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Easy Instant Pot Tamales (with video)

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

pork tamales

Instant Pot Tamales

Pork tamales that are topped with a green chili sauce and a dollop of sour cream. 

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. 

I whipped these up about a week ago and I was shocked at how good they were! You might love the outcome too. 

pressure cooker tamales

What Meat To Use For Tamales

I used pork carnitas meat I had leftover. You could also use shredded beef or even chicken. 

The choice is up to you, and you will find using leftover meat is great too. It helped save me some prep work! 

easy tamales

How to Make Instant Pot Tamales

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. 

While I am working on the masa I soak my corn husks in water. This is going to help your tamales to steam properly in your pressure cooker. 

Smear on some masa mixture into corn husk, roll and fold and place in the instant pot. It’s rather simple! 

What Are Tamales Made Of

Tamales are made with a corn-based dough, tasty filling and topped with your favorite toppings. A classic Mexican dish that has been around for years. 

As for the filling, this varies greatly. You will find some are meatless, others made with beef, pork or another type of protein. 

What Does A Tamale Taste Like

Tamales are so good. The masa cooks up into a crumbly corn base. Then whatever meat inside will add flavor as well. 

A mild corn-based flavor that is loaded with Mexican seasoned meat. 

homemade tamales

What Kind of Sauce Goes On Tamales

Tamales can be served plain or some call naked. Or drizzle on a cheese sauce, green chili sauce or even enchilada red sauce. 

You are welcome to use whatever sauce you want with this tamales instant pot recipe.

Here are more Instant Pot Recipes

How Long Do You Steam Tamales

I steamed my tamales in my pressure cooker for 18 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of natural release. 

Traditional methods of steaming on the stove can take an hour to an hour and a half. 

easy tamale recipe

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

Best Way To Reheat Tamales 

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. 

Can You Freeze Homemade Tamales

You can freeze these homemade tamales. Simply allow the fresh tamales to cool down a bit. 

Place the corn husk covered tamales in an airtight container or freezer bag. Store up to three months in the microwave. 

Reheat in the microwave wrapped in a towel or even the oven!

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.


  • 24 corn husks (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • 2 cups shredded meat I used pork carnitas meat
  • 3 sticks butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups masa
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 cup water (for instant pot)
  • 2-3 cups warm water (for masa mixture)
  • 1 cup green chili sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup Cotija cheese (optional)
  • Other toppings


  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.


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

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

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