Are Tamales Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Tamales?

What are tamales made of? Are tamales vegan? Let’s find out. In this post we will cover the tamales ingredients, how they are made and if vegans can eat them.

Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish, made of masa, a dough made from nixtamalized corn (Some tamales are made of a paste of freshly ground corn), which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf.

The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating or used as a plate. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, herbs, chilies, or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.[1]

The main tamales ingredients are : a mixture of corn dough (masa) and filling, wrapped in a banana leaf or corn husk, and then steamed.

Are Tamales Vegan? The answer is: NO. The traditional tamales are not vegan. The corn based dough mixture is filled with various meats and cheese.

But you can make tamales vegan by filling the dough mixture with mushrooms, or legumes, squashes, tomato, peppers, and other vegetables.

Are Tamales Vegetarian?

The Mexican tamales are not vegetarian. They contain animal derived products( various meats).

To make it vegetarian, the filling can be made with fresh corn, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and cheese.

Are Tamales Dairy Free?

Numerous types of tamales contain cheese fillings and are not considered dairy free.

But the traditional tamales without fillings are dairy-free.

Store bought tamales recipes are differents and can be dairy or dairy free.

So always double check ingredients label before buying.

Are Tamales Gluten-Free?

The corn husk, banana or plantain leaves are naturally gluten-free, which means your tamale dough won’t contain any gluten

The filling can be gluten-free, but it will depend on what the ingredients are that are added.

If you’re buying store-bought tamales, review the ingredients list.

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