All About Tamales

Tamales are a delicious and traditional Mexican dish that is typically served on holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Day of the Dead. The combination of flavors in tamales can vary depending on what region they come from. In this blog post, we will discuss different foods that pair well with Tamale to help you make your holiday meal memorable!

What is a tamale and what do you serve with it?

Tamale is a Mexican dish made of masa dough with meat or vegetable filling, wrapped in a corn husk. Common vegetables include green chilies and cheese. Different regions offer different types of fillings such as shredded chicken or pork, beans, or red sauce.

When pairing a tamale, you want to ensure that the flavors and textures work together. For example, if your tamale has red sauce as part of its filling – avoid serving it with something like sour cream or guacamole which will overwhelm the flavor profile. Stick with light cheeses such as mozzarella or fresh ricotta.

When serving tamales, you want to serve them with a side of red or green sauce which is typically paired with the dish itself. Here are some other ideas:


How to make the perfect masa for your tamales?


Get a heavy pot with a lid. To do this, add water to the bottom of the pot until you have about an inch deep. Then place on the burner and turn on high heat until it starts boiling then reduce down to medium/low for 20 minutes or so stirring every few minutes Add in masa harina into boiling water and stir so it doesn’t clump up. Continue stirring for another 20 minutes or so until the mixture becomes one big glob of dough

Add in salt, baking powder, lard/shortening (recommended), sugar if using unsalted butter, then some warm broth often leftover from cooking meats like chicken or beef to help smooth down the dough. Stir until the mixture is a thick paste-like dough. Add more stock if the mixture is too dry.

Place a small amount of dough into the corn husk and mold it to look like an oval shape. Place the masa mix into your hand or kitchen tongs then place on corn husks, fold ends over tamale mix so that no batter gets out during the cooking process. Fold up excess slack until tamale is at the right size.

Place tamales in boiling water with the lid on the pot until the dough feels firm then remove from liquid and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving or wrapping up for later.

You can also try adding ingredients into your masa mix like jalapeno peppers, cilantro, cheese, etc… The sky is really the limit.

What holiday foods pair best with tamale?

Grilled food such as chicken, turkey, and beef tend to go really well when paired up with a hot steaming plate of homemade tamales. To get the best grilled food consider using an infrared grill or the original wood pellet grill, seeing as they’re more efficient to use. For those who prefer something sweet instead, the perfect dessert option would be pie or apple crisp because it not only complements your meal nicely but also helps you wash everything down.

If you are into seafood, tamales would go well with shrimp or lobster if it’s part of your holiday menu. However, the easiest option is to stick with a simple fish fillet because they never fail to impress even without any added ingredients. This way, you can focus on enjoying yourself and savoring the food rather than worrying about how to properly pair it with a dish.

Of course, if you are not big on celebrations and just want some homemade tamales as your family’s comfort food during the holiday season, then there is no need for any special pairing because everything tastes great when cooked at home. Whether you make them from scratch or use a convenient pre-made mix, the recipe won’t disappoint.

The history of Tamales in America

It started with the Spaniards, who brought their tradition of cooking meat wrapped in corn husks. Tamales are a staple of Mexican cuisine. They’re typically made with fresh vegetables and meat, wrapped in dough then steamed for hours until they’ve expanded into something that can serve as both meal or dessert! Tamal makers work hard to ensure their wares arrive at your table piping hot so you don’t have to go cold when eating one – just like Mexican people do during wintertime after working out outside all day long while sweating profusely from intense heat loads which produce natural moisture inside our bodies leading us towards dehydration state known scientifically as Dehydration-Related Injuries (DRIs).


There are many regional variations in tamale recipes, but they generally consist of masa (corn flour), water or broth, and lard. The masa is mixed with the liquid ingredients to form a dough that can be wrapped around other ingredients such as meat, cheese, vegetables, fruit, and spices before being steamed or cooked on a comal (griddle). Tamales may also use corn husks instead of leaves; these usually need to be soaked for about an hour before wrapping. When done properly tamales will have a moist interior and crisp exterior.