Preparing Tamale: Your Ultimate Guide

A tamale is a cornmeal dough rolled with ground meat or beans. Tamales have a long history dating back to the Aztecs. Variations of tamales originate as far back as 5000 BCE. A form of tamales is also popular in several Caribbean islands.

Tamales are rich, hearty, and such a crowd-pleaser! That’s why few people can say no to tamales. This popular Mexican dish may take time to prepare, but it is a wonderful delicacy. The finished tamales are typically eaten plain, although they can be eaten with salsa.

Do you want to learn how to make tamales at home? Here are five step-by-step recipes and instructions for making authentic Tamales.

1. Fried Pork Tamales


  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • ½ small white onion
  • Two dried guajillo chiles, dried
  • Two dried pasilla chiles
  • Two cloves garlic
  • 4 cups of water

Place pork butter in a large dutch oven or medium-sized stockpot. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and salt, and cover with water. Reduce the heat and cook until the pork is tender. Transfer the pork to a bowl and let it cool slightly.

Remove the tamales from their wrappers. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Place about one tablespoon meat and sauce mixture in the middle of the masa. Add more water to the steamer and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

2. Portobello and Polenta Tamales

Have you ever made tamales using polenta? Some chefs use prepared polenta instead of the tortilla as traditional tamales use masa. A polenta tamale rich in marinara sauce is the most delicious comfort food you’ll ever test.


  • 3/4 lb. Ground beef
  • 3/4 lb. Ground pork
  • 4 onions
  • 8 Collard greens
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 28 oz. Muir glen
  • 8 Collard greens, large leaves
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms

Put the mushrooms in a large saucepan and cook over moderate heat while stirring occasionally. Spread 2 outer tamale husks on a work surface and add the cooked mushrooms. Add the collard greens, onions, and garlic to 4 cups boiling water.

Top with ground beef and ground pork

3. Chicken Tamales

A chicken Tamale is a family-friendly dinner for busy weeknights. It’s usually hand-rolled in real corn husks with thin-shredded chicken.


  • 1-pound chicken breast
  • 5 Corn husks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Masa mixture
  • Salsa vase
  • Peppers
  • 2 cups vegetable stock

Place the corn husks in warm water; soak for 30 minutes. Getting the most from your soaking requires the use of a water softener.

Spread about two tablespoons masa mixture onto the corn husk. Place the tamales in a steamer and cook for 40 minutes.

Mix the masa with water and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Shred the chicken and add salsa verde. You can also swap in turkey for the chicken in the filling. Cook on low heat.

You are also going to add the peppers to the tray to roast. Add vegetables and garlic to the pan and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce coats spoon thickly.

4. Fresh Corn Tamales

These tamales are created without any type of filling.


  • 6 ounces’ corn husks
  • 5 cups corn kernels (sliced from 11 or 12 ears of corn
  • 1 teaspoons salt

Wash the husks and set aside for later. Spread three tablespoons of dough all over the corn husk. Add tamales to the pot with the open seam up. Lower the heat to medium.

To maximize corn flavor, add pureed fresh sweet corn directly to the masa. Let it stand until the batter has firmed. Just make sure they cool completely before storing.

5. Cheese Tamales

Cheese Tamales are traditionally made by hand. Cheese tamales filled with cheese from your local store, have lots of flavors.

Ingredient Checklist

  • 10 corn husks
  • 1 recipe Tamale Dough
  • 8 ounces’ cheese, shredded
  • Salsa Verde

Start by soaking the corn husks in warm water. Use thorough rinsing to wash the corn husks. The dough and filling can be made three days in advance. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal and one teaspoon of salt.

Next, heat the butter and vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add tamales and cook until filling is heated. Finally, stir together the grated cheeses with the salsa.

Enjoy Your Tamales

In Mexican households, tamales are a sign of a celebration. You, too, can serve this dish as a meal on its own or with a protein.

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