Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

tamalitos aka little tamales (sallye)

(1 rating)
Recipe by
sallye bates
Austin, TX

Little tamales make a great addition as finger food for a buffet. They are also great served as a main dish covered with chili and grated cheese. Bonus, they are easy to make. Try them and see for yourself if they aren't delicious and a hit at any meal.

(1 rating)
yield serving(s)
prep time 15 Min
cook time 45 Min
method Steam

Ingredients For tamalitos aka little tamales (sallye)

  • 2-1/4 c
    masa harina
  • 1-1/2 tsp
    salt (divided)
  • 1-1/4 c
    chicken broth
  • 1/2 c
    cooking oil
  • 2 c
    cooked chicken
  • 1 md
    white onion
  • 1 can
    (4 oz) pickled jalapenos, drained
  • 1/2 c
    salsa verde (or green chili salsa)

How To Make tamalitos aka little tamales (sallye)

  • 1
    Cut 30 pieces of heavy duty foil into 6" x 6" squares and set aside. Dice the cooked chicken into chunks and set aside. Mix the chicken broth and oil together until fuzed into a smooth liquid and set aside.
  • 2
    Note: you are going to need 2 food processors (or you will have to wash one between the recipe steps.)
  • 3
    Place masa harina and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in food processor and process on medium for 2 seconds (just until blended). Leave the motor running, and slowly pour the broth and oil mixture though the food tube (my processor has a small opening for pouring liquids in during processing). Continue processing until you have a thick paste. If you need to use the same processor, transfer the dough to a clean glass bowl and set aside.
  • 4
    Peel and quarter the onion and place in clean food processor. Add drained chiles to the processor and pulse 4-5 times until onion and chiles are coarsely diced. Add diced chicken, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and salsa to the processor. Pulse additional 2-4 times until you have a nice chicken stuffing. Don't over process, you want the stuffing to be a little chunky.
  • 5
    Cover a large portion of your counter with parchment paper (or use a large cutting board or baking sheet.
  • 6
    Put the foil squares within easy reach, along with the bowl of masa harina paste and the container of chicken mixture.
  • 7
    Lay one piece of foil on work surface. Place about 1-1/2 tablespoons of masa paste on foil, spreading it out into a 3 inch square.
  • 8
    Add about 1-1/2 tablespoons chicken mixture on each masa square, positioning it down the center of the masa.
  • 9
    Fold foil edges together so that masa edges meet, then seal all sides.
  • 10
    Continue until you have used all the masa and chicken mixture. You will have approximately 30 packets. Arrange packets in a pyramid in the top portion of a steamer pot. Do not let the water touch the packets!!! Cover tightly and steam over simmering water for about 45 minutes. Unwrap and serve hot.
  • 11
    Note: If you don't have a steamer pot, you can make a substitute. Crunch up foil until you have two runners about 2" tall. Place these runners in the bottom of a heavy stewpot and place an inverted metal cake tin over them. This will elevate the packets above the water and allow for the steaming water to do its job.