Christmas Tamales Recipe


30 mins


5 mins


35 mins


6-10 servings


  • 6 cups masa harina
  • 5 cups warm water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups pork lard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons chili powder


  1. In a large mixing bowl mix the masa harina with the warm water or broth. Allow the mixture to sit for about 20 minutes to soften somewhat, then beat with an electric mixer on low speed until a dough forms. (You now have masa.)
  2. Sprinkle the salt, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder over the dough, if desired, and mix again until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the lard with an electric mixer for about three minutes or until fluffy.
  4. Add the lard to the dough, beating in a little at a time, until well combined.
  5. Your masa should be about the consistency of peanut butter. If it’s too dry, mix in a little more water or broth; if your dough is too loose, add more masa harina until you get the desired texture.
  6. Use your masa immediately or cover and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Your tamale dough is ready when you’re ready to make tamales! 
  7. You’re done! Enjoy!

Overall, this recipe is really easy to make for friends and family, especially with the holidays here. This is the perfect recipe to relax and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices in your dough, especially if you have personal preferences or to complement the flavors in the filling.