You are currently viewing Oaxacan Tamales
Oaxacan Tamales

Oaxacan Tamales

Oaxacan Tamales, hailed from the vibrant region of Oaxaca in Mexico, are a culinary celebration that embodies the rich tapestry of the local cuisine.

Filled with diverse flavors and crafted with care, these tamales showcase the essence of Oaxacan culinary heritage.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Perfect for those craving an authentic taste of Oaxaca, appreciating the bold and complex flavors in every bite.
  • Estimated duration: The preparation requires time and attention, offering a delightful culinary experience lasting around 3-4 hours.
  • Nutrition Facts: Oaxacan Tamales provide a satisfying mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, influenced by the diverse choice of fillings.

About this Recipe

Oaxacan Tamales are known for their unique masa, often flavored with ingredients like chocolate and wrapped in banana leaves for a distinctive taste. Filled with a variety of savory and sometimes sweet ingredients, these tamales showcase the diversity of Oaxacan gastronomy.

Equipment Required

  1. Large Steaming Pot: Essential for achieving the perfect texture of the masa.
  2. Mixing Bowls: For preparing the masa and fillings.
  3. Banana Leaves: Traditional wrapping material for an authentic Oaxacan touch.


  • Masa: 3 cups, a mixture of corn masa flavored with ingredients like chocolate.
  • Chicken, Pork, or Beef: 1 lb, cooked and shredded.
  • Oaxacan Mole: 1 cup, for a rich and complex flavor.
  • Banana Leaves: 12-15 pieces, for wrapping.
  • Oaxacan Cheese (Quesillo): 1 cup, shredded.
  • Chiles, Tomatoes, and Onions: 1 cup each, for a flavorful filling.


  1. Prepare the Masa: Mix the corn masa with chocolate or other traditional Oaxacan flavors until it forms a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  2. Prepare the Filling: Combine shredded meat with Oaxacan mole, chiles, tomatoes, onions, and quesillo in a bowl.
  3. Assemble the Tamales: Spread a thin layer of masa on a banana leaf, add a spoonful of the filling, and fold the tamale, securing the ends.
  4. Steam to Perfection: Arrange the tamales in a steaming pot and steam for 1.5 to 2 hours until the masa is cooked.

Side Dishes

Serve with a side of Oaxacan black beans and a fresh salsa for an authentic Oaxacan meal.

Storage Options

Store any leftover tamales in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.

Ingredient Substitutes

Experiment with different types of Oaxacan moles or add roasted vegetables for a personalized touch.

Alternatives to this Meal

For a dessert option, try Oaxacan sweet tamales filled with ingredients like cinnamon, sugar, and fruits.

For futher reading check out this comprehensive article on Regional Tamales. For similar tamales check out: Mexican Tamales and Yucatecan Tamales.


Oaxacan Tamales encapsulate the vibrant and diverse flavors of Oaxaca, providing a culinary journey into the heart of this culturally rich region. Whether shared during festive occasions or enjoyed as a comforting family meal, these tamales are a celebration of Oaxacan gastronomy.