Instant Pot Tamales Recipe: Quick and Easy Tamale Fix!

These Instant Pot tamales are like little bundles of joy, stuffed with yummy green chile chicken filling. They cook up way faster than usual, making them perfect for a quick meal. Tamales are basically a whole meal in a handy package.

They’re made by wrapping a tasty filling and masa dough in a corn husk, then steaming them until they’re nice and firm. And guess what? You can stash them in the fridge for 2-3 days in a sealed container!

Got leftovers or want to stock up? No worries! Just toss those cooled Instant Pot tamales into a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. When hunger strikes, wrap ’em in damp paper towels and pop ’em in the microwave until they’re warm and cozy.

Now, these Instant Pot tamales are tasty on their own, but you can take them to the next level with some delicious toppings or sides. How about homemade guacamole, yellow rice, or refried beans?

Instant Pot Tamales Recipe

Instant Pot Tamales Recipe

These Instant Pot tamales are super tasty! They're soft and tender, filled with yummy pork and a spicy red sauce for a kick. Making them takes some work, but it's totally worth it! Just make sure the tamales aren't too long, about 4 to 5 inches, so they fit nicely in the pressure cooker with the lid closed. This recipe is really fun, with soft masa and juicy shredded pork. And while these Instant Pot tamales are delicious on their own, you can always add some yummy toppings or sides, like homemade guacamole or yellow rice.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 15
Calories 245 kcal


  • Stand Mixer
  • Large bowl
  • Instant pot
  • Baking sheets


For the Corn Husks:

  • 28 Corn husks
  • Boiling water

For the Masa:

  • 1 ⅓ cups Lard
  • 3 cups Chicken broth
  • 4 cups Masa harina
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt

For the Green Chile Chicken Filling:

  • 2 tvsp Olive oil
  • ½ cup diced White onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup diced Green chiles
  • 1 tbsp Masa harina
  • 3 cups shredded Chicken rotisserie or cooked
  • ½ tsp Chili powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese


  • Put the corn husks in a big bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for 30 minutes, covered with foil.
  • In another big bowl, mix the lard and 2 tablespoons of broth until fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix masa, baking powder, cumin, and salt. Slowly add the masa mix to the lard and beat until it’s all mixed together.
  • Add broth a little at a time until you have a soft dough. Beat it on high for 5 minutes until it’s smooth like peanut butter. Cover it with a damp towel while you make the filling.
  • Heat some oil in a big skillet over medium heat. Cook onions for 5 minutes until they’re clear, then add garlic for 30 seconds. Add green chiles and masa harina, cook for 1 minute, then take it off the heat. Mix in chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cheese.
  • Take a corn husk, smooth side up, wide end at the top. Put about ¼ cup of masa in the middle, making a 4-inch square. Put 1-2 tablespoons of filling in a line down the center. Fold one side over, then the other, and fold up the bottom. Do this for all the tamales.
  • Put 1 ½ cups of water in the Instant Pot, then put in the trivet rack. Lay 4 corn husks flat on the rack. Put the tamales on top, open end up. You should be able to fit 24 tamales.
  • Put on the lid, set the valve to “Sealing,” and press “Manual” for 35 minutes on high pressure. Let the pressure go down naturally.
  • Take off the lid and move the tamales to a baking sheet. Let them sit for 15–30 minutes before you eat them.


  • Test the masa by dropping a small piece into warm water. If it floats, it’s ready.
  • Grate your own cheese instead of using pre-shredded.
  • Use a cookie scoop for even filling.
  • Add fresh avocado for some healthy fat.
Keyword easy Instant Pot Tamales Recipe, simple Instant Pot Tamales Recipe

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition Value
Calories245 kcal
Carbohydrates 18g
Cholesterol 29mg
Potassium 84mg

How Do I Know When the Tamales Are Done Cooking in the Instant Pot?

How Do I Know When the Tamales Are Done Cooking in the Instant Pot?

After cooking for 35 minutes, let the pressure release naturally. Then, carefully open the lid and move the tamales to a baking sheet. Let them chill for 15–30 minutes before serving.

Can I Use Store-Bought Masa Dough For This Recipe?

Yep, you can go with store-bought masa dough if you like. Just follow the instructions on the package to get it ready.

Can I Reheat the Tamales in the Microwave?

Sure! Just wrap them in damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave until they’re nice and warm.

Can I Adjust the Spiciness of the Red Sauce?

Of course! You can tweak the amount of spice in the red sauce to match your taste. Add more or less chili powder and other spices to suit your preference.

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