Coseppi Kitchen

Inclusive Vegetarian Cooking by Taylor Cook & James Seppi

Kabocha Squash and Quinoa Tamales


South American tamales are mostly masa served with delicious sauces, whereas Central American tamales rely on stewed meats and veggies to add flavor. This recipe is more in a South American style but uses Kabocha, a Japanese winter squash, to add substance and sweetness. Any winter squash, like butternut or acorn, will make a good substitute.

Steaming Kabocha Squash and Quinoa Tamales (Photo by Gabriel Hasser)


  • 3 pounds Kabocha squash, steamed and pureed
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups masa harina 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Prepare the tamales.
  3. Steam the tamales until the masa is firm, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Serve with your favorite Aji.

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