Día de los Muertos Tamale Recipe

Oct 31, 2019 Most Recent

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated all over the country, and by many Mexican-Americans in the U.S. as well. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember loved ones who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. This centuries old holiday is a beautiful way to bring family and friends closer, and accept the passing of a loved one. 

One important part of this holiday (as with any holiday), is the food. Cooking in the kitchen, serving the food, feasting together is a great way to bond with family and friends. The most popular food for this holiday is tamales. This delicious dish has become popular in the states, and the more authentic the better! Below is an authentic tamale recipe (brought to you from My Latina Table). Try it out below!

Authentic Tamale Recipe


  • 30 Corn Husks for Tamales
  • 1 Russet Potato Diced
  • 2 Carrots Diced
  • 2 Chicken Breasts Cooked and Shredded
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 Onion julienned
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups Masa for Tamales
  • 1 1/4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 8 oz pork lard
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
Guajillo Salsa
  • 6 Guajillo Peppers deveined, deseeded, boiled, and cleaned
  • 2 Pasilla Peppers deveined, deseeded, boiled, and cleaned
  • 1/4 Onion roasted
  • 3 cloves Garlic roasted
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Start by soaking the corn husks in lukewarm water so that they get softer. Once soft, strain the water and set the husks aside.
  2. Fill the bottom part of your steamer with water and a little bit of salt, making sure that it doesn't reach the space where the tamales will be placed.

Masa Directions

  1. Add all of the dry ingredients, including the lard, to a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Start adding the chicken broth a little at a time while stirring until a soft, malleable dough is formed.

Filling Directions

  1. Sautee the onion and chicken with the spices and olive oil, set aside.
  2. Add the carrots to boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and let everything boil together for an additional 10 minutes. The potatoes and carrots should still be pretty firm.
  3. Transfer the carrots and potatoes to a frying pan and cook with salt and pepper over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Set aside.

Guajillo Salsa

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend well. If it is still a little bit thick, strain the mixture and only use the strained liquid.

Making and Cooking the Tamales

  1. Take two of the corn husks and overlap one on top of the other, leaving the end separated.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the maza on top of the husks, then top with the chicken filling, the vegetables, and guajillo salsa.
  3. Fold over like a gift, putting the seam down.
  4. Add to the steamer, and cook for 1 - 1.5 hours.
  5. Serve and enjoy!



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