Alpha Plant-Based Chik’n Veggie Tamale Review

Alpha Plant-Based Chik'n Veggie Tamale

For a while, we were having some difficulty locating the vegetarian-friendly Alpha brand of frozen food. We started tasting these products during the pandemic, and while their Mexicali Burrito seems pretty common, we really struggled to locate any more of their products for a good long while.

Fast-forward a couple years, and we spotted a treasure trove of Alpha products at our local co-op. So we did our Freezer Meal Frenzy duty and we picked up some of it to review. Today, we’re finally digging into the Alpha Plant-Based Chik’n Veggie Tamale, which we’d been hoping to taste for quite some time.

The package gives instructions for both the microwave and the oven, and we took the easy route today and cooked ours in the microwave. If you want to read the full cooking instructions for both methods, scroll to the bottom of this review and check out our package scans.

Before we go any further, we should reiterate the fact that Alpha Foods makes vegetarian-friendly creations. It does seem that there are folks who pick up some of Alpha’s burritos and tamales, expecting them to be packed full of meat. That is not the case — these are vegetarian-friendly products.

Alpha Plant-Based Chik'n Veggie Tamale

As you can see in the image above, this comes wrapped in a corn husk, which is how tamales should be. We recently encountered some that just use parchment, so we appreciate having actual corn husk again. Of course, this should be peeled off and discarded after the tamale is cooked, but it does lend some authentic flavor to the shell.

Now, we did find this shell to be a little bit slimy in consistency, which isn’t a complete dealbreaker for us, but it’s also not ideal. We also think the shell is way too thick — most of this tamale is shell, with just a little bit of filling in the middle. Thankfully, the shell actually does taste good, with hints of cornbread-like sweetness that won us over.

The filling is primarily chunks of faux chicken with a red chili sauce. The chicken is made from soy and vegetable protein, and it’s definitely not super authentic. It lacks that firmness of real chicken, but the chili sauce does mask the flavor pretty well. And we think the sauce is where this tamale really excels. This is a delicious affair with just the teensiest hit of spice to it, and we really dig it.

Aside from that, this filling also contains a non-dairy mozzarella cheese, which honestly we didn’t even really notice. We did, however, find chunks of roasted peppers, which were delightful.

One tamale contains 290 calories and 670 mg of sodium. Those numbers don’t seem too bad at first, but keep in mind that this is not super filling. You could easily eat two of these in a sitting, causing those numbers to double. So this really isn’t as diet-friendly as it might appear at a glance.

The Alpha Plant-Based Chik’n Veggie Tamale is a decent-tasting meatless tamale, but it’s certainly not perfect. We do wish there were less shell and more filling, and if we really had our way, we’d probably increase the cheese content a little bit too. What’s here tastes good, but we can’t help but dream of how perfect this could be with a few minor tweaks.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen tamale, check out our package scans below.

Alpha Plant-Based Chik'n Veggie Tamale
Alpha Plant-Based Chik'n Veggie Tamale
Alpha Plant-Based Chik'n Veggie Tamale
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