushrooms and cook until they begin releasing their liquid. Mix in the shredded jackfruit. Then season with a little salt and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of salsa into the jackfruit-mushroom mixture. Cook for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Make the masa and do the float test.
- Drain the corn husks and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess water.
- Spread the masa on the corn husks.
- Add the filling in the center of the corn husks with the masa.
- Fold the tamales and place inside the tamalera pot with water.
- Steam the tamales until set and masa is cooked through.
If you don’t own a Mexican tamalera pot to steam your tamales in, go read this article to see other ways to cook tamales. How to Steam Tamales Without a Steamer.
How to Serve Tamales Verdes
I love to take some of the extra salsa verde and drizzle it over my tamales. Sometimes I’ll also serve with some homemade refried beans.
If you need more ideas on how to serve do read my What to Eat with Tamales | 24 Tamales Side Dishes article.
How to Store and Reheat
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll keep fresh for about 4 to 5 days. Make sure they come to room temperature before refrigerating.
You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer safe container. Eat within a few months.
To reheat tamales you can do so in the microwave, on the stovetop, air fryer or a tamalera or pot with steamer rack.
Tamales Verdes Recipe | Jackfruit & Mushroom Vegan Tamales
- 7 oz shortening at room temp this is 1 cup
- 1.1 lbs masa harina for tamales I use Maseca brand
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 to 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth at room temp
Salsa Verde Ingredients
- 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 lbs. tomatillos peeled and rinsed
- 2 jalapenos stem removed
- 2 serrano peppers stem removed
- 1/2 medium onion quartered
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder optional but adds great taste
- 3/4 cups water
- 1 lb. oyster mushrooms pulled apart
- 30 oz jackfruit in water (this was 2 small cans)
- 1 small white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Prepare The Corn Husks
- Sort through them and remove any debris or badly damaged husks. Soak with warm water in the sink or in a very large pot.
Salsa Verde Instruction
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan then add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook until everything has softened and browned a bit.
- Place in a blender with the water, salt and vegetable bouillon powder and lend until perfectly smooth. Lastly add the cilantro and blend until well incorporated. Taste for salt.
- Sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their liquid. Stir now and then. Mix in the shredded jackfruit pieces and sprinkle in the salt. Cook for about 8 minutes.
- Pour in 2 cups of the salsa and cook for 10 minutes or until salsa thickens. Taste for salt and adjust if desired.
- Drain the corn husks and pat dry to remove excess water.
- Whip the shortening until creamy. Add half the masa harina, baking powder and salt and mix until well combined. Gradually begin adding broth and remaining masa harina until you have a creamy, smooth and airy masa dough.
- Do the masa float test by placing a small piece of masa into a glass with water. It should float back to the top. If not keep whipping until it does.
Assemble The Tamales
- Take a corn husk and spread some masa on it. Don't go all the way to the side edges and make sure it's an even thin layer across. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center.
- Grab one side of the husk and fold it towards the center, repeat with other side then fold up the long pointy bottom of the husk up towards the center. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.
- Pour the water into your tamalera pot, place the steaming shelf inside it then arrange the tamales with the open side up inside of the pot. Try not to pack them in too tightly. Cover the pot with aluminum foil, make a whole in the center. Place the pot cover on it.
- Set the temperature to medium-high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Lower the heat to low and steam for 60 minutes before checking the tamales for doneness by removing one and letting it sit for 10 minutes. If the masa peels away easily from the corn husk then they are ready, if not they need to steam longer.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…