Classic Mexican Tamales | Mexican Food Recipes

Mexican Food Recipes

Classic Mexican Tamales

Classic Mexican tamales are a very popular Christmas Mexican food; the tamales are made from masa harina like corn tortillas, and filled with a variety of fillings.

Tamale fillings range from savory vegetarian, bean, beef, and pork, chicken and seafood versions to sweet, fruit-filled desserts. Just about anything you can think of to eat you can use to make tamales, even sweet potatoes. Which by the way are absolutely delicious.

Making tamales can be very labor intensive; usually families will gather together and divide of the process in assembly line fashion making dozens of incredible homemade tamales.

Mexican Tamale Dough


  • 6 cups masa harina

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening

  • ½ teaspoon of salt

  • 2 ½ to 3 cups of meat broth, heated to lukewarm.


Mix the masa with the shortening and meat broth and knead to the consistency of solid dough.

Set the dough aside in a mixing bowl, loosely covered. Now for the filling you should use your imagination but, for now how about a more traditional classic tamale filling recipe.

Yield 2 ½ to 3 dozen.

Note: If the dough becomes too stiff to work later you can beat in a little hot water a tablespoon at a time.

Masa harina is flour made from ground dried corn and available in larger grocery stores.


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