Everyone loves tamales at the holidays! These roasted tomatillo and chicken tamales come together quickly and easily in the Instant Pot!
Who Doesn’t Love Tamales?
Tamales are a pretty big deal around our house. Although in most cases they pop up around the holidays, with dozens of them being made as family and friends visit.
Over the last 19 years, they have been a holiday tradition for our family. I’m certain they are just as popular for others as well.
A Labor of Love
If anything rings true, it is that tamales are truly a labor of love! For many families, tamales are a family tradition with many people chipping in to help as part of a larger assembly line.
Before the Instant Pot, I’d use a stock pot to steam tamales via stovetop for two to three hours. Fast forward to the Instant Pot that I picked up in 2015 — what a game changer!
The Instant Pot has definitely made this labor of love quite a bit easier!
Roasted Tomatillo and Chicken Tamales
These roasted tomatillo and chicken tamales are the perfect way to use up leftover rotisserie. They are delicious, flavorful, filling and oh so perfect for the holidays!
Oh I need to stop talking about those because they truly make me hungry for one right now… 😉
Just a few months ago we showcased our Instant Pot tamales, which are pretty amazing.
If you find yourself with an abundance of tomatillos & serrano peppers, these tamales are the ideal thing to make. Even better, roasting them takes just minutes in the oven and the sauce comes together relatively quickly.
Can’t Find Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are abundant for those of us in Arizona – however, if you can’t find them in your area, don’t despair. While I haven’t used salsa verde, I don’t see why it wouldn’t make a good alternative.
Pick up a few 16 oz jars, and substitute in this recipe below.
- !For the Tamales & Sauce
- 1 pack Corn Husks (preferably those that are cleaned)
- 2-3 cups of Cooked, Shredded Chicken
- 1 1/2 - 2 C. Chicken Broth
- 7 Tomatillos
- 3 Serrano Peppers
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 Onion
- Salt to taste
- !For the Masa
- 3 C. Masa
- 1 C. Vegetable Oil (or you can use Lard, we just prefer the Oil)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 1/4 C. Chicken Stock (or water)
- 1 tsp Salt
- You'll want to start by making the roasted tomatillo sauce first - by placing the oven on broil, and laying the tomatillos, onion, garlic and serrano peppers on a lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven and roast for 3-4 minutes on each side until they blister/turn black.
- Remove them from the oven and put them in the blender, along with 1 1/2 - 2 C. of chicken stock. Blend well until mixed.
- Pour the mixture into a large skillet and add the shredded chicken - turn the pan on low and let the chicken simmer in the roasted tomatillo mixture to absorb the flavor.
- Prepare the husks by rinsing the Husks and putting them in a dish where they can soak - put something of weight down on them so they stay submerged.
- In a separate bowl, combine masa, oil, baking powder, salt and broth - mix well. You don't want it to be doughy, but you don't want it to be runny - after all, you will be spreading it loosely in the husks.
- Get ready to assemble the tamales by clearing a space on your counter. Lay out your work area with husks - you aren't making too many at this point so you don't need a production line!
- Use a clean, dry dish towel to rest the husks down on to absorb some of the water.
- Spread the masa on the husks, not too thick - the back of a spoon works well.
- Place a small amount of the roasted tomatillo sauce & chicken down the middle.
- Fold the Tamale into thirds - left, then right, then fold the bottom up - don't squeeze.
- Leave the tops open.
- Add 1 1/2 C. Water to the Instant Pot; place the trivet inside.
- Then lay a piece of foil across the bottom trivet (or a steamer rack if you have).
- Place your tamales standing up (open end UP) - my pot fit exactly 17.
- Place the lid on, lock it, then push Manual (High) for 25 minutes.
- When 25 minutes is up, let it release naturally for 10 minutes, then let the rest of the steam out through a quick release.
- They should be soft at first - very hot to the touch, but as you remove them they will firm up even more as they cool. I use a tongs to remove mine, and I put in a huge baking pan so that everyone can grab one for their dinner plate.
- Push the Keep Warm button if you don't plan on serving them immediately.
- Keep the husks on until ready to serve.
- Your final count may ultimately depend on the size in which you make your tamales - we used 2 Breasts for 17 and we had enough Masa for about 10-12 additional Tamales. Our Instant Pot only fit 17 so it was a great time for us to "stop" at that point - but if you wanted to make more you could easily do another 17.
More Tamale Recipes