Authentic Mexican Tamales Recipe

Tamales are a staple of Mexican cuisine. A traditional tamale is made from masa or dough wrapped in a corn husk and steamed together with a filling. It’s believed that tamales originated in Mesoamerica over 5,000 years ago. Today, although there are countless varieties, Mexican tamales are among the most popular.


  • 2 cups masa
  • 1 cup of lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of salsa
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of diced pepper
  • 1/2 cup of black beans
  • 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 18-24 dried corn husks


  1. Soak the dried corn husks in warm water for 30 minutes until they are soft and pliable. Drain the husks and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the masa, lard, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the chicken broth and mix until you have a soft dough.
  3. Place a few tablespoons of the masa mixture in the center of a corn husk and spread it out to create a flat, round patty. Add one tablespoon or so of the filling (salsa, onion, pepper, beans, and tomatoes) to each patty.
  4. Fold the sides of the corn husks up and over the tamale, then wrap the ends and fold them up to seal. Secure with cooking twine, if desired.
  5. Place the tamales in a steamer basket in a large pot with a few inches of water. Cover the pot with a lid and let the tamales steam for 45 minutes over medium heat.
  6. Once the tamales are cooked through, remove them from the pot. Unwrap and enjoy while they’re still hot!