These Instant Pot Tamales are made with Maseca, chicken broth, baking powder, crisco, dried corn husk, cooked chicken, and salsa verde.
This is a simple Instant Pot Tamales recipe that can be stuffed with whatever you want. This tamales recipe gives you the option to use carnitas, shredded chicken in salsa verde, or even nopales!
Tamales bring back all of my favorite childhood memories. Since tamales are widely consumed in the Christmas time, it reminds me of when my family would get together to make and eat them. This is by far one of my favorite Mexican dishes and I could probably eat eight of them in one sitting! Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but that is how much I love them!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Baking powder
- Lard or Crisco
- Dried cork husks
- Shredded chicken
- Your favorite sauce
See recipe card for quantities.
Start by boiling a large pot of water, remove and letting it rest for 10 minutes. Put all the corn husks in the water for 30 minutes. Cover for maximum moisture.
Combined the shredded chicken and the salsa verde in a bowl. You can also use this Carnitas recipe for the filling instead. For this recipe I recommend using chicken and salsa verde.
Add the shredded chicken and the salsa verde and mix. Salt and pepper to taste. This is your filling!
Time to make the dough. In one bowl, add the Crisco and ¼ cup of chicken broth. Whisk together. The Crisco will stick inside to whisk and when it does, just remove and keep whisking for 4 minutes. You may use your hand but the Crisco will eventually soften up.
In another bowl, add the 4 cups of Maseca, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and mix. Throw into the bowl of Crisco and combine. Slowly add 3 cups of chicken broth and mix with your hands for 3 minutes until you get the consistency of peanut butter. If it is too dry, add more broth. If it’s too loose, add Maseca until you get that texture. When you make the dough, you can test it by putting a rolled up ball into water - if it floats it is ready.
To make the tamales, place the corn husk glossy side up. The wide end must be on the top. Lay about ⅓ cup of masa dough onto the corn husk and flatten it out. I used a thick ziplock bag to be able to spread it evenly and thinly, but you can use whatever you want. The ziplock bag helped so the dough wouldn’t stick to my hands. Then add 2 tablespoons of filling on top of the dough. Grabbing the wide end of the husk, fold hot dog style and then fold again like a brochure. Fold the bottom of the husk up. Repeat with the rest!
I cooked my tamales on the instant pot on high pressure for 25 minutes, although you can steam on the stove top for 45 minutes. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot or 3 cups of water in the stovetop.
Place the tamales upright with the open end up.
Hint: I really recommend tying the tamales with smaller pieces of corn husk. I shredded a small moist corn husk and used them to tie the other tamales with.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - add hot sauce on the tamales.
- Deluxe - serve with guacamole, crispy onions or sliced avocado.
- Kid friendly - add crushed tortilla chips
Check out this Mexican Cauliflower for a great side dish.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. I love using my Instant Pot for this recipe.
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or frozen for up to three months.
Make sure to soak the corn husks before adding the dough inside.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove