Tamales are festive, delicious baked delectables that are easy to make. The star of the show is the corn meal masa, which is quickly stirred together with chicken broth, eggs and seasonings. Once the filling is mixed, it’s stuffed inside a corn husk and sealed tight for a quick, delicious meal.

These tasty tamales are the recipe for a delicious dinner with an easy to-make process in an electric pressure cooker, all while using only one pot. The chicken is cooked with vegetables and seasoning, then stuffed with the chicken mixture and topped with the sauce. The tamales are then cooked in the Instant Pot, which takes only 15 minutes.

If you have ever tried to make tamales, you know how hard they can be. You have to use a rolling pin, a lot of flour and a lot of patience. The ingredients to make tamales are not really easy to get and you have to go to a lot of trouble to get them. It took me a long time to make them and I never tried to make them again. So I decided why not try to make them by using an instant pot, and it was a success.

Tamales prepared in half the time using the Instant Pot. Along with a two-ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken prepared using oil instead of lard.

I’m sure I’ll irritate some folks by cooking tamales sans lard! Tamales, like other traditional recipes, have been handed down through the years and are an important component of Mexican family customs.

Tamales are a traditional Christmas meal that may vary from salty to sweet. Traditionally, families prepare big quantities of food, and an assembly line may assist speed up the process. The recipe I’m providing is for a small batch, but it may easily be increased if necessary.

Two tamales wrapped in corn husks on a plate with salsa on the side.

Tamales in the Instant Pot Made Simple

To begin, you’ll need an Instant Pot; I use the 8-quart model. If you don’t have one, the chicken may be cooked in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, and the tamales can be steamed on the stovetop.

Second, I used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to combine the masa. If you don’t have one, use a portable mixer or do it the old-fashioned manner with your hands. Fair warning: mixing with your hands will take at least 15 minutes.

We’re also using oil instead of lard to make the masa. Don’t get me wrong: lard-based tamales are wonderful, but after eating masa prepared with oil for a few years, I can confidently state that it tastes just as good! The trick is to season the masa with a nice stock to create the taste that fat would provide.

Third, you’ll need a tasty filling. The filling options are limitless and may be tailored to your preferences. I used my 2 Ingredient IP Salsa Chicken for these simple tamales. I also used some leftover chopped potatoes that I had on hand.

Other filling possibilities include:

Tamales with Shredded Beef

Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes (Vegan)

Husks of corn Should Be Prepared

Fill a big pot halfway with boiling water and add your corn husks. You may alternatively boil water in a saucepan on the stove, then remove it from the heat and add the corn husks. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes.

After that, drain the water and hang them to dry. If the husks are damp, the masa will not adhere to them.

Stock pot filled with corn husks ready to be softened in hot water.

Toss the Tamales together in a large mixing bowl.

As a work surface, use a cutting board. Place a dry corn husk on the ground; if it’s too tiny, overlap two.

Corn husk on a cutting board with masa.

Spread a couple spoonfuls of masa over the center of the corn husk.

Corn husk with masa and salsa verde chicken on a cutting board.

Now, in the center of the masa, put your filling. Fold both sides together, then fold it over and up the bottom.

All of these processes are shown in the video.

You may also bind the tamale with shredded corn husk pieces.

Wrapped tamales in a glass dish.

We can start cooking your tamales after you’ve finished assembling them. I used the trivet insert in my 8-quart Instant Pot. This would be easier if you had a steamer basket. Another alternative is to use the trivet and cover it with a piece of foil with holes for the steam to escape. All you have to do now is make sure the tamales don’t come into contact with the water.

Tamales inside an instant pot ready to be cooked.

Furthermore, you don’t want the tops of the tamales to touch the lid, since this will prevent the cover from sealing and the instant pot from reaching pressure.

Set the timer for 20 minutes, Manual, High Pressure. I let the pressure naturally drop for a few minutes before releasing the remainder.

Remove the tamales from the saucepan and check to see whether the masa has fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. Allow for a few minutes of cooling before serving.

Two tamales on a plate with one cut in half to see filling.

Tamales: How to Store and Reheat

Cooked/cooled tamales may be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for a few months in a container or zip top bag.

To reheat, cover them with a wet paper towel and microwave for 1.5-2 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. To keep the tamales from drying out while reheating, keep the corn husk on them. Remove the husk before eating.

To see the video on YouTube, click on the picture below:

Text overlay saying, 'Easy Instant Pot Tamales' for YouTube thumbnail.

A Tamal on a plate that is cut in half to reveal the chicken filling

Chicken Tamales in the Instant Pot

Renee Fuentes is a model and actress.

Tamales prepared in half the time using the Instant Pot. Along with a two-ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken prepared using oil instead of lard.

Time to prepare: 2 hours and 15 minutes

30 minutes to prepare

2 hours 45 minutes total time

Course Description:

Mexican cuisine


Corn Husks

  • Rinse corn husks or hojas and put in a saucepan of boiling water on the stove; after boiling, remove from heat. Allow corn husks to soak in water for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and flexible. Remove the husks from the water and set them aside to dry.


  • Combine corn flour, salt, baking powder, and avocado oil in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. To integrate, start mixing on low speed.

  • While the mixer is still on low speed, slowly pour in the heated chicken broth. Increase the speed to medium after all of the broth has been added. Every few minutes, keep mixing and scraping down the sides of the basin until a soft, smooth dough develops. To season, taste a little amount of masa. If additional salt is required, add it to the dough and combine it again.

  • Set aside if preparing tamales right immediately; alternatively, cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and chill until ready to use.

Putting the Tamales Together

  • Place a single dried corn husk on a work surface. If the husk is too tiny, combine two of them.

  • In the center of the husk, spread an equal layer of masa, extending out to the sides. On the husk, leave a little edge. Fill the center with shredded chicken filling (I used approximately 2 spoonfuls).

  • Fold both sides of the tamale together in the center, then fold the bottom end up to the top. Place in a plate until all of the tamales have been put together.

Tamales are steamed.

  • Method in the Instant Pot: Fill the instant pot halfway with water and put the trivet or steam basket inside. Add 1 cup of water to each batch if cooking in multiples.

  • Place the tamales in the instant pot standing up. If you’re using a trivet, a piece of foil with holes may be placed on top of it to keep the tamales from touching the water. They will be more supported if you fill the instant pot completely. Also, make sure the tamales’ tops do not contact the cover, otherwise the pot will not come to pressure.

  • Set the timer for 30 minutes on high pressure. I let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.

  • Remove a tamale from the pot to see whether the masa is fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. When the masa is initially taken from the saucepan, it may seem undercooked. If the masa hasn’t set, add additional water to the instant pot if necessary and continue to cook on high pressure for another 10 minutes.

  • Remove the tamales from the instant pot after cooked and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving to enable the masa to firm up.

  • Place the steamer on top of the stove. Fill a steamer pot halfway with water, add the steamer insert, and stack the tamales standing up. Place the lid on top and cover with a piece of foil. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Bring the water to a low boil for at least 1 hour. Check to see whether there is still water at the bottom of the pot on a regular basis. Remove a tamale from the pot after an hour to see whether the masa is fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. If it doesn’t, cook for another 15 minutes and check again. Remove the tamales from the saucepan after they’ve finished cooking and set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

  • Leftover tamales may be kept in a zip top bag in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for a few months after they have fully cooled.

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The slow cooker is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment out there. If you’ve never used one you’re missing out. They’re fantastic when it comes to making sure that meats, vegetables, beans, and stews are evenly cooked and allow you to add flavors and spices to your dish. But what about making tamales? If you’ve never made tamales before, you’re in for a treat. Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tamales.. Read more about instant pot salsa chicken and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I steam tamales in my Instant Pot?

Yes, you can steam tamales in your Instant Pot.

How do you cook frozen uncooked tamales in an Instant Pot?

You can cook frozen uncooked tamales in an Instant Pot by following these steps: 1. Add a cup of water to the pot and place it on high pressure for five minutes. 2. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for ten minutes before opening the lid. 3. Pour out the water and add your uncooked tamales to the pot, making sure they are completely submerged in liquid before closing the lid again. 4. Cook for

How long do you steam tamales in a pot?

I am not sure what you mean by steam tamales in a pot.

Related Tags

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