Tamales Verdes with Green Chile, Corn & Cheese

I love making Tamales Verdes with Green Chile, Corn & Cheese. These are a little different where the fillings, are actually mixed with the masa. This creates a delicious texture and are much easier to assemble.

A green chile corn tamal placed on husks on a green plate.

Green Tamales

These Tamales Verdes were adapted from our favorite Mexican restaurant in the U.S.: Elote Cafe in Sedona. If you ever make it this way, you must go to this restaurant! Just make sure to look for a reservation way in advanced.

These are vegetarian tamales since they don’t contain any meat. For vegan tamales you can substitute regular cheese with your favorite plant based cheese. The results will still be the same and you’ll have delicious vegan tamales!

A green tamal placed on a corn husk.

Ingredients

  • 2½ lbs masa – for this recipe we’re using my prepared masa recipe. Just follow the instructions on that post and come back to this one afterwards 🙂
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (3 whole corns) – if you can’t find fresh corn kernels, frozen ones will do work too.
  • 2 cups oaxaca or jack cheese (or any other melting cheese) shredded
  • 2 cups roasted, diced poblano or anaheim peppers – it’s okay to substitute with canned roasted green chile
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • dried husks

For serving:

Serve these green tamales with my Tomatillo Salsa and refried beans on the side. This combo is perfect!

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

All ingredients placed on a tile board.

How to make Tamales Verdes

Prepare ingredients

  • Soak the husks in a large container covered in boiling water for 20 or more minutes.
  • Prepare the masaRoast the peppers and chop, shred the cheese and cut the corn kernels.
Chopping roasted green chiles on a cutting board.

Mix

  • Place the prepared masa in a large bowl and add the chopped peppers, shredded cheese, corn kernels and 1½ tablespoons sugar.
  • Mix with your hands to integrate all ingredients.
  • Add the ½ cup milk gradually if mixture is to dense to spread easily. Mix again.

Assemble Tamales

  • Divide dough evenly, spreading onto 12 large corn husks or 24 small ones.
Green chile corn tamal smeared on a corn husk.

Spread about ¼ cup masa mixture onto the the corn husk, filling it up to 2 inches from the bottom and 1/4 inch from the top.

  • Fold sides of husk together, 1 over the other. Fold the bottom of the husk over the seam of the 2 folded sides. Repeat with remaining husks.

Steaming Tamales

Use a large steamer for the tamales pot or a “tamalera” – these are very large pots made specifically for tamales and pozole.

  • Add water to the bottom of the steamer making sure it will not overflow into the steaming tray. The tamales should not touch the water.
  • Place the tamales standing up and do not over pack the pot since it may affect how they cook.
  • Steam for one and a half hour on medium heat.
  • When tamales are ready, they should still be very moist but pull away from the corn husk easily and hold together.
  • Let tamales rest for 15 minutes before serving.
A green tamal placed on a corn husk.

Chef's Hat Icon.

Tip: Make Ahead

You can make preparations a couple of days ahead to save time. This is an important step for success especially if you’re a beginner. Things can get wild if you try to cook everything the same day!

  • Up to 2 days before: roast the peppers. If you don’t know how, this post on how to roasting peppers will show you how.
  • The day/night before: make the masa and start soaking the husks.
  • Make your side dishes like beans!

Freezing Tamales Verdes

You can freeze tamales cooked or raw. However it’s best to freeze cooked tamales as the raw fillings can change flavor and texture when frozen.

  • Let the tamales cool completely before freezing.
  • Place the tamales in airtight freezer bags or thick aluminum foil and remove as much air as you can. Do not remove the husk as it will help maintain the flavor.
  • For extra protection and to conserve the freshness, place the bags in a plastic or glass container.
  • Freeze tamales for up to 5 months.

While they will still be fine to eat after this time, the quality and flavor will start to decline and they just won’t taste as good as they should.

A green tamal placed on a corn husk.

Next time you’re in the mood for tamales, make your own Tamales Verdes at home instead. You’ll be glad you did!

💫 If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love it if you take 5 seconds to rate and review it below. It’s also super helpful to me and other readers if you share any changes you made to the recipe. I’m so grateful you’re here! 🙏🏼

Print Recipe

A green tamal placed on a corn husk.

Tamales Verdes with Green Chile, Corn & Cheese

Servings 12 tamales
Ana Frias
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
These Tamales Verdes are made with hatch roasted chiles, fresh corn kernels and shredded melting cheese. Make them with masa harina or fresh masa from the store. Either way, they’re easy to make and delicious!  

Equipment

  • Large steamer pot
12 tamales

Ingredients
  

  • lbs prepared masa
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (3 whole corns) okay to use frozen corn
  • 2 cups oaxaca or jack cheese (or any other melting cheese) shredded
  • 2 cups roasted, diced poblano or anaheim peppers see note
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • dried husks

Instructions
 

Prepare ingredients

  • Soak the husks in a large container covered in boiling water for 20 or more minutes.
  • Prepare the masa, Roast the peppers and chop, shred the cheese and cut the corn kernels.

Mix

  • Place the prepared masa in a large bowl and add the chopped peppers, shredded cheese, corn kernels and 1½ tablespoons sugar.
  • Mix with your hands to integrate all ingredients.
  • Add the ½ cup milk gradually if mixture is to dense to spread easily. Mix again.

Assemble Tamales

  • Divide dough evenly, spreading onto 12 large corn husks or 24 small ones.
  • Spread about ¼ cup masa mixture onto the the corn husk, filling it up to 2 inches from the bottom and 1/4 inch from the top.
  • Fold sides of husk together, 1 over the other. Fold the bottom of the husk over the seam of the 2 folded sides. Repeat with remaining husks.
  • Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add tamales with the open side up.
  • Steam for one and a half hour on medium heat.
  • When tamales are ready, they should still be very moist but pull away from the corn husk easily and hold together.
  • Let tamales rest for 15 minutes before serving.

*Ana’s Notes:

  • For the roasted chiles, it’s okay to substitute with canned roasted green chile. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1Tamal | Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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