Homemade Tamales

I saw a recipe for homemade tamales months ago!  I bought the masa and corn husks and then moved, had a baby, ect.  Something reminded me of them yesterday and so I just went and made them!  They turned out so so so good.  Thomas said that they were one of the best things I’ve ever made, and let’s be honest… that’s saying something.  They are a little time consuming but well worth the effort.  I cooked about 1/2 of what I made and froze the rest uncooked.   Just add 15 to 30 minutes of cook time for the frozen tamales, no need to thaw!
The recipe for the masa and the vegetable filling come from tastykitchen.com, so do the pics!
This link is a step by step on how to fold the tamales.  I recommend checking it out yourself.
I used this recipe for the vegetable filling and LOVED it!  Great use of zucchini this time of year!
I doubled the masa, used chicken stock instead of vegetable and made a cheese filling.  So I had LOTS of tamales.  My cheese filling is at the bottom of this post!



Homemade Tamales

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess


  • 1 package Corn Husks (about 4050 Husks)

For the dough: 

  • 2 cups Masa
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt (divided Use)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin, Divided Use
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder, Divided Use
  • 2¼ cups Veggie Broth, Divided Use
  • 1 stick Butter

Vegetable Filling:

  • 1 whole Zucchini, Chopped
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, Chopped
  • 2 whole Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
  • ½ whole Lime, Juiced
  • ½ cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cheese Filling:

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin


  1. Start off by soaking your corn husks in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grab a bowl and add in the masa, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of both the cumin, and chili powder.
  3. Now add 2 cups of the veggie broth to your mixture and form a dough.
  4. Pop your stick of butter into your mixer and whip it up for a minute or so. Add the masa dough in and mix it up well again. Set your finished dough aside and let’s move on to the filling.
  5. Grab your saute pan and cook up your zucchini, green onions, and garlic on medium heat in the Tablespoon of oil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Now add in the rest of your broth (1/4 cup), the cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, and the remaining cumin, chili powder (1 teaspoon each) and salt (1/4 teaspoon).
  7. Stir it together and add in the shredded cheese.
  8. Grab one of your soaked corn husks and slather a good amount of the masa mixture on top.
  9. Now, take a spoonful of your veggie filling and place it down the middle third of your tamale. Make sure to leave a bit of space at the ends.
  10. Wrap it up like you would a burrito and tie off the husk. I used another corn husk to tie it up.
  11. Grab a big pot, add about 2 quarts of water and steam those beautiful rolled up veggie delights for about 90 minutes on medium high heat. I didn’t have a steamer that big, so I used my large stock pot and placed my noodle strainer inside of it with the pot cover over the top. Make sure that your tamales aren’t touching the water.
  12. While the tamales are steaming, periodically check your water level to ensure you don’t boil it all away!
  13. Pull one out after 90 minutes and unwrap it to see if it’s cooked through. The masa should be firm.

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.