Butternut Kale Tamale Bake
"As with all latin-inspired dishes, I love the tango between the spicy and sweet flavors. This bake does that well. The chipotle and unsweetened chocolate powder lend a mole-like flavor to the quick enchilada sauce too. Aside from the vegetable prep, this bake comes together easy. See notes for make-ahead prep."
-- @thefauxmartha


Prep time 25mins
Cook time 30mins
Serves or Makes: 4-6


For the Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Muir Glen Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Handful fresh cilantro, washed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 stalks kale
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 2 tablespoons oil, separated
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 1/ 4 cup (omit if vegan) shredded cheddar

For the Topping

  • 1 cup (see note) masa harina
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3/ 4 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Garnish

  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Avocados
  • Fresh cilantro


  • Step 1

    Make enchilada sauce. In a high-powered blender or food processor, add all enchilada ingredients. Blitz until smooth. Set aside.

  • Step 2

    Make the filling. Chop the butternut squash into 1/2″ cubes. De-stem the kale and chop into small, edible pieces. Drain and rinse black beans. Preheat oven to 375°. Into a skillet warmed on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the butternut squash and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt to taste. Add in 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until just barely ready. Don’t cook it all the way through. Add in the kale, black beans, and additional tablespoon of oil. Cook for another 3 minutes. Salt to taste. Remove from heat. Stir in 2/3 cup more of enchilada sauce with 1/4 cup of cheese (more if you like things cheesy). Use the skillet as your baking pan, or place in an 8″ x 10″ pan (or something similar in size).

  • Step 3

    Make the topping. Add the masa to a bowl. Stir in the warm water and kosher salt until combined, adding more water as needed. The mixture should be slightly spreadable but thick. Crumble evenly over the pan and press out until flat. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with cotija, cilantro, and avocados. Serve.



  • Step 1

    It’s important to note that masa is not the same as cornmeal used for cornbread. You can often find it at your grocery store in the latin section or order from Amazon. You can also use masa with this arepa recipe and these corn tortillas.

  • Step 2

    To make this in advance, prep the vegetables only and freeze in a container or bag. Thaw before assembling. Make the sauce and topping just before assembling. Of course, you can freeze the uncooked assembled bake, but I find that it takes much longer to bake though, so I prefer the previous method mentioned.