South American Cooked Masa

READY IN: 30mins
Recipe by Muffin Goddess

Posted in response to a request. This masa has a different taste and texture than the uncooked masa used for the traditional tamales wrapped in corn husks. Unlike the uncooked type of masa, this doesn't require a heavy-duty mixer to achieve the proper texture. This masa is typically wrapped in banana leaves, and is more commonly used in South and Central America than in Mexico. Because there is no inactive time for this recipe, prep time is approximate and includes cook time. Adapted from "Tamales 101" by Alice Guadalupe Tapp.

Top Review by Samiyah2

this was a good recipe...the masa didn't boil though it was really dough - like, so i kept stirring it until it looked about right. i topped it with chicken and tomatoes. i was out of cheese which totally threw the flavor off, but i didn't make that mistake the second night ;)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 cups chicken stock (pork, beef, or veggie stock may be used instead)
  • 6 cups masa harina (such as Maseca para tamales)
  • 3 cups butter, melted (can use margarine or lard if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Mix the stock and masa harina in a large bowl with a heavy wooden spoon. Add the melted butter and the salt, mixing well.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. Stir constantly, bringing mixture to a low boil. Keep stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture becomes heavy and dense.
  3. Use for your preferred tamal recipe.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a