Try This Authentic Tamale Recipe For Dinner

Mexican tamales served on the table

Are you looking to mix things up in the kitchen? Instead of ordering your favorite Mexican take-out this summer, try making homemade tamales. We guarantee the entire family will be blown away by this flavor-packed meal.

What is a Tamale?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made with a corn-based dough mixture and filled with various meats or beans. This dish goes great with pico de gallo, guacamole, and rice on the side. Making tamales is a fairly simple process, and it’s extra fun when multiple people are helping out.

What You’ll Need

You don’t need much when making homemade tamales. Take a look at the few ingredients needed to make this delicious meal.

  • Masa Harina (The Maseca brand works great and can be found down the  Mexican aisle at the grocery store)
  • Broth (Beef, chicken, or vegetable will be fine to use. The choice is yours!)
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Lard (Lard is used for traditional tamales. It has less saturated fat than butter, and it is the magic trick to delicious tamales. You can find it down the Mexican aisle at the store or online. Shortening would work as a substitute as well.)
  • 8-ounce Package Dried Corn Husks

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How to Make

In just a few steps, you will have fresh, homemade tamales ready to enjoy.

  1. Soak The Husks: Soak your husks in very hot water for 30 minutes or until they are soft
  2. Prepare Filling: For one batch of tamale dough, you will need about 3 ½ cups of filling. You can use Salsa Verde chicken, which is made of 3 1/2 cups of shredded chicken and 16 ounces of canned salsa Verde. Bean and cheese are also delicious. Mix 15 ounces of refried beans and 1 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  3. Make Masa Dough: In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the lard and 2 tablespoons of broth for about 3-5 minutes. Next, combine your flour, baking powder, salt, and cumin in a medium bowl. Stir the lard mixture and make sure to beat well with an electric mixer. After, add your broth little by little, which will form a soft dough. Beat at a very high speed until the dough is creamy.
  4. Build Your Tamales: Lay your corn husks glossy side up with the side end on the top and scoop about ¼ cup of dough on the center of the husk. Next, place plastic wrap over the dough and spread it into a thin layer. After, place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center. Although, don’t overfill it! Fold in one long side over the filling and then fold the other side — it’s just like a brochure! Fold the bottom up and an edge of the tamale to tie it together.
  5. Time To Cook: You can cook these on the stove-top or in an Instant Pot. Simply bring your water to a boil and cook in the steamer. You will need to simmer and steam for 45 minutes to an hour after the water starts to boil. The Instant Pot only calls for 25 minutes on Manual/High Pressure.