Mini Tamale Pies

Mini Tamales (7).JPG

The final recipe from Travis’s Holiday Traditions Raddish Kids’ kit were these mini tamales, to make honor of Three Kings’ Day!

The vegan suggestion to replace 1 pound chicken was 1 can of unseasoned jackfruit. It was unclear if this needed to be baked in advance, as the chicken was. Instead, we skipped ahead to making the dough and then preparing the filling. We also could not find masa corn flour at the store, which meant using regular cornmeal. Although I knew this meant our dough base wouldn’t quite taste authentic, I also knew Travis wouldn’t notice the difference. Use true masa flour if you can find it!


  • 1 and 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) can jackfruit
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup diced mild green chiles
  • 1 cup shredded non-dairy cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned corn
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  1. To prepare the dough, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, 2/3 cup broth, and canola oil in a large bowl. Stir to form a soft dough.Mini Tamales (3)
  2. Divide evenly among 12 muffin cups, using about a heaping tablespoon per cup. Press carefully into the bottoms and up the sides of the cups.Mini Tamales (4)
  3. To prepare the filling, drain and chop the jackfruit. Combine the jackfruit in a bowl with the garlic powder, salt, green chiles, cheese, corn, and remaining 1/3 cup broth. Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup filling into each muffin cup.Mini Tamales (6)
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan at least 10 minutes, then gently remove.
  5. Sprinkle with the cilantro before serving if desired. We skipped this step because our cilantro was a bit wilted!

The recipe card featured additional information on traditional tamale-making parties, as well as a matching game for holiday foods from other countries.

After the recipe, Travis and I did a mini lesson on Winter Festivals Around the World, starting with this kooky video. I checked out a host of books from the library about winter festivals, and as we read each one we pinpointed the corresponding country on a world map.

Mini Tamale Pie (1)

This was a nice way to place our recent Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in context of the multitude of festivals worldwide. Raddish provided a helpful chart to make notes of where each holiday was celebrated, along with any traditional foods or celebration highlights.

Mini Tamale Pie (2)

We wish we’d been able to attend a real Three Kings’ Day celebration, but perhaps next year!

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