Green Chili, Chicken & Cheese Tamales

Total Time
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 2 hrs

Don't use butter instead of lard; the texture is too soft and it won't cream properly. If you must substitute, use vegetable shortening.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fill a large bowl or pot with warm water. Put the corn husks in the water and weight them down so they stay immersed.
  2. Combine all filling ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Combine masa, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a standing mixer, beat the lard until it becomes light and fluffy.
  5. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
  6. Slowly add chicken broth just until a soft dough forms.
  7. To assemble the tamales, put a spoonful of dough on the smooth side of a corn husk, smooth it down to a thin layer (1/8"-1/4" thick), and put a smaller spoonful of filling on the dough. Bring the two sides of the husk together so that the dough rolls around the filling and the husk overlaps itself. Fold up the bottom and tie it with a bit of string or a strand of corn husk.
  8. Set the tamales open end up in a steamer or colander. Put the steamer in a large pot with some water in the bottom. The water musn't touch the tamales. Cover tightly and steam over medium heat for 90-120 minutes.
  9. Once cooked, tamales can be kept in the freezer. To reheat, put in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and cook on high for about one minute per tamale.
Most Helpful

As soon as I saw this I just had to try it. Needed a change from my normal Pork Tamales and i really am glad that I did. These were outstanding-I used chicken thighs because we prefer them and couldn't find the mexican cheese so I substituted Monterey Jack and cut into little tiny cubes. I did have tons of the mesa leftover but no biggie just made tortillas out of it. These were a true hit that everyone enjoyed-will be making again so I can keep a supply in the freezer.

Chef Paula #4 June 05, 2012

I finally got around to making these, and boy, am I glad that I did! DH was thrilled to see me making them, and even happier to eat them. I couldn't find any lard for the life of me (not for lack of trying, either), so I used Crisco in the masa. I was concerned that I would run out of filling too soon, so I made a double batch of it. I got 44 tamales using a large cookie scoop for the masa and a medium cookie scoop for the filling (leveled for the masa and heaping for the filling), and I was only left with maybe enough filling for 2 more tamales but no masa -- used it to make a couple quesadillas for DH. We typically like our tamales saucy, so I made a big pot of tomatillo salsa to go with these. I served them topped with the salsa, crema and some extra queso fresco. I steamed these in my big tamalera pot for two hours, but they still seemed too mushy, so I turned down the heat to low and allowed them to cook for another hour or so, then turned off the heat and left them covered on the burner overnight (I made them really late in the day, and wasn't expecting to eat them until the next day anyhow). For some reason, all the tamales I make need to be cooked like this, so I'm sure it's just a quirk of my pot and not an issue with the tamales themselves. This way, we wake up to perfectly cooked tamales and a delicious-smelling house, so the extra time it takes is worth it. Thanks for posting!

Muffin Goddess November 19, 2012

I have never been a big tamale fan, but my 15-year-old daughter decided she wanted to make tamales for her cooking night. I was a bit apprehensive as I had only made tamales once before and I remembered it being a big hassle. These were time consuming, but not difficult and the results were very tasty. The filling is very flavorful and kept the tamales from being bland as others I have had. Preparation took us about 2 hours including cooking and shredding the chicken, making the masa, and assembling the tamales. Probably would have been faster with more experienced cooks. It makes a lot of tamales - we got about 34 - so having leftovers to freeze for another night helps make it worth the effort. We served them with tomatillo salsa and black beans on the side.

Dawn B. July 16, 2015