Cheese & Jalapeno Tamales
Instant Pot Main Dishes Recipes Vegetarian

Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales

These Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales are so delicious! Have you tried to make tamales before at home? If not this recipe is such a great one to start with. It has a super-easy-to-prepare filling, a can’t fail cooking method and makes a whole batch in a small bit of time. Seriously, you will love how well these tamales come out!

I first had a tamale in college. I honestly had no clue what one was when I ordered it at a restaurant one night. It arrived and I was first confused-dried corn? But soon I saw the yummy filling and was hooked. My other portion even tasted great after a next day microwaving (ok, so, it likely wasn’t as great, but to an undergrad who rarely got to enjoy non-dining-hall food, it seemed pretty great).

Once I was out of college, and had regular access to a “real kitchen”, I decided to try to making tamales and realized just how much time they can actually take to prepare. A few (ahem) years down the road, and I have gotten a bit more experienced in my kitchen endeavors. I decided to try steaming some tamales in my pressure cooker. And let me tell you, I will NEVER go back. These Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales are SO easy and quick to make with the Instant Pot that I would never even consider trying to slowly pot-steam tamales again. And, in this recipe you will see that I double-down on the “easy” because, if we are going fast over traditional, lets be ALL IN…so, no, we won’t be tying anything up in tamale strings around here.

So, here we go, with the EASIEST cheese and jalapeno tamales you will ever find!

cheese and jalapeno tamales

What are the Ingredients in Cheese & Jalapeno Tamales

  • Instant Corn Masa I used Maseca Brand. You should be able to easily find in in any major grocery store.
  • Salt-I used kosher salt, just use whatever you normally prefer
  • Baking Powder
  • Neutral Oil– you want to use something without too strong a flavor here so it does not overtake the delicate flavor of the tamales (save the extra virgin olive oil for another dish). I used canola oil which worked just fine.
  • Broth-I used vegetable broth to keep this a vegetarian-friendly dish; however, chicken broth would work just fine if that is not a concern of yours.
  • Peppers-Obviously, the idea of these tamales is to have them stuffed with jalapenos. To do so you will need approximately 20 jalapenos. If you do not have them, or prefer a slightly less spicy tamale, you can also substitute poblano peppers.
  • Cheese– I really like pepper jack cheese in these cheese and jalapeno tamales; however, cheddar would also be a great choice.
  • Dried Corn Husks -these will be soaked to form the wrapper for the tamales.

How to make Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales in the Instant Pot

cheese and jalapeno tamales soaking
  • Begin by preparing the corn husks:
  • Place the husks in a large bowl (or the bowl of your Instant Pot) and cover with hot water. Weigh down so they are submerged. An Instant Pot Trivet works perfectly for this. Set aside for 30-60 minutes.
cheese and jalapeno tamales assembly
  • Make the filling:
  • Combine the corn masa, salt, baking powder, canola and vegetable broth in a bowl. Work together with your hands until it forms a soft dough. Set aside while the husks soak.
  • Place the jalapenos (or poblano peppers) on a sheet pan and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Roast at 425 for 20-30 minutes until the skin browns and blisters. Remove to a bowl and cover for around 5 minutes to steam. Peel off the charred skin, seed and dice the peppers.
  • Assemble the tamales:
  • Lay out a tamale wrapper. Add about ¼ cup of the masa filling, a sprinkling of the jalapenos and some of the cheese.
  • Fold the top and bottom down and roll-up burrito style-trust me-this is the easiest way to do it.
  • Cook the tamales:
Cheese & Jalapeno Tamales
  • INSTANT POT
  • Add a trivet insert and 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Set to “steam” for 25 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes before opening the lid.
  • STOVETOP
  • Fill a steamer pot with water and a steamer insert, cover and set at medium high. Steam for 60-90 minutes until the dough is cooked through.

Need some side dishes for your Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales?

We have got you covered! Check out our list of 20 of the best side dishes for tamales!

Cheese & Jalapeno Tamales

Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales

Anne
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 20 tamales

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ¼ cups instant corn masa
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 15 jalapenos or 5 poblano peppers
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups pepper jack cheese
  • Approximately 20 dried corn husks

Instructions
 

  • Begin by preparing the corn husks:
  • Place the husks in a large bowl (or the bowl of your Instant Pot) and cover with hot water. Weigh down so they are submerged. An Instant Pot Trivet works perfectly for this. Set aside for 30-60 minutes.
  • Make the filling:
  • Combine the corn masa, salt, baking powder, canola and vegetable broth in a bowl. Work together with your hands until it forms a soft dough. Set aside while the husks soak.
  • Place the jalapenos (or poblano peppers) on a sheet pan and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Roast at 425 for 20-30 minutes until the skin browns and blisters. Remove to a bowl and cover for around 5 minutes to steam. Peel off the charred skin, seed and dice the peppers.
  • Assemble the tamales:
  • Lay out a tamale wrapper. Add about ¼ cup of the masa filling, a sprinkling of the jalapenos and some of the cheese.
  • Fold the top and bottom down and roll-up burrito style-trust me-this is the easiest way to do it.
  • Cook the tamales:
  • INSTANT POT
  • Add a trivet insert and 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Set to “steam” for 25 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes before opening the lid.
  • STOVETOP
  • Fill a steamer pot with water and a steamer insert, cover and set at medium high. Steam for 60-90 minutes until the dough is cooked through.

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