However you stuff them, there’s no question that tamales are hot. The 18 recipes gathered here are as tempting as ever, featuring a variety of well-seasoned fillings both meaty and meat-free. We’re not going to say that the traditional sort aren’t time-consuming, but they’re the perfect excuse to gather up a few of your fave friends and family, whip up a batch of margs, throw on some tunes and start creating some memories. However, we know all that fun isn’t an option all the time, so a few speedier ways to enjoy the flavor of tamales with a mere fraction of the effort are also included below. Let’s get this party started.
2. Tamale Pie: Seasoned ground beef or turkey, lots of seasonings and a whole bunch of veggies form a mouth-watering filling for this tamale pie. The cheesy, fluffy cornbread topping makes this a casserole the whole family will love. (via Lost Recipes Found)
4. Easy Chicken Tamale Burrito Bowls: Sometimes you just want to enjoy the flavor of tamales without all the hassle of spreading and rolling and steaming. For those times, keep this recipe in mind. Everything you love about tamales is piled on top of cheesy polenta to create a hearty meal in a fraction of the time. (via Half Baked Harvest)
6. Chile Verde Tamales de Pollo: A touch of cumin, paprika and cinnamon added to the dough sets these Tex-Mex chicken tamales apart. Instead of making chile verde from scratch, feel free to spoon your favorite tomatillo salsa over top. (via The Partial Ingredients)
7. Healthy Chicken Tamale Pizza: “Healthy” and “tamales” and “healthy” and “pizza” are two word pairings you don’t often see, so when all three are combined you know we’re interested. This tasty pie will not disappoint in any way, shape or form. (via 24 Carrot Life)
8. Smoked Brisket Tamales: If you can’t get your hands on smoked brisket, no worries. The homemade chipotle sauce will impart any meat you choose to use with just enough smokiness (plus a dash of heat) to create a wonderfully seasoned filling. (via The Primlani Kitchen)
9. Pork Tamales With a Not-So-Secret Secret Ingredient (Gluten-Free): A mix of bacon grease and non-hydrogenated-vegetable shortening sets these tamales apart from the rest. You get a hint of bacon flavor in every bite, which works terrific with the tender pork filling stuffed inside. (via A Sage Amalgam)
10. Easy Tamale Taco Soup: Keep this recipe in mind for when you’re short on time. Simply open a few cans, toss the contents in a pan and heat it all up. You’re only 20 minutes away from a steaming, filling bowl of soup. (via Brooklyn Farm Girl)
11. Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tamales (Vegan): Packed full of fall flavor and the perfect amount of heat, this butternut squash tamale is the next best thing to hit your dinner table. The tempeh and black beans add a whole lotta protein that will leave your belly feeling happy and full. (via Mother Earth Living)
12. Roasted Pineapple Tamales With Riesling Poached Raisins: You may be tempted to eat all of the vanilla bean-roasted pineapple before it can make its way into these tamales. If you can resist, we just know you’ll be in for a real treat. (via Kitchen Konfidence)
13. Chipotle Sweet Potato, Spinach and Black Bean Tamales: These sweet potato, spinach and bean-filled tamales practically scream fall, but are delicious no matter what time of year it is. (via Naturally Ella)
14. Beef Short Rib Tamales: Meltingly tender short ribs are an extra special treat whenever they make their way to the dinner table. When tucked into the center of fluffy steamed masa, they certainly don’t disappoint. (via Evil Shenanigans)
17. Vegan Tamales: Whether you fill your veganized tamales with sweet potatoes, beans or any of the other filling ideas listed, one thing’s for certain: These stuffed packets are just as delicious as their lard- and meat-filled counterparts. (via The Salty Tomato)
Have you ever made tamales before? Do you and your family have any tamale-making traditions? Let’s talk below!