Skip to main content

Healthy Kids Cook: Mighty Mini Black Bean Tamale Pies

Rory Graves

Published on: April 05, 2015

ParentMap and PCC Natural Markets have partnered to produce an exciting web series called Healthy Kids Cook, designed to encourage families to make a healthy habit of cooking fresh food together in the kitchen. In this season’s Healthy Kids Cook, we’re focusing on quick and easy meals that you and your family will love making at home. Each month, Chef Jackie Freeman hosts families in the PCC kitchen to create a quick, filling, fresh and fun recipe featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

This month, Chef Jackie invited 5-year old Gavin and his mom, Charlene, to help make a Mighty Mini Meal: Black Bean Tamale Pies. Gavin, his family and PCC are grateful supporters of the Puget Sound Blood Center, where superheroes donate necessary blood to help in ongoing battles against disease and injury. Gavin says his favorite superhero is Green Lantern, but we think Gavin himself is heroic!


  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina (fine corn flour)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese


Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Combine masa harina, vegetable broth, 1/3 cup oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix until well combined; the dough will hold together when squeezed in your hand. Cover and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in tomatoes, black beans, corn and lime juice. Reduce heat to low and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

Divide masa dough among prepared muffin cups, about 1 rounded tablespoon per cup. Using your fingers, press dough into the bottom and sides of each cup. Evenly divide black bean mixture among masa cups.

Bake until filling is hot and masa dough is cooked, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle each tamale with cheese and bake 5 additional minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Each tamale: 130cal, 8g fat (0.5g sat), 0mg chol, 70mg sodium, 15g carb, 2g fiber, 2g protein

Recipe by Jackie Freeman, PCC Chef

Get the best of ParentMap delivered right to your inbox.

Share this resource with your friends!