Green Chile and Cheese Tamales Recipe

  • Yield:

    12 tamales

  • Total Time:

    1 hr 30 mins

  • Prep Time:

    30 mins

  • Cook Time:

    1 hr


  • Corn husks
  • 2-1/3 cups instant corn masa flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon Mazola® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Powder
  • 1/2 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 4 ounces white cheese- Monterey Jack, white Ameri can OR chihuahua


  1. Step 1) Place 15 to 20 corn husks in a large bowl; cover with hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Weigh husks down with a dinner plate or bowl to keep submerged. Note: If husks are soft and flexible, using warm tap water will work fine. If husks are very dry and brittle, use very hot tap water.
  2. Step 2) Stir corn masa flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined; make a well in the center. Whisk water and bouillon together; pour into well along with oil. Mix thoroughly with a large spoon until dough is formed. Let sit 5 minutes before preparing the tamales.
  3. Step 3) Remove one corn husk from water; pat dry with paper towels and place on work surface. Place 1/4 cup masa dough in center of husk. Pat dough with your hands into an approximate 4-1/2- inch by 5-inch rectangle; leaving at least 2 inches clear in lower part of the husk. The dough should be approximately 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Step 4) Blot green chilies with paper towels. Cut cheese into twelve thin strips, about 2-inches long. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon green chilies in center of masa. Add cheese. Encase the cheese in dough by rolling the vertical edges together. (You shouldn't be able to see the cheese). Roll husks around the dough. Fold up lower 1/3 to 1/2 of the husk. Tie with a strip of husk torn from any smaller or misshapen husks that won't be used in the tamale making. Repeat with remaining tamales.
  5. Step 5) Place a basket steamer in the bottom of a large pan. Expand the basket to fit the pan. Add in enough water to come to the bottom edge of the steamer basket. Place the rolled tamales in a standing position in the steamer basket. Place a lid on the pan; heat over medium-high heat for 35 to 45 minutes. During this time the tamales should steam. Occasionally, check that the tamales have plenty of steam by removing the lid. If the water evaporates, add more as needed.
  6. Step 6) After about 35 minutes, remove a tamale and open it to test for doneness. The dough should be firm and the cheese will be melted. If it is still soft and doughy, let steam a little longer and test again. When done, remove all tamales from the pan and serve hot with salsa.
  7. Recipe Note: Tamale dough can be made a day ahead. Refrigerate until ready to use. Uncooked tamales can also be frozen. Do no thaw but steam frozen. Add 5 minutes to the normal steaming time.