How to eat tamales?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How to eat tamales?” We will also discuss the tamales, different fillings that are used in tamales, and whether we can eat leftover tamales. Moreover, we will also talk about the preparation of tamales for dessert.

How to eat tamales?

There are many ways of eating tamales: you can eat them on your own, combine them with tomatillo salsa, or smothered with chili, and use them as toppings, fillings, or side dishes. There are endless ways of enjoying tamales. 

The one thing you have to consider while eating tamales is don’t consume the wrappers as these corn husks are not supposed to be eaten and can cause stomach distress. Plantain or banana leaf wrappers can be consumed, but it is still advised not to do so. 

Topping the tamales with salsa, cotija cheese, sour cream, or mole brings out their best flavors, so it’s highly recommended to combine it with these ingredients instead of eating them on their own. Eating the tamales alone is also pretty satisfactory for the people who like its taste but, for better flavors, you should certainly try these combinations. 

Mole is a Mexican sauce that is typically created with chocolate, chili peppers, and spices.

Don’t forget to peel back the wrapper before topping for the best utilization. You can also dip the tamales in sauce rather than topping them, it is all about how you prefer your tamales and what combinations work for you.

What exactly are tamales?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican cuisine that is wrapped in banana or plantain leaves or corn husks and filled with ingredients such as chili, salsa, veggies, cheeses, or meats. Traditionally, tamale recipes called for a paste of freshly ground corn to form a sort of wrapping. Masa harina is combined with water to form corn masa, which is used to make tamales.

Tamales filled with meat, shredded chicken, pork, cheese, and vegetables make a delicious dish that is quite popular for special occasions. You can also use sweet ingredients in your tamales recipe for desserts. The importance of this dish is not just limited to special occasions, you can make it year-round and enjoy this delicious meal any time you like.

What are the fillings used in tamales?

Tamales can be prepared by using a wide variety of fillings including chicken, pork, beef, cheese, vegetables, fruits, or even Mexican rice. The most popular fillings used in tamales are as follows:

  • Beef is an excellent choice for a traditional tamale.
  • Another wonderful alternative for a delicious spicy tamales recipe is chicken seasoned with chili powder.
  • Another common meat filling used in classic Mexican tamales is crispy fried pork.
  • Sweet tamales often use different dried fruits as fillings.
  • Vegetables, cheese, and other fresh ingredients are the perfect combination for a delicious vegetarian tamales recipe.
  • Vegan tamales can be made with roasted or grilled veggies
  • Sometimes adding Mexican rice to the tamale fillings is also a great idea.

Can we eat leftover tamales?

Yes, you can eat leftover tamales sitting in your fridge for a few days. Although tamales are typically served when they are hot and fresh, you can still enjoy them when they are a few days old either warm or cold. Eating tamales without heating is also not a bad idea at all. You can eat them any way you like, just make sure your tamales haven’t gone bad.

There are several methods for warming them without losing their soft and delicate texture. Some of them are as follows:

  • You can steam them in a pot of boiling water using a steamer basket
  • Bake them in the oven or a hot pan with a little cooking oil for a little crispy finish.
  • You can also microwave tamales if you don’t have any other options. A small glass of water with them will help protect them from drying out and crumbling.

How can we make tamales for dessert?

Although tamales are primarily prepared as a savory dish, they can also be prepared as a dessert by using different sweet ingredients like chocolate, raisins, bananas, or other dried fruits. Sweet tamales are typically flavored with aromatic spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, and are often topped with whipped cream or a drop of honey.

Find the recipes for sweet tamales here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “How to eat tamales?” We have also discussed the tamales, different fillings that are used in tamales, and whether we can eat leftover tamales. Moreover, we have also talked about the preparation of tamales for dessert.


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