Chipotle Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Black Bean Tamales

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 75 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x



  • Dough
  • 2 cups Masa Harina
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican Oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • Filling
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup adobo sauce
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 cup black beans, with liquids
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 23 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1015 corn husk
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 34 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 34 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro


  1. Mix together masa, salt, oregano, and baking powder in a medium size bowl. Melt coconut oil and pour over masa along with warm water. Mix until dough forms, adding a 2-3 more tablespoons of water if dough seems too dry. Cover and set aside.
  2. Separate corn husk and cover with hot water, placing a heavy object on top if needed to keep husk submerged. Let sit until ready to fill.
  3. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4″ cubes and add to pan along with chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and lime juice.. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Next, stir in black beans along with liquid and salt. Leave uncovered and cook until sweet potatoes are tender and liquid has almost fully absorbed. If sweet potatoes are not done and liquid is gone, add a bit of water or veggie broth.
  5. Chop spinach and cilantro, adding it at the very end. Remove from heat and stir until spinach has wilted.
  6. To fill, lay one corn husk on a cutting board. Scoop 1/4-1/2 cup of masa (depending on husk size) and pat into a 1/4″ layer on the husk, leaving a one inch perimeter. Add 2-3 tablespoons of filling on top of masa
  7. Fold up sides so that dough is completely covering the filling. Fold the right side over the left side and then fold of the end. Place seem side down on a platter and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  8. Place a steamer basket in a large stock pan and add enough water to steam. Place tamales inside, seam side down. Cook for 45 minutes.
  9. While tamales cook, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot. Mince garlic and add to pan, cooking for one minute. Add in tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until peppers are broken down, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  10. Once tamales are done, unwrap and serve with sauce.


*Tamales freeze really well and can be reheat by microwaving/steaming again.

*This recipe is adapted from Happyolks. If you need more ideas of ways to cook the tamales, Kelsey gives you a few! Also be sure to check out her filling too!