Roasted Pepper and Onion Tamale Bake

Roasted Pepper and Onion Tamale Bake | Sarcastic Cooking

So, do you ever dream about work? Or what about nightmares about work? I told you guys before that I love to discuss my dreams and nightmares with Mike the morning after. I also told you that Mike haaaates hearing about my dreams and nightmares, but I have to talk it through with somebody and sometimes, I can’t wait until later in the day to relay my dreams to the other person in this world that reads as much into her dreams as I do, my mom.

I mean if you were adopted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé, wouldn’t you want to talk about it? And, furthermore, who wouldn’t want to hear about that dream?

Pfff! Whatever Mike.

Tamale Bake

I think Mike’s problem is that when he dreams he dreams about school. He is an English teacher/athletic director. And how do I know this is what he dreams about? Because he talks in his sleep. I have heard about busses and permission slips over the past two weeks… wonder what that dream was about.

The thing that sucks for him is that he cannot remember his dreams. I really wish he could because I am still trying to figure out what he could have been dreaming about that made him shout out “Chumbawamba” in the middle of the night. Life’s little mysteries. Need to get Rust and Marty on that one!

Roasted Pepper and Onion Tamale Bake | Sarcastic Cooking

I guess I am lucky, because when I dream about work, I get to dream about food. There is nothing scary or nerve-wracking about that. Well, except that I stayed up until 2am because I couldn’t stop thinking about how to make a tamale casserole I dreamed about a reality. It may have taken me two hours but I figured it out!

Then I couldn’t sleep because I needed to make it ASAP. Maybe some of this had to do with the large amount of coffee I drank at 3pm, who knows.

So, here it is, finally. My dream meal. The filling of a tamale, studded with corn, topped with roasted bell peppers and onions, a bit of enchilada sauce, and lots of cheese!!!

Roasted Pepper and Onion Tamale Bake | Sarcastic Cooking

Now, if only I could bring the Beyoncé Jay-Z thing to fruition.

Roasted Pepper and Onion Tamale Bake

Bring the flavors of a vegetarian tamale to life in an easy, corn husk free baked dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • For the Tamale Layer:
  • 2 Cups Masa de Harina
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 ¾ Cup Water
  • ¾ Cup Melted Vegetable Shortening
  • ¾ Cup Frozen and Thawed Corn Kernels
  • For the Vegetables:
  • 16 Ounces Frozen and Thawed Roasted Peppers and Onions
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Clove Garlic grated
  • Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
  • For the Bake:
  • 1 Cup Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 ½ Cups Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro


  1. First make the tamale layer. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together masa, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the water and shortening. Mix using a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Add in the corn and mix until no more dry masa remains. Set off to the side to rest.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat up for thirty seconds. Add peppers and onions to pan. Add seasonings and sauté for 5 minutes to allow the seasonings to cook into the peppers. Turn off burner and take pan off the heat.
  4. Transfer the tamale layer to an oven-safe skillet or cast iron skillet that has been greased with butter/oil/shortening. Press down using your hands to form a layer about a ½ - 3/4” thick. Transfer the peppers and onions to the skillet with the tamale layer. Arrange in one even layer. Pour the enchilada sauce over the peppers and onions.
  5. Bake in the oven uncovered for 45 minutes.
  6. After 45 minutes remove from the oven, top with cheese, and bake for another 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with chopped cilantro, cut, and then serve.

You Might Also Like

  • Ashley
    April 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I made this last night and it was delish! It made a ton and my husband was so excited to eat the left overs. I had never used the frozen peppers before. It’s a great idea since it seems so much more cost effective. I had to drain them a bit, but it was no big deal.
    Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

  • Trish @infinebalance
    April 2, 2014 at 8:06 am

    That looks really good. I love Mexican for dinner – I’m going to have to try this. Love the flavours.
    I have a thing about shortening…. I just never use it. Any thoughts — what could I replace it with? Coconut oil, butter?

    • Stefanie
      April 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Both would work just fine!

      • Sadye
        September 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

        I went with coconut oil, which seemed to work just fine, but I would definitely caution against it if you have coconut-sensitive eaters. Like, I didn’t think the taste was overwhelming, but I also like coconut. Anyways, I’m pretty stoked to be eating my improvised-to-use-up-what-I-had version of this dish!

  • Stephie @ EYHO
    March 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    You knoooow this is getting pinned to the dinner ideas board for the crazies who eat Mexican a million times/week! Gotta change things up, ya know, and this looks like a great way to do it!

  • julia
    March 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I love tamales!! I buy them at Trader joes–is that cheating? They are pretty good though. I haven’t tried making them myself but this looks pretty easy! Pinning for later.

    • Stefanie
      March 31, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      TJ’s has great tamales. I love them too! I figure this is way less work than real tamales with the same flavors.

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    March 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    My husband talks in his sleep, too, and it’s the weirdest thing ever. But he babbles nonsense instead of coherent sentences, so… I don’t know what’s going on there.

    What I do know is that I want to faceplant into this tamale bake. ALL THE CHEESE.

  • Joanne
    March 29, 2014 at 7:15 am

    The.Boy almost never remembers his dreams, but I almost always do so our dream talk is usually pretty one-sided! But always totally weird. 😛

    The flavors in this tamale bake. YUM. I love all things texmex!

  • Francesca
    March 29, 2014 at 2:34 am

    I *also* tell my manfriend about my dreams which he *also* doesn’t care -and- I never bother asking him because he *also* talks in his sleep! It always wakes me up, so I play along and have conversations with him, hoping to subtly hint at bringing me coffee or buying me flowers the next day.
    It never works.
    This looks delicious. Never thought to make tamales at home.. now Im off to hunt down masa in Holland…

  • cheri
    March 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Stefanie, never cooked with masa before, this dish is right up my alley. Just pinned, will be making this.

    • Stefanie
      March 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Some people have made a version of this using cornbread mix instead of masa just in case you have a tough time finding masa. I just wanted to use masa for that authentic tamale flavor.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    March 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    This is so creative and looks so good! I rarely remember my dreams, but when I have a good/weird one, I definitely like to talk about it. But I need to discuss asap because as they day wears on, I always start to forget the details!

    • Stefanie
      March 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Amanda! I am glad we are on the same page about discussing dreams.

  • Sadye
    March 28, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Mmm, this looks great! I had more work dreams when I had an unpleasant job, and even now, two years later, if I’m stressed about something, I’ll have nightmares where I go back to work there (but I always give people a piece of my mind haha).

    But now hopefully I too dream of tamale bakes instead!

    • Stefanie
      March 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Oh man I hated the dreams about jobs I didn’t like! I always woke up feeling so nervous.

  • Jane's Adventures in Dinner
    March 28, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Now we were going to have pizza tonight but I think I need to rethink that.

    • Stefanie
      March 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Do it! Oh, but pizza is soooooo good!