sallye bates


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 vote

Yield approximately 30
15 Min
45 Min


  • 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 medium
    white onion
  • 1 can(s)
    (4 oz) pickled jalapenos, drained
  • 1/2 c
    salsa verde (or green chili salsa)



  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.

Printable Recipe Card


Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Southwestern
Other Tags: Quick & Easy For Kids

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