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Chicken Salsa Verde and Cheese Tamales
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5 from 2 votes

Tamale Masa Mix Recipe

Host a party and serve Chicken Salsa Verde Tamales. Slow cooker filling recipe with simple ingredients. Fast freezer meal for busy holidays and gatherings!
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dinner & Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: easy freezer meal, slow cooker chicken
Servings: 35 tamales
Calories: 147kcal


  • 45 dried corn husks - Latino markets and grocery stores. Online - mexgrocer.com
  • ¾ lb Crisco vegetable shortening (or 1 pound (2 cups) cold Fresh Lard)
  • 5 cups masa harina such as Maseca brand (available at most grocery stores)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ½ cups hot chicken broth homemade if possible
  • Ingredients:
  • Green and Red Salsas to drizzle over steamed tamales. I bought these at Albertsons in Southern California.
  • Roasted Salsa Verde is used in the recipe for the filling. Available at Costco.
  • Queso Fresco and Oaxaca are great to slice into sticks and as pictured above. Available at Albertsons


  • Soak corn husks: Submerge in hot water, weighted down with a plate, until pliable, about 30 minutes. You'll have extra, but that's good; invariably some rip or are too rigid to fold properly. Small sections can be wrapped around split ones.
  • Make masa dough: Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip lard on low-speed, then increase to high, until lard is as fluffy as frosting, about 5 minutes.
  • Put masa harina in a large bowl, sift in baking powder, and whisk in salt. With a mixer on low-speed, beat one-third of masa mixture into lard until fully incorporated (scrape beater and bowl at least once), then beat in one-third more. With mixer still on low, drizzle in broth so it doesn't splatter, and beat 5 minutes to hydrate masa mixture (it will thicken).
  • Beat in remaining one-third masa mixture, a spoonful at a time, until incorporated and the dough is soft and fluffy without being sticky (you may not need all the masa mixture). Test the dough by rolling a small ball of it over the back of your hand; if it rolls easily, without sticking, you've added enough.
  • Cover dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour, or chill up to 2 days.
  • Meanwhile, drain cornhusks and pat dry with a kitchen towel. If you won't be using them immediately, chill them in resealable plastic bags for up to 2 days.
  • Fill tamales: Set a cornhusk on a work surface, smoother side up (or hold it in your hand), and Set a corn husk on a work surface, smoother side up (or hold it in your hand), and use a pastry bench scraper to smooth the masa onto the corn husks.
  • Wrapping Tamales: Step 2: Spread a layer of Chicken Salsa Verde Tamale filling and a nice big piece of cheese, now you are ready to start wrapping.
  • Step 3: Place the point away from me, and roll the first side over the filling ½ way, fold up the point tip end, and then roll over to seam side down. Slip string under tamale and tie with a 16" piece of string in a bow.
  • As you work, set wrapped tamales upright (open ends up) in steamer baskets of pots, packing them loosely.
  • Steam Tamales: Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large stockpot, fill water just to the base of where tamales are placed, you don't want the water on the tamales. Place a tight-fitting lid and steam for 1 hour. Tamalera pots are available just to steam tamales. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low for 1 hour. Add additional water as needed.
  • Remove the string and corn husks, and top with your favorite salsa.


Nutrition information is for calculated without separate filling.


Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 377mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1.3mg