Skip to Content

Easy Instant Pot Tamales (with video)

Sharing is caring!

Instant Pot Tamales are the easiest way to get a homemade tamale that is rather simple to make! Try these pressure cooker tamales today.

A pork tamales that are topped with a green chili sauce and a dollop of sour cream. An easy Instant Pot Mexican inspired dinner idea.

pork tamales

I used to be very intimidated when it came to making tamales. While they are a bit of work you will find they are worth it. 

Learn how to make pressure cooker tamales in no time. Use up some leftover pork or beef to speed up the process of making these easy tamales.

Why You Will Love This Tamales Recipe…

  • Easy to make
  • Can use pork, beef or chicken for filling, or go meatless
  • Steam tamales in Instant Pot quickly
  • No fuss recipe
  • Wrapped in dried corn husks for a traditional flavor


  • Dried Corn Husks – You can find these at the grocery store or buy them online to ship to home.
  • Shredded Meat – I used Pork Carnitas meat but feel free to use any type of meat. Shredded chicken, beef, etc.
  • Butter
  • Masa – Masa is a delicious base to your tamales. You will form a thick dough that is the base of your tamales.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Green Chile Sauce – You are welcome to use a red sauce if you prefer.
  • Cotija Cheese – Optional but it is a tasty topping for your tamales.
  • Toppings – Salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, etc.

How to Make

Step 1: Soak your corn husks in water, for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Next, you will start by working on your masa mixture. You will want it to have a similar texture to play-doh, I share full instructions in the recipe card below. 

pressure cooker tamales

Step 3: Drain water off the corn husks, and one at a time, do a thin layer of the masa on the husk. Fill with meat, then roll up using the corn husk to help fold over the masa.

easy tamales

Step 4: Pour water in the Instant Pot and place trivet in your pressure cooker. Place the tamales on the trivet.

Step 5: Place lid on the pressure cooker, and seal the lid. Pressure cook on high manual pressure for 18 minutes. Then allow 10 minutes of natural release.

Step 6: Push off the rest of the steam, open and serve up your tamales, with green or red sauce, and your favorite toppings.

homemade tamales

Storage and Reheating

Your tamales will store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to store in an airtight container or bag.

For reheating, you will get a paper towel wet and ring out excess water. Wrap the paper towel around your corn husk tamale. 

Place in the microwave and reheat them for 15-30 second increments. Then check and flip to ensure it is warmed through. 

Repeat the reheating process until the leftover tamale is warmed. 

What Do You Serve On Top Of Tamales

  • Cotija Cheese 
  • Green chili sauce 
  • Enchilada sauce 
  • Sour cream 
  • Pico de Gallo 
  • Cilantro 
  • Tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Etc

You can honestly top your tamales however you would like. We tend to do just sauce, sour cream and cheese. 

How Many Tamales Fit In Instant Pot 

I was able to fit 10 in my 6-quart and 15 in my 8 quart instant pot. Now, depending on how big or small you make your tamales will affect how many fit in your inner pot. 

You do not want to overstuff your inner pot as you want to allow the steam to evenly cook all your easy pork tamales. 

easy tamale recipe

Expert Tips

  • Make sure to use butter and not margarine
  • Spread the masa thinly on the corn husks. I did a few that had a bit too much and were overpowering on corn flavor.
  • Make sure to soak the corn husks in water for 30 minutes. Then drain well.
  • You can buy a masa spreader to help with even spreading on husks.

Recipe FAQs

easy tamale recipe

Here are more Instant Pot Recipes

pork tamales

Instant Pot Tamales

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Instant Pot Tamales is an easy tamale recipe made right in your pressure cooker. I used pork carnitas meat for the filling and topped with green chili sauce. Pressure cooker tamales are so delicious and freezer friendly.



  1. Start by soaking your corn husks in water for 30 minutes. You need your corn husks to soften up a bit.
  2. While the corn husks are soaking you will work on your masa recipe.
  3. Start by melting your butter and then pour in the baking powder and salt in your bowl. Give it a mix.
  4. Now take your masa and slowly mix it in. Once you have the masa mixed in, slowly add in your water. You might not use all the water.
  5. You want your masa mixture to be like play doh. If you reach that texture then stop adding water to your mixture.
  6. Now take your corn husks and drain them from the water.
  7. Using the slick side of the corn husk lay it down and then spoon on a thin layer of masa.
  8. Take your cooked shredded meat, I used pork carnitas meat. Add around a teaspoon or two of meat. Then fold one side over, followed by the other side, and fold up one end to hold the tamale in place.
  9. Pour the 1/2 cup water in the pot liner, and then place your trivet or silicone sling inside.
  10. Lay your tamales with the folded side of corn husk down, and stack them up.
  11. You might have to cook in batches depending on how big your Instant Pot is.
  12. Place instant pot lid on, ensure the valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 18 minutes followed by 10 minutes natural release.
  13. Once you release any leftover pressure serve and enjoy your Instant Pot tamales.
  14. I topped my pork tamales with a green chili sauce, and cotija cheese.


Toppings: Top with your favorite tamale toppings. I love using Cotija cheese or a Mexican crumbling cheese, Green chili sauce, cilantro, etc.

Variation of Filling: You can do a meatless tamale if you want. Or use shredded chicken, beef, or pork like I did.

Double Recipe: Make as many as you would like. If need batch cook your tamales.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 580mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
instant pot tamales


Sunday 11th of July 2021

Man these look amazing! Cant wait to try them out! Thanks for the recipe!

Mexican Street Corn Style Instant Pot Cauliflower (with video) - Bake Me Some Sugar

Monday 9th of March 2020

[…] gluten-free side dish that is loaded with flavor, and won’t disappoint a crowd. Pair with my Instant Pot tamales for the ultimate […]

Instant Pot Carnitas (with video) - Bake Me Some Sugar

Sunday 8th of March 2020

[…] used this pork meat as the filling in my Instant Pot tamales recipe, they were insanely […]

Skip to Recipe