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+ servings

Green Chile and Cheese Tamales

Green chile and cheese tamal fresh out of the steamer pot!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 18 Tamales


For Masa

  • cups masa harina
  • cups warm chicken broth
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening or pork manteca lard
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For Filling

  • 20 tomatillos
  • 5 to 6 serrano chiles
  • 2 cups roasted diced green chile mild
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 10 to 12 ounces Oaxaca cheese pull apart into 15 to 18 pieces
  • 15 to 20 corn husk for tamales
  • Foil paper cut into 15 to 18 pieces(about 7 inches )


  • Soak the corn husk in some hot water for 2 hours. Use a heavy bowl or pot to weigh down, set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the masa harina, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add in the warm chicken broth and work in until dough forms. In another glass bowl, melt the shortening or manteca, then work well into the masa mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • In  saucepan, combine the clean tomatillos, onion, and chile serrano. Fill with enough water to cover, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes, just until tomatillos turn color. Drain the water and transfer to the blender, add cilantro and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the diced green chiles, taste for salt. Set aside.
  • Prepare a large steamer pot with water, set aside. Once everything is in place, shake of excess water from husks. Take one husk(about 5 inches across) and using the back of a spoon spread enough masa to cover the surface(not too thick). Add a strip of cheese and cover cheese with salsa verde mixture. Fold in the sides, then fold down the flap and wrap tightly with foil paper. Stand up in steamer pot with open side up. Reserve extra salsa verde to garnish cooked tamales.
  • Once all tamales are done, bring to a quick boil in steamer, then reduce heat to medium. Steam for 1 hour, checking for water every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, pull out 1 tamale and let cool slightly, if the husk pulls away easily from masa, they are done.If not, steam for another 30-35 minutes. Let tamales cool slightly before eating. Yields 15 to 18 large tamales. Garnish the tamales with extra salsa verde!


If you do not have a steamer, you can use a regular large pot. You want insert a plate, bowl, or metal steamer upside down into pot. The idea is to keep the tamales up and out of the water on the bottom of pot. Steam as usual. You will have to check for water every 20 minutes. Tamales and salsa are both freezer friendly!
The foil paper for wrapping the tamales is optional. These days we use deli paper sheets to wrap the tamales. It helps keep the cheese from going all over the steamer pot. It also gives the tamales a nice shape during the steaming process.