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Tamales de Cazuela

Tamales de Cazuela

Dive into the heartiness of Mexican comfort food with Tamales de Cazuela, a dish that brings the communal spirit of tamale-making to the table.

This unique preparation involves cooking tamales in a cazuela, a traditional clay pot, resulting in a communal pot of steamed goodness.

Join us as we embark on a tamale-making adventure with this Tamales de Cazuela recipe!

Key Takeaways

  • Who this dish appeals to: Those seeking a communal and flavorful tamale experience, individuals interested in traditional Mexican cooking methods.
  • Estimated duration: A delightful cooking and bonding experience that takes approximately 4-6 hours, including preparation and steaming.
  • Nutrition facts: A wholesome dish featuring the goodness of masa and flavorful fillings.

About this Recipe

Tamales de Cazuela offers a unique twist to the traditional tamale-making process by cooking multiple tamales together in a cazuela. This communal pot of tamales not only creates a sense of togetherness but also infuses each tamale with shared flavors.


For the Tamale Dough (Masa):

  • 4 cups masa harina
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (warm)

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup red or green salsa
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (mixed colors)
  • 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Other Supplies:

  • Dried corn husks, soaked in warm water
  • Cazuela (large clay pot)


Making the Tamale Dough (Masa):

  1. Prepare Masa Dough:
  • In a large bowl, combine masa harina, lard or vegetable shortening, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually add warm chicken or vegetable broth, mixing to form a smooth and pliable dough. The consistency should be similar to peanut butter.

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Combine Filling Ingredients:
  • In a separate bowl, mix shredded cooked chicken, salsa, sliced black olives, diced bell peppers, and crumbled queso fresco.

Assembling Tamales de Cazuela:

Prepare Corn Husks:

  • Soak dried corn husks in warm water until they become pliable.

Assemble Tamales:

  • Take a soaked corn husk and spread a thin layer of masa dough on the center, leaving space at the edges.
  • Add a generous spoonful of the filling in the center of the masa.

Fold and Arrange:

  • Fold the sides of the corn husk over the masa and filling, creating a rectangular shape.
  • Place the tamales standing up in the cazuela, packing them tightly.

Cooking Tamales de Cazuela:

  1. Steam Tamales:
  • Pour enough water into the cazuela to create steam without touching the tamales.
  • Cover the cazuela with a tight-fitting lid and steam the tamales over medium heat for 2-3 hours or until the masa is set.

Serving Tamales de Cazuela:

  1. Cool and Enjoy:
  • Allow the tamales to cool slightly before serving.
  • Serve the Tamales de Cazuela directly from the pot, letting everyone dig in and enjoy the communal feast.

Serving Suggestions

  • Top with additional salsa, sliced avocado, and a dollop of crema for extra flavor.
  • Serve with a side of Mexican rice and beans for a complete meal.
  • Pair with a refreshing agua fresca or hibiscus tea (Jamaica) to complement the richness of the tamales.

Storage Options

Any leftover Tamales de Cazuela can be refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat in a steamer or microwave before serving for a delightful encore.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Lard: If lard is unavailable, vegetable shortening can be used as a substitute.
  • Queso Fresco: Substitute with cotija cheese or a mild feta if queso fresco is not accessible.

Alternatives to this Dish

Experiment with different fillings, such as pork, beef, or vegetarian options, to customize Tamales de Cazuela to suit your taste preferences.


Tamales de Cazuela not only delivers the comforting flavors of tamales but also brings people together in a shared culinary experience. As you savor the flavors of masa and filling from the communal pot, you’ll find that Tamales de Cazuela is not just a dish but a celebration of togetherness and tradition. ¬°Buen provecho!