Mexican Inspired Dish: Tamale Joe Casserole

Mexican Inspired Dish

Mexican Inspired Dishes are the feature on any table for Cinco de Mayo. We did not celebrate the day when I was a child but we did have ‘Mexican Nights’ occasionally; creating paper flowers and Mexican crafts with a Mexican inspired dish for supper to bring the theme all together.
Tamale Joe Casserole is a favorite of mine. It has been since my mother first started making it for us. No need to give up comfort food now that I am a vegan.
Not only can I eat my childhood favorite meal but also offer a healthier version that is now plant base. Just as important, this dish also tastes like my moms. Above all, it conjures memories of being at the table eating my favorite dish and the quality family time and conversations at the table. Instead of giving up favorite meals, I ‘veganize’ them.

In fact, one of the main reasons people do not join the plant base movement is the dread of giving up comfort food or family recipes. It is important for them to realize that those meals can be made with substitutions. They do not have to give up the family favorites and sacrifice taste. Equally important, they are now serving healthier meals that begins a new tradition. At the same time creating a more conscious thought to reducing cruel and overstocked animal farming methods.
Mexican Inspired Vegan Tamale Joe Casserole
Preheat oven to 325. Cook time: 35-40 minutes in glass 8×11 casserole dish.

Tamale Joe Casserole

The Tamale Joe Filling Ingredients
Large link vegan sausages sliced: 2 or 4 small~ I use Field Roast Spicy Mexican Chipotle
TVP Seasoned vegan hamburger: 3 cups (recipe below)
Chopped large onion: I normally use yellow or a Vidalia
*Chili pepper:2 tsp (omit if you are using a chipotle seasoned sausage)
salt: 2 tsp
Pepper: 1/4 tsp
Kernel corn: 1 can
Tomato sauce: 1 can 15 oz
*Sometimes I switch it up and put 2 cups of salsa in it instead.
non dairy milk: 1 cup
Drained sliced Black olives: 6.5 oz
Shredded dairy free cheese: 1 cup but you can use as much as you want because this goes on top of the casserole
Cornbread Mix (recipe below) that you make while this is simmering.
Brown vegan sausage links and TVP mix in a pan with 1 TBLS of olive oil. Add onion, seasoning, corn, tomato sauce and milk.
Simmer for 20 minutes. Add black olives and then pour into a 8 x 11 casserole dish ( I use glass) for metal increase to 350° and cook for 30 )
The cornbread on top needs to be done so judge your time accordingly.
Add grated cheese over top and pour cornbread mixture over evenly covering the top.
* This dish has so many flavor options. I personally do not like the taste of chili powder but my mom use to use it in this dish. I substitute chipotle powder, habanero, or any favorite chili pepper spice. Start small with a 16th of a tsp or less and after a taste test add as you feel you need too. You can also add vegan sour cream to make it even more special!


  • Crush and mix the cornbread topping into the piece that you are eating. It adds additional flavor and texture to the dish.

Tamale Joe Casserole for a mexican themed dinner
Tamale Joe Casserole Recipe PDF File to Print

Tamale Joe Casserole Other Ingredients Recipe

Seasoned TVP

Make this ahead for weeks you are going to be making spaghetti and things you want a substitute for ground hamburger.
TVP: 12 oz- I use Bob Red Mill
Garlic Powder: 2 tsp
A1 sauce: 1 Tbls
Vegetable Broth: 1 cup or 1 cube of vegetable bouillon in 1 cup of hot water.
Vegan Worcester Sauce : 4 tsp
Put TVP and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl combine liquid ingredients.
Add liquid to dry and stir thoroughly. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes and it will fluff up. Stir again and add to casserole.

Cornbread for Top

Flax seed (ground finely): 1 TBLS into 3 TBLS of cold water. Let the mixture rest for at least 5 minutes.
Water: 1/2 cup
Non dairy milk: 1/2 cup. (I like oat milk for this)
Favorite corn meal: 1 cup
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1.5 tsp. (optional)
Vegetable oil: 1 TBLS
Stir ingredients in bowl and set aside. This goes on top of the Tamale Joe Casserole.
*If you are using a cornbread mix then cut the recipe in 1/2
Vegan tamale joe casserole
Tamale Joe Casserole additional recipe ingredients to print

Learn about the holiday, as well as, finding more Mexican Inspired recipes
Cinco de Mayo FoodCinco de Mayo & Recipes Red Hot Chili PeppersFun Facts about Peppers

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2 thoughts on “Mexican Inspired Dish: Tamale Joe Casserole

  1. Oh that looks amazing! I love mexican food and crave it regularly! Thanks so much for shraing this great recipe!

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