Black Bean Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce

Vegan Black Bean Tamales with a chipotle masa and spicy mango sauce. #tamales #vegan|

[Jump to Recipe]

It’s time for another tamale recipe!  I don’t know about you, but I love making tamales. Some people enjoy spending a couple of hours making a cake, but me, I’d rather spend it making tamales.  These Black Bean Tamales are made with black beans, a little onion, sweet pepper, and a chipotle seasoned masa.  For this batch, I used canola oil, but I’ve also used melted butter. I quit using lard in my tamales years ago.

If you’ve seen my other tamales recipes you know that I prefer to mix the filling in with the masa rather than apply them separately.  It makes the assembly process much easier and faster. It only takes about an hour to make the filling and the masa, and to assemble the tamales.  Once that’s done, you just place the tamales in a steamer for 1 to 1 ½ hours, and go relax, read a book, have a beer.

Three suggestions for serving these vegan black bean tamales:

  • Serve them right out of the steamer.  There’s nothing much better than a steaming, moist tamale, and these are no exception.  Serve with this complementary salad – Orange and Cabbage Slaw.
  • Serve them with a little red chile sauce. However, don’t smother them.  The chile sauce would overpower the flavor of these tamales and you certainly wouldn’t want to do that. Just drizzle a little red chile over the black bean tamales. That’s all you need.
  • Last, but certainly least, serve them with a spicy mango sauce.  We all know that mango and black beans is a marvelous combination; therefore, a spicy mango sauce is a perfect match for these black bean tamales.  Below is a recipe for a spicy mango sauce made with pickled chile peppers.

Black Bean Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce

Vegan Black Bean Tamales with a chipotle masa and spicy mango sauce. #vegan #tamales @mjskitchen

Black Bean Tamales with Chipotle Masa Recipe
1 hr
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Vegetarian black bean tamales topped with a spicy mango sauce.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Yields: 14 tamales
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 24 corn husks
  • Boiling water
  • 1 T. oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • ½ cup minced red sweet pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 2 cups hot broth or 1 cup hot water + 1 cup hot broth*
  • 1 ½ tsp. chipotle flakes*
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Mexican oregano, crushed
  • ¼ canola oil or butter, melted*
  • Chilled Spicy Mango Sauce See Recipe Below
  • Fresh Cilantro, minced
Corn Husk prep
  1. Lay the corn husks in a flat casserole dish. Cover with boiling water. Weigh down with something that helps to submerge the husks in the water. Set aside and let husks rehydrate.

    A great method for rehydrating corn husks for tamales |
Masa liquid prep
  1. Add the chipotle flakes to 2 cups hot broth/water. Set aside.

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the red pepper, onion, and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the beans, stir to combine and heat through. Remove from heat.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the masa harina, salt, baking powder and oregano.
  2. Add the canola oil and broth/chipotle liquid.
  3. Whisk to combine. Masa should have a soft cookie dough texture.
  4. Add the black bean mixture and stir to incorporate the vegetables into the masa.
Assembly of tamales
  1. Select one of the narrow corn husks to create tamales ties. Tear the husk into thin strips about 1/4 inch wide.
  2. Pull a corn husk from the water and let it drain. Using a spatula, place about 1/2 cup tamale mixture lengthwise down the center on the wide half of the husk. (You’ll be folding the husk in half once they have been rolled so don't go too far down the husk.)Using corn husks strips to tie tamales |
  3. Fold one side of the husk over the filling then roll to the other end of the husk. You should have a tapered cigar looking shape.
  4. Fold the lower, unfilled portion of the husk up and on top of the filled half. Wrap one of the ties around the tamale to hold the tamale closed.
    Using corn husks strips to tie tamales |
  5. Repeat until the filling is gone.
Steaming the tamales
  1. Place some of the extra corn husks around the sides of the steamer.
  2. Place the tamales in the steamer, standing on the closed ends. If the tamales do not fill the steamer enough to stand up relatively straight, use extra corn husks to separate the tamales and help them to stand up.
  3. Place a couple of corn husks on top of the tamales. This keeps water from the lid from dipping into the open ends of the tamales.
    A pot of steamed tamales
  4. Place the lid on tight and steam the tamales for an hour.
  5. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove one of the tamales and let sit another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Test a tamale by opening it up. If the husk doesn’t pull away from the steamed dough, then steam the tamales for another 15 minutes and test again.
To serve
  1. Spread some of the Spicy Mango Sauce on a plate, sprinkle with fresh cilantro, then place the tamales on the sauce.

  2. Serve with a side like the ones mentioned in the introduction.

Kitchen Notes

Black Beans – It's best to make your own black beans from dried, but if you don't canned beans are just fine.  One 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed usually yields about 1 ½ cups  of beans which is just enough for this recipe.


Masa Harina


Broth – A good broth or stock can add quite a bit of flavor to the masa mixture. I usually use 1 cup chicken or vegetarian broth plus 1 cup water. For a quick broth, use a broth base like Better Than Bouillon.


Chipotle Flakes – Chipotle powder can be used in place of flake. Just substitute flakes with 1 ½ teaspoon of powder. You could also use 2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce. If you do, add them to the bean mixture, not the masa liquid to prevent turning your masa brown (an aesthetic thing).


Canola Oil or butter – If you’re vegan, then this isn’t a question – canola oil. However, melted real butter works just as well as canola oil. You might notice a little difference in texture as well as a slight difference in taste. The main difference comes in reheating the tamales. I have found that tamales made with canola oil don’t dry out as much and freeze better than those made with butter.


Spicy Mango Sauce


Reheating tamales – To reheat leftover tamales, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once. How long depends on the wattage of your microwave.


Vegan Black Bean Tamales with a chipotle masa and spicy mango sauce. #tamales #vegan @mjskitchen|

If you like these Black Bean Tamales with a Spicy Mango Sauce, then you would probably enjoy my other tamales.

Red Chile Chicken Tamales

Corn, Mushroom and Green Chile Tamales

Red Chile Cheese Tamales

Spicy Mango Sauce
A spicy mango sauce made with mango and pickled chile peppers |

Spicy Mango Sauce Recipe
10 mins
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This mango sauce is great with Black Bean tamales, grilled lamb or baked pork.  

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Condiments, Sauces & Dressings
Yields: 2 cups
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 2 cups ripe mango*, diced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 T. Pickled chile peppers*, minced
  • 1 T. Pickled chile pepper vinegar*,
  • 1 tsp. honey or other sweetener (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. red chile powder*
  • 2 dashes smoked paprika
  1. Toss the mango with the lime juice. Transfer to a sauce pan and pureé using an immersion blender.
  2. Heat the mango pureé over medium low heat. Once it starts to boil (be careful, it's thick so it will splatter), add the onion, pickled peppers, vinegar and honey. Continue to heat until onion is soft.
  3. Using the immersion blender, pulse the pureé a few more times to incorporate the onion and peppers even more into the sauce.
  4. Add the red chile powder and a couple dashes of smoked paprika. 
  5. Taste.  Adjust seasoning if needed.

  6. Transfer to a refrigerator container and chill.
Kitchen Notes

Mangos - Use ripe to overripe mango.  Do not use green mangos.


Pickled Peppers and Pickled Pepper Brine - If you don't have pickled chile peppers, like jalapeno, then substitute, fresh chile, minced fine. For the pickled pepper vinegar you could substitute rice vinegar.


Red Chile Powder


NOTE: This does make a very thick sauce. If you want it thinner, add a little liquid (e.g., water, mango juice, orange juice)



Tags: , , , , , , ,

69 Responses to “Black Bean Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce”

  1. Lita Waston June 6, 2017 at 7:49 am #

    What a details instructions! I make sure that anyone can make black bean tamales with your directions. Have you tried to add a illustration video in your post? It isn’t a bad idea.

    • mj June 6, 2017 at 9:30 am #

      Thank you so much Lita! Yes, I have thought of adding video and I did to my preserved lemons post. However, my husband is the one who shoots the video and catching him when he isn’t busy is hard. 🙂 We have talked about doing a video for the tamales and this might just push there. Thanks!

  2. Terra June 7, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    Oh how I love tamales, and especially this lovely recipe! I just caught myself up on your posts, and pinned several. I don’t have a lot of time to read all my favorite blogs, with writing my romance books now. So, I’m excited to pop in and say hi!!! Hope you are doing well, Hugs, Terra

    • mj June 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      Hey Terra!! Thanks so much for stopping by! I know you are busy with work and all of your extra=curricula activities. So I appreciate your stopping to say HI. Thanks for your comments!

  3. Amy (Savory Moments) June 3, 2015 at 4:23 am #

    Sadly, I have never made tamales – but I’m inspired now to get some corn husks and give them a try. These look delicious and I love the mango sauce!

    • mj June 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      Thanks so much Amy! Hope you do give them a try.

  4. Jeni June 1, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    I love making tamales and are one of my favorites to eat! I would have never thought to pair a mango sauce with a tamal! Sounds delicious!

    • mj June 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks so much Jeni! The Mango sauce with tamales is quite unusual, but it certainly worked. 🙂

  5. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen May 31, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    I haven’t tried making tamales because I am intimidated by the procedure. Maybe I’ll try making one after I give birth.

    • mj May 31, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

      Thanks Peachy! This process doesn’t take near the amount of time, but right now and for the next 6 months, I’m sure you’ll have enough to deal with. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well and getting plenty of bed rest.

  6. Carrie May 29, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    Your pretty tamale packages look delicious! So does the mango sauce, I love sweet spicy combinations of flavors.

    • mj May 30, 2015 at 9:29 am #

      Thanks so much Carrie!

  7. Debra May 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    Where to begin? The tamales or the sauce???? I have got to give tamale making a try!!!!

  8. CakePants May 27, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    Mmm..freshly-made tamales are a real treat, and these look phenomenal! I love the black bean and mango combination. Beautiful!

    • mj May 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      Thank you so much! Tamales are a great treat and we love to treat ourselves often. 🙂

  9. Asmita May 26, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Hi MJ,
    I have never eaten or made a tamale before. Looks like I found the perfect recipe. looks amazing:)

    • mj May 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      Thanks Asmita! I have to admit that it’s hard for me to imagine someone having never eaten a tamale. 🙂 However, apparently, they just aren’t found in certain countries because I’ve had others say the same thing. Well, if you ever see one, you should give it a try.

  10. The Duo Dishes May 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    To be honest, I prefer to make these types of time-confusing recipes in a group. After making Venezuelan hallacas for hours alone, you realize why these things happen during the holiday season when you have at least 10 people in the house. 🙂 Very impressed that you are a tamale expert and aficionado!

    • mj May 24, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

      I had to look up Venezuelan hallacas and I can definitely see why you would want to make these in a group and only occasionally. WOW! What a process! Traditional tamales can be almost of difficult, but the process I use is so easy that I don’t mind doing it by myself; however, Bobby does tie the tamales most of the time. Thanks for you comments!

  11. Dedy@Dentist Chef May 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    hmm, damn delicious, my asian licking lovin any tamales dish

    • mj May 24, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

      Thanks Dedy!

  12. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles May 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    HI MJ, I’m still relatively new to tamales (the first time I ever had one was after our move to CA) and I have to say, I’m appreciating them more each time I try. I don’t know if I’m at the make your own tamales stage but I do like your reasoning on how you prefer to spend two hours — I rarely spend two hours making anything in the kitchen 😉 but, if I were going to, it would be on a dish like this too. Your tamales look so professional — literally perfect and so yummy/nourishing. Spicy mango sauce? yes please!!

    • mj May 24, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

      Thanks so much Kelly! I’m with you in that I rarely spend two hours in the kitchen cooking one thing, but tamales are the exception. Of course there is only an hour of work and the rest is the steamer process, so it’s not so bad. What I really like about tamales is how they transform from a messy batter of masa into a soft, moist firm bite of goodness. 🙂

  13. Judy @Savoring Today May 23, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    I love tamales, MJ, and these look amazing … chipotle in the masa is brilliant! YUM!

    • mj May 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

      Thanks Judy! Hope you’re having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

  14. Vicki Bensinger May 23, 2015 at 5:24 am #

    i love,love,love tamales but have yet to ever make them they’ve been on my bucket list and I was even sent a kit to make them and still haven’t done it. I’m a fan of the beef ones but these sound pretty darn tasty. Now you’ve inspired me.

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:13 am #

      So glad to have been an inspiration for your Vicki! Now we even. 🙂 A tamale kit? I’ve never seen one of those. What in them? Do they come with a steamer? I hope you get a chance to give tamale making a try. I think you would really enjoy it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Sissi May 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    MJ, these tamales look so mysterious and so beautiful at the same time… I’m sure if you served them to me, I wouldn’t dear touch them and I’d be completely mesmerised! The use of corn husks (which I discovered thanks to you) still sounds extremely exotic to me. Thank you for making me dream, as always!
    PS How did you know I was crazy for mango and chile sauce? 😉 I preserve several jars of it every year. It’s addictive! Your use of lime must add a lively fresh touch, I bet.

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Thank you so much Sissi! You are always so generous with your remarks! It’s funny that you see corn husks as exotic as I see the use of grape leaves or other types of leaves as exotic. 🙂 I agree that mango chili sauce is quite addicting. The tamales were gone before the sauce was so we ate the rest right out of the jar. 🙂

  16. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons May 21, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    These look awesome MJ! I’ve never attempted tamales before, but I love them. I would especially love to try your tamales. How bout I come over, you make the tamales, and I’ll bring the cake! ;- }

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      I’d be more than happy to come over and make some tamales for you Anne. When can I come? 🙂 With your love for baking, I think you would really, really enjoy the process of making tamales. You should give them a try.

  17. Helene D'Souza May 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    Ahh I wished I had this recipe plus the mango sauce a month ago! Our mango tree was giving exceptional fruits this year and corn was in season once again. I will have to wait for another year at least before making the sauce, however I hope the tamales challenge will happen sooner. Thanks for sharing!

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      I’m so jealous of your having mangoes in your back yard! Oh…to live in a tropical area. But no, you don’t need the sauce to enjoy these tamales. They are good without it, but just over the top good with it. 🙂 Thanks Helene!

  18. Angie@Angie's Recipes May 21, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    I have never had a tamale, let alone to make one! They look so GOOD with mango sauce, MJ.

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks Angie! I hope one day you get a chance to try a tamale. I think you’d love them.

  19. Bill May 21, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    I’ve had tamales on my mind for a few weeks now so this post came in perfect timing. I’ve never made them before and after seeing this post, I’m going to. I just found out that there’s a Hot Tamale Festival in the Mississippi Delta in October. I’m going to try and make it. One of the organizers is Julia Reed, a Mississippi food writer. Have you ever read her material? Great post, MJ!

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      I’m so glad to have inspired you to make tamales Bill! They are really fun to make and the results are memorable always! I didn’t know that Mississippi had a Hot tamale festival. 🙂 I have been reading a lot lately about the traditions of tamales along the Gulf Coast. They’ve been around for several generations down there. A lot of seafood is used which isn’t surprising. Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

  20. Easyfoodsmith May 21, 2015 at 12:49 am #

    I first saw the tamale (served as street food) at a food and lifestyle channel and fell in love with them. Your recipe however sounds more flavorsome and worth trying 😀
    Thanks for sharing.

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Thanks so much Taruna! They do make a great street food because you really don’t need utensils and there are so many flavors you can make.

  21. Hotly Spiced May 20, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

    I only had my first tamale a few years ago. We don’t see tamales very much at all in Oz. I do love how they’re cooked in a corn husk! They do look like very inviting parcels xx

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      I’m not surprised that you don’t see a lot of tamales where you are. They seem to be a big item where corn is a major crop. We do love them and love making them. There is something about steamed food in corn husks and leaves that is so natural. Hope you’re doing well Charlie!

  22. wok with ray May 20, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    I love eating tamales whether there’s meat or no meat. Need to hold on to that beer because I need it with this delicious meal. 🙂 Your tamales look so good, MJ and the mango sauce is icing on the cake. Well, no fun intended. Have a long great weekend ahead my friend. 🙂

    • mj May 23, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      Thanks so much Ray! Hope you and your family have a wonderful long weekend as well. 🙂

  23. Viviane Bauquet Farre May 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    MJ, these sound (and look) awesome. The sweet/spicy combo of the mango sauce is tantalizing indeed!

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane!

  24. swathi May 20, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Looks delicious I am in love with it, I haven’t tried Tamales at home. I need to your recipe and post is so tempting.

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      Thanks so much Swathi!

  25. Bam's Kitchen May 20, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    MJ, your tamales are gorgeous and you have not one but two delicious recipes for us today and together they sound just dreamy. I am very excited you can make tamales with canola oil or butter. I can’t find lard in HK anywhere… LOL I just happen to have a bag of dried corn husks in my pantry now I just need to sequester masa… Wish me luck. In the mean time sharing and pinning away.

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks so much Bobbi! Really, you can’t find lard in HK? Interesting. Well then, canola or butter it is. I prefer those anyway. I’m surprised you can get corn husks since from what I know, they are primarily used for tamales. Glad you have some and hope you give these tamales a try. I think you and the family with love them!

  26. Liz May 20, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    I’ll make a cake, I just need you to bring your yummy tamales and mango sauce! We’d have a magnificent meal!!!

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 9:22 am #

      Sounds like a plan to me!!! Thanks Liz! 🙂

  27. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef May 20, 2015 at 4:12 am #

    That spicy mango sauce is a true winner and what a wonderful plate of food this is. It would make my whole family happy.

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks so much Maureen!

  28. Katerina May 20, 2015 at 1:49 am #

    I have never tried making tamales although I’ve seen them a lot around. Your vegetarian version looks scrumptious and right up my alley!

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks Katerina! This process is relatively easy compared to the traditional way so I hope you give it a try.

  29. Minnie@thelady8home May 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    With that sauce its sounding too irresistible. Amazing share.

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks so much Minnie!

  30. juni May 19, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    Mmm. I’m going to attempt this recipe. sounds delicious.

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Hope you do Juni!! Let me know how they turn out. Thanks!

  31. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz May 19, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    I have never made tamales but I enjoy eating them. I just never have an opportunity where I live! Now I want to make some soon, they look wonderful. And loving that sauce too!

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Thanks Evelyne! I think we all enjoy eating tamales, but the process does seem to scare people. It scared me for years. In fact, when I use to make tamales the regular way, it was a ton of work and a group event. These I make by myself and the results are awesome!

  32. Raymund May 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    The tamales looks good enough then you add that amazing sauce, this is phenomenal. I wish I was your neighbor

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks so much Raymund! And if you were my neighbor, I would happily make this dish for you. 🙂

  33. John@Kitchen Riffs May 19, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    I really like your method of mixing the beans with the masa — so much easier. I’ve gone the opposite way of you with lard — I shunned it years ago, and lately have started to embrace it! We’ll see how long that lasts. 🙂 Lovely recipe — and you’ve reminded me it’s been way too long since I’ve made tamales! Thank you. 🙂

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      Thanks John! Mixing the ingredients is definitely easier. 🙂 Interesting that you’ve gone back to lard. I used it for years, then started shunning it about 10 years ago. Still haven’t found the need to go back yet. 🙂


  1. Red Chile Cheese Tamales - MJ's Kitchen - November 28, 2015

    […] Black Bean Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce (vegan) […]

  2. Black Bean Recipes | MJ's Kitchen - July 15, 2015

    […] Black Bean Tamales […]

  3. Corn, Mushroom and Green Chile Tamale Recipe | MJ's Kitchen - May 31, 2015

    […] Black Bean Chipotle Tamales with Spicy Mango Sauce […]

  4. Black Bean Chipotle Tamales - Yum Goggle - May 28, 2015

    […] GET THE RECIPE […]

I love hearing from my visitors, so please leave a comment. Thanks for dropping by!