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A small pile of salsa verde tamales on a red plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Salsa Verde Tamales

Making tamales is a bit of a project, but with a great payoff. These tamales are flavourful, convenient meals... and ABUNDANT!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Soaking Time8 hours
Total Time11 hours 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 70 Tamales
Calories: 122kcal


1 or 2 package (8 oz) dried corn husks*



  • 6 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Beer Like Corona
  • 1 Large Onion Finely chopped
  • 6 Jalapeno Peppers Finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Ears Fresh Corn Kernels sliced off.
  • 1-2 Bunches Cilantro Chopped
  • 2-3 16oz Jars of Salsa Verde We used Ortega
  • 2 lbs Colby-jack cheese Shredded

Masa Dough

  • 9 cups Masa Harina
  • Cup Dried Parsley
  • 5 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 3 tablespoon Cayenne Powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Coriander
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 7 ½ Cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 Cups Beer Like Corona
  • 3 Cups Lard


  • In a large bucket or stock pot, cover corn husks with hot water. When water has cooled, separate the husks, drain a bit of the water, and cover with more hot water. Let sit overnight.
  • Separate chicken breasts (if needed), and trim any undesireables from them (fat, etc). Boil in a large pot of water until cooked all the way through.
  • Remove chicken breasts from water, allow to cool. Using two forks, pull the chicken breast apart, into shreds of bite sized pieces.
  • Place shredded chicken, beer, onion, jalapenos, and lime juice into a large pot or pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and jalapeno slices soft. Most of the beer should have either cooked off or absorbed by this point.
  • Add salt, corn, cilantro, and salsa verde. Continue cooking until everything is thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, add shredded cheese, stir until everything is well combined. Set aside, make the dough:
  • In a large bowl, combine masa harina, dried parsley, onion powder, cayenne powder, coriander, cumin, garlic powder and salt, stirring until combined.
  • In a large pot, combine chicken broth and beer, heating until about to boil. Remove from heat, dump in the dry ingredient mixture. Stir until a smooth, thick dough forms. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  • As dough is resting, whip lard with a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  • After the 20 minutes, add the lard to the dough, stirring until well combined. If the dough is too thick to be spreadable (should be the consistency of peanut butter), add a little more beer or chicken broth to thin it out a little.
  • Now, time to wrap the tamales. From everything I read, there’s about 10 million ways you can do this. As most involved an open side – something I was NOT interested in – here’s how I did it:
  • Pick out a large husk and a smaller husk. Overlap the wide ends slightly, with the small husk underneath the larger one, as pictured. Measure about ⅓ cup of masa dough onto the middle of the larger husk, spreading out slightly.
  • Use a piece of plastic wrap to spread out the dough into a longish rectangle, as pictured. I basically just put the plastic wrap over the dough, and smoother it out from the top – not moving the plastic wrap at all.
    Spread about ¼ cup of filling in a long row up the middle of the length of dough rectangle, avoiding the last inch or so on each end.
  • Pick up the larger husk and fold it together, taking care to seal in the filling. You may need to poke it a bit. Once it’s folded and sealed, flip it to one side of the large husk.
  • Fold up the pointy end of the husk, tightly against the bottom of the tamal.
  • Fold in one long side of the husk, snug against the tamal.
    Roll the tamal, or fold in the other end. The basic idea if to completely envelope the sides and bottom, with no dough left exposed.
  • Once rolled, place the tamal seam side down on the smaller husk. The open side should be facing into the small husk, overlapping the husks by an inch or two.
  • Roll the small husk around the tamale.
  • Fold the pointy end of the small husk in over the “seam”, completely enveloping the main tamal roll.
  • I went traditional and used long strips of (broken or otherwise useless) corn husks to tie this off. Feel free to do that – but next time, I’ll definitely be using kitchen twine instead. Too much fussing around for my tastes!
  • Depending on how the wrap went, some tamales may require 2 ties. It’s all good.
  • Repeat process about a million ... err.. 70 times.
  • Place tamales in a large steamer. Depending on your equipment, you may need to do this in several batches. We used a turkey fryer over propane burner! (Which is actually our home brewing setup!)
  • Put enough water in the bottom to almost touch the bottom of the steam basket (but not), and steam for about 2 hours, until dough is cooked through and firmed up.
  • These can be frozen. We froze them IN the wrappers, stored in freezer bags. We bring a bag out as we need it, allow to thaw, and then remove husks to reheat.
  • Traditionally, these are served without sauce… but we prefer them with a bit of salsa.
  • *I recommend going with 2 packages. As we found out, a good portion of the package were either broken or too small to bother fussing with!


*I recommend going with 2 packages. As we found out, a good portion of the package were either broken or too small to bother fussing with!


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg