Harvest Tamale Pie with Pumpkin Mole Sauce (Vegan & Gluten Free)

What’s a more comforting way to use up leftovers than throwing them into a pie for dinner? Skip the usual pot pie tonight and head south of the border with my tamale pie that has a delicious fall twist: Pumpkin Mole Sauce and Pumpkin Cornmeal Crust! Here you get all the deliciousness of a tamale that can be thrown together in a flash and it’s gluten free and vegan! It’s also super versatile allowing you to easily swap out whatever sauce and filling ingredients you prefer to use. Personally I love the deep, warm, earthy flavors of the mole with the cornmeal though. Like getting a cozy hug from a pie and a tamale on a chilly fall night! Try this out and leave me a comment to let me know how you made your version. 

Servings: 4 people
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


Mole Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup diced sautéed onion
  • 2 cloves minced sautéed garlic garlic
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tbs natural peanut or almond butter (optional)
  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or add more for more heat) *See recipe note below
  • 2 Tbs Pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tsps Sazon seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbs natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth

Filling Ingredients:

  • Oil for pan
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of jackfruit, drained and sliced through the pointed core edge and given a slight mash so the pieces shred apart easily (gives a great shredded chicken-like texture
  • 1-2 block of drained pressed tofu, crumbled (optional) 
  • 1-2 tsps of sazon seasoning blend
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin mole sauce

Pumpkin Cornmeal Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • Sprinkle of sazon and salt, if desired
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal or masa harina
  • 1 Tbs vegan butter, optional
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese, optional


For Pumpkin Mole Sauce:

Combine all ingredients except for veggie broth in blender and blend until smooth and thick. Then add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and blend again. Add a little more veggie if mixture still seems too thick. (You want it to be a little thick but more like a creamy sauce consistency-not like a paste. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. It should be very flavorful. Don’t worry if it’s very strong in flavor-it’s going to be flavoring all of your filling ingredients. You can always add a bit of water if you want to mellow the flavor a bit or add more pumpkin purée.

For Tamale Pie Filling:

Sauté onion in pan over medium heat until softened then add the minced garlic and sauté another minute. (I actually sauté all the onions and garlic for the mole and the filling at once and then just remove 1/2 cup of the onion and two of the minced garlic cloves to add to  blender when making the mole to save time.) Add mashed jackfruit, crumbled tofu (if using), and 1 can of drained rinsed black beans (about a cup and a half). Add sazon and stir to combine, and sauté a few minutes until ingredients have cooked through and combined together a bit. Add in about a cup or a cup and a half of the pumpkin mole sauce (or your favorite salsa if using that instead) and stir. Add a splash of extra vegetable broth to thin out a little if the mixture is too thick. Remove from heat while cornmeal cooks. 

For the Pumpkin Cornmeal Topping:

Combine cornmeal or masa harina in a pot with the water, vegetable broth, pumpkin purée, and the salt and/or sazon seasoning if desired. Bring to a light boil over medium stirring regularly, and cook until thickened, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add vegan butter and vegan shredded cheese if desired. 

Pour cornmeal mixture over filling in the cast iron pan or you can add filling to a pie pan and pour cornmeal mixture over that.  If using pie pan place it on a foil lined baking sheet to catch drips. Bake at 400 approximately 30 minutes until too is golden and crunchy and filling is heated through.

Serve with extra mole sauce on the side! Yum.

Recipe Note: You can substitute 1 tsp chipotle chili powder for the canned chipotle chile in the mole sauce, if needed.

Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!

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