Chicken Tamales Recipe

Here is one way I like to make chicken tamales. With the cooler weather in my area and the holiday season, it's the perfect time for tamale making. I love to give tamales as gifts or make a small batch for dinner. This recipe is simple and I think its a good place to start.


6 cups Maseca (Regular or Tamal Mix)
6 cups of hot liquid/broth/water mixture
1/2 cup of melted lard or shortening
1 cup chile puree (or to your preference)
salt to taste
*Be sure to keep extra hot water in case masa gets too dry

3 1/2 lbs to 4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tbls bouillon powder (or sub with just salt to taste)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black pepper
1 medium onion
3 to 5 cloves of garlic
4.5 quart Slow Cooker

1 1/2 ounce bag of dried Guajillo chiles
2 /3 cup of water


NOTE: Cook time and amount of tamales vary. I made 3 dozen easily with some masa left over. It all depends on your preferred ratio of masa to meat filling and tamale size. I make mine on the thinner masa smaller tamale size.

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How to make Tamales
Holiday Recipes

33 thoughts on “Chicken Tamales Recipe

    1. Yvette Vera it’s not spicy. The guajillos are used for color and taste. They have no spice. You should be good ?

    2. Hi!!, definitely going to try your recipe !!!, I’ve been looking for a tamale recipe !!!it looks delish!!!and I really enjoy watching your videos.thank you and God bless you and your family.MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  1. Another great idea!  You are one of my favorites!

    I think you touched briefly, but isn’t there a difference between Masa Harina (ground hominy), used for corn tortillas,  and Masa for tamales, as the latter has other ingredients…?

    I always look forward to your new offers,  and I love your fun, clear presentation!

    1. The biggest difference is Fresh masa is ground hominy boiled in a water/lime/salt mixture, then ground up. Fresh masa that isn’t prepared needs to be mixed with seasonings, lard and some broth to be able to make tamales. Maseca is basically nixtamal that has been dried and finely ground in to a flour consistency. I’m sure I’m missing some extra details but that’s a summed up difference. ?

  2. EXCELLENT tutorial! BTW: I’m glad you took some time to spend with your family (loved hearing the tiny, happy voices in the background), but I’ve missed your videos.

  3. Looks so yummy. I’m so hungry. I can’t wait to get into my pozole when it’s done. Thank you for sharing

  4. I’ll bet they taste delicious. My sister is making tamales tonight for delivery tomorrow. She’s really good at it. At Christmas she’s made up to 300 dozen. Now she’s doing fancy ones, with cream cheese, jalapeño, bacon. She won a trophy for those. ?

  5. I love that you boiled the corn husks first. I love tamales, but the husks are always a little gross coming out of the package.

  6. tamales can be tough to make… a lot of work. but as ALWAYS, you motivate me to not be too scared to give those recipes a try…. Thanks for sharing!!! It’s been a while, but I know you’re busy with your boys Happy Holidays to you and your family!!!

    1. Thank you Lisa! Yes I have been crazy busy with personal family stuff and next year looks to be a busy year for us. I appreciate you and wish you a Happy Holidays! ??

  7. I’ve watched so many tamales videos and this is by far my favorite. I know it will take time but you make it look so easy and gave tips I’d never heard before. This will definitely be the video I use as a guide. Thank you so much!

  8. I want to learn how to make them,but where do I purchase? I’m African american so I never made tamales,thanks.

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