You’ll be in heaven from the first time you take a bite of this rich, hearty dish! It’s surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part is opening the cans! Of course, you can boil the beans from scratch in three separate pans, but this will be more difficult and labor-intensive in the long run. Just make sure your canned beans are organic and don’t contain any nasty preservatives or flavorings. Check those labels! You are going to love this tamale pie more than you ever dreamed possible.
INGREDIENTS (for the base)
1 diced red onion
1 red bell pepper
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 cup frozen, thawed corn
1 tablespoon cumin (more if you like it spicy)
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR TOP CRUST
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour (we recommend Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour)
2 tablespoons baking powder (check label, make sure there’s no aluminum added)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ cups plant-based milk (we love almond, but soy is great if you’re not allergic)
1/3 cup olive oil
2-3 chopped scallions
Fry chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper on stovetop in a bit of olive oil. When mixture is lightly browned (about 5 minutes), add the tomatoes, beans, corn, cumin, ancho chile powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer mixture for 15 minutes, until bubbly. Make sure you use a large frying pan, cast iron if possible. You can pop the pan right into the oven when your preparations are complete. Otherwise, prepare mixture in wok and transfer to baking pan when done.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cornmeal topping by combining all crust ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Texture should be slightly thick, but not lumpy or runny. Ladle over the surface of your bean mixture, spreading evenly. Place pan into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until surface is lightly browned and slightly cracked.
Serve with cilantro garnish and/or salsa if desired. We love a mixture of Aardvark hot sauce and pico de gallo, but feel free to experiment. A side salad is a great accompaniment. Serves 6 hungry people. Your friends will rave about this tamale pie. If you do end up with leftovers, the dish is easily reheated and tastes just as delicious as it did when it first came out of the oven. Enjoy!