Instant Pot Tamales are lard-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. Depending on what filling you choose, they can easily be made vegan or vegetarian.
Typically tamale making is an all-day fiasco but with the Instant Pot, you can enjoy fresh tamales with ample side dishes in less than an hour. Seriously, it’s kinda mind-blowing! I have made these tamales on numerous occasions and I feel confident in saying they’re pretty fail-proof and forgiving.
My family used to have tamales around the holidays and it was something we always looked forward to. It wasn’t until I was browsing the aisles at our new grocery store and came across frozen tamale bags, that I realized how much I missed them. My husband and I decided to give them a try and they weren’t bad at all. However, we knew we could make our own at home and leave out some ingredients that didn’t necessarily need to be in there. Lookin at you, lard!
I love creating healthier versions of family favorites, and that’s exactly what this recipe is! No lard, no dairy, no egg – completely handmade from start to finish.
First things first, decide what filling you want. Vegetables, pork, chicken, ground beef. We went with ground beef because we had some leftover from making homemade meatballs earlier in the week. Cook your filling before moving onto making the tamal or dough. I have both tamal and masa in my panty, and technically either will work. (I suggest tamal for tamales and masa for homemade tortillas!) Follow the directions on the package but basically, all you do is combine the tamal/masa with water until a dough forms. It’s really that easy! From there, you’ll press the dough out on a corn husk, fill with veggies or meat, roll up, seal, and place in your pressure cooker to steam.
We served our tamales with tomatillo salsa, guacamole, beans, and rice. Yeah, we had a feast with just the two of us! Let me know if you make these by leaving me a comment or tagging #TheUrbenLife on Instagram.
Instant Pot Tamales
- 14 corn husks
For the dough
- 2 cups tamal
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the filling
- 1 pound seasoned ground beef, previously cooked (or another filling)
- Tomatillo Salsa, Guacamole, Refried Beans
- Rinse the corn husks and place them in a large bowl. Fill with warm water to cover and set aside.
- To form the dough, combine tamal, water, and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Mix using your hands until a soft paste-like dough is formed.
- Drain corn husks and carefully pat dry. Prepare your workstation by laying out several corn husks next to the dough and filling. Place steamer rack in Instant Pot and add 1 cup water.
- To fill the corn husks, use your fingers or back of a spoon to spread an even layer of the dough in the middle of the husk. Arrange a small amount of meat (or another filling) down the center of dough. Carefully fold the corn husks closed by pressing dough together, then rolling the husk, and folding the bottom. Place in Instant Pot standing up.
- To cook tamales, secure the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position. Steam at high heat for 20 minutes.
- To serve, unroll tamales from the husk and top with tomatillo salsa, guacamole, and refried beans.
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