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pork tamales

Instant Pot Tamales

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.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword can i freeze tamales, easy tamales, how long do tamales take to cook, how long to steam tamales, instant pot tamales, pork tamales, pressure cooker tamales, steam tamales in instant pot, tamales in instant pot, tamales instant pot, what are tamales made of, what is a tamale, what kind of sauce goes on tamales
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 328kcal
Author Kelsey Apley


  • 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


  • Start by soaking your corn husks in water for 30 minutes. You need your corn husks to soften up a bit.
  • While the corn husks are soaking you will work on your masa recipe.
  • Start by melting your butter and then pour in the baking powder and salt in your bowl. Give it a mix.
  • 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.
  • You want your masa mixture to be like play doh. If you reach that texture then stop adding water to your mixture.
  • Now take your corn husks and drain them from the water.
  • Using the slick side of the corn husk lay it down and then spoon on a thin layer of masa.
  • 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.
  • Pour the 1/2 cup water in the pot liner, and then place your trivet or silicone sling inside.
  • Lay your tamales with the folded side of corn husk down, and stack them up.
  • You might have to cook in batches depending on how big your Instant Pot is.
  • Place instant pot lid on, ensure the valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 18 minutes followed by 10 minutes natural release.
  • Once you release any leftover pressure serve and enjoy your Instant Pot tamales.
  • 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 580mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g