Mouth-watering Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales Recipe

In a world where time seems to be in short supply, we often turn to fast food options or pre-packaged meals, forgetting how much joy and satisfaction can come from cooking a wholesome meal at home. Today, I want to introduce you to a recipe that combines the best of Brazilian and American cuisine: Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa.

Tamales, a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (a corn-based dough) that is filled with various meats, beans or vegetables, and steamed or boiled in a corn husk, have been enjoyed for centuries. This recipe takes those classic flavors and elevates them with the addition of sharp cheddar cheese, poblano chilies, and ground black pepper for a kick of heat.

But it’s not just the filling that sets these tamales apart. I’ve also included a recipe for a tomatillo-avocado salsa that perfectly complements the corn, cheese and chili flavors of the tamales. This salsa showcases the brightness of fresh lime juice, the freshness of cilantro, and the richness of avocados all wrapped up in a zesty dressing that will leave you licking your fingers.

If you’re looking for an authentic recipe with some added flare, look no further than these Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa. Follow along as I guide you through each step to create this delicious dish that is sure to impress your friends and family.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

As a culinary enthusiast and chef, I can attest that this recipe for Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa is one of the most delectable dishes you will ever taste. Allow me to convince you why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, the combination of the corn, cheese, and chili flavors is simply divine. Imagine biting into a fluffy tamale filled with velvety cheese, sweet corn kernels, and mildly-spicy poblano chiles. The dish is further elevated with tangy and zesty tomatillo-avocado salsa – which offsets the rich notes of the cheese and gives it a signature kick.

Secondly, with every bite of these tamales, you’ll experience an explosion of flavors paired with varied textures – from the pleasing crunch of the tortilla chips to the softness of the sweet corn masa dough. This dish showcases an intriguing and fascinating combination of ingredients which will leave your taste buds craving for more even after your plate is empty.

Thirdly, not only is this recipe a gustatory delight, but it’s also very easy to make once you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. With my detailed instructions and tips for perfect results (which I’ll share later), you can whip up tamales that look like they come from a high-end Mexican restaurant in your own kitchen!

In conclusion, if you love spicy foods or want to explore traditional Latin-America cuisine, this recipe for Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa will undoubtedly be your new favorite. The complex mix of flavors and textures combined with its ease of preparation makes it perfect for weeknight dinners, special occasion feasts or house parties. So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron, gather up the ingredients listed below, and let’s start cooking!

Ingredient List

 Experience a flavor adventure with our Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales
Experience a flavor adventure with our Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales

Here is the list of ingredients you will need for this delicious recipe:

  • Corn husks: to wrap the tamales.
  • Masa harina: a type of corn flour that is used to make the tamale dough. It is available in most grocery stores.
  • Low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth: to give flavor to the tamale dough.
  • Unsalted butter: to give a creamy texture to the tamale dough.
  • Baking powder: to help the tamale dough rise.
  • Salt and sugar: for seasoning the tamale dough.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: grated and mixed into the tamale dough for a savory flavor.
  • Poblano chile: roasted and chopped for an earthy, smoky flavor.
  • Fresh corn kernels: sweet and juicy, for added texture and flavor to the tamales.
  • Serrano chilies or arbol chiles: finely chopped, for added heat and flavor.
  • Fresh cilantro: chopped, for a fresh and herby flavor.
  • Fresh lime juice: for a tangy citrusy taste.

For the Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe:

  • Tomatillos, husked and rinsed well
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 2-3 serrano chilies, stemmed
  • Salt
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Fresh lime juice

If you wish to substitute, some delicious variations include using corn, goat cheese, wild mushrooms or shrimp.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to indulge in our delicious hand-wrapped Tamales
Get ready to indulge in our delicious hand-wrapped Tamales

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients for our Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe, it’s time to delve into the recipe how-to.

Step 1: Prepare the Filling

Firstly, let’s prepare the delicious filling of this recipe by mixing 4 cups of fresh corn kernels, 1 poblano chile seeded and diced, 2 garlic cloves minced, and 1/2 tsp salt and sugar each. Set this filling aside for later.

Step 2: Make the Tamale Dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of masa harina, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and 1 tsp salt. Using your hands, incorporate 6 tbsp of unsalted butter into the mixture until it becomes crumbly. Gradually pour in 1 and 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth, whisking constantly until a smooth dough forms.

Step 3: Assemble Your Tamales

Lay out a corn husk and scoop two level tablespoons of tamale dough onto it. Use your fingers or a spoon to spread the dough evenly over one-quarter of the husk, leaving a margin on all sides. Add around two tablespoons of the corn-cheese-chili mixture to the center of each piece of tamale dough. Roll each husk tightly from one end to another while enclosing the filling in it.

Step 4: Steam Your Tamales

Place a steaming basket in a large pot with water that doesn’t touch the bottom of the basket or tamale. Arrange tamales vertically in the basket open-end up, with cut ends touching and open end facing up. Place softened corn tortillas over them, then cover with any leftover corn husks or foil, if needed, to prevent steam from escaping. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about one hour.

Step 5: Prepare the Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

While the tamales cook, prepare the tomatillo-avocado salsa. Begin by boiling 12 tomatillos, 2 cloves peeled garlic, 2-3 serrano chilies stemmed, and 1 small onion quartered for approximately 10 minutes or until soft. Add this mixture along with 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro in a food processor or blender and blend it until smooth. Finally, scoop out the flesh of 2 avocados into this mixture, and blend it again to form a creamy salsa texture.

Step 6: Serve Your Tamales

Take out the tamales from the pot and let them cool down for a few minutes before removing their husks. Spread some delicious cheese-chili salsa and top them off with your homemade **tomatillo-

Substitutions and Variations

 A party in your mouth, Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales are a must-try
A party in your mouth, Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales are a must-try

If you’re feeling a little adventurous or simply want to switch things up, the Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe can absolutely accommodate a plethora of substitutions and variations. Here are a few suggestions:

Cheese Options: Although the recipe calls for sharp cheddar cheese, feel free to use any other type of cheese that tickles your fancy such as goat cheese or even cream cheese.

Vegetable Broth: Low sodium chicken broth works great in this recipe but if you’re looking for a vegan option, vegetable broth is a perfect substitute.

Chilis: Poblano chili is one of the main ingredients in this yummy recipe, but if you’d like it to pack more of a punch, add some arbol chiles for an extra kick.

Filling: If you’re not fond of corn, you can substitute it with tamales wild mushrooms, chicken tamales or green chili depending on your preference.

Salsa Options: The tomatillo avocado salsa in this recipe is already delicious! But there’s no harm in getting creative with salsa options. You can find many variations on how to make the perfect salsa verde online. I highly recommend checking out Pati Jinich and Rick Bayless recipes for inspiration.

These are just a few examples of how you can switch things up in the Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe. Don’t be afraid to get experimental and see what new flavours you can create!

Serving and Pairing

 Forget ordinary dinner - embrace the spicy flavors with our Tamales
Forget ordinary dinner – embrace the spicy flavors with our Tamales

When it comes to serving and pairing these delicious corn, cheese, and chili tamales with tomatillo-avocado salsa recipe, there are plenty of options to choose from. One classic way of enjoying them is by serving them with a side of Mexican rice or black beans, which perfectly pair with the flavors of the tamales. You can also add some chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of brightness and acidity.

Another great option for serving these tamales is as an appetizer or snack at your next gathering or party. Cut them into smaller pieces and serve alongside some fresh salsa or tortilla chips for dipping.

If you’re looking for a beverage pairing, you can’t go wrong with a refreshing margarita or even a crisp lager beer. The subtle sweetness of the tamale filling and sharpness of cheddar cheese will balance perfectly with the bold flavors of the salsa and spicy notes of the chiles.

Overall, these corn, cheese, and chili tamales with tomatillo-avocado salsa are highly versatile and work well as an appetizer, main dish, or party food. Whether you enjoy them on their own or pair them with other Mexican cuisine favorites, they’re sure to impress your guests with their rich flavors and inviting aroma.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine with every scrumptious bite of our Tamales
Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine with every scrumptious bite of our Tamales

My dear readers, when it comes to tamales, they are an excellent make-ahead option. In fact, I recommend you prepare them a day or two before you plan to serve them. Once cooked and cooled, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.

Now, reheating these delights is quite simple. You can steam or microwave the tamales until heated through. Steaming is preferred if you have more time, but the microwave does just fine if you’re in a rush. However, if microwaving, be sure to wrap them in damp paper towels and heat them for about 1-2 minutes on high.

If you want a more crispy exterior, consider pan-frying or grilling the tamales. This method provides a tasty contrast between the soft interior and crusty exterior. Alternatively, try baking them in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350°F.

Regardless of your reheating method choice, remember that the key is to make sure they are heated thoroughly before eating. If you’re uncertain about how long to reheat leftover tamales, use a food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

I hope this section has given you a good idea of how to prepare and store your tamales for later consumption without sacrificing their quality and flavor!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Satisfy your cravings with these flavorful Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales
Satisfy your cravings with these flavorful Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales

When preparing a dish, it’s essential to keep in mind that the process requires not only time but also patience and, most importantly, attention to detail. As someone who specializes in Brazilian and American cuisine, I know the importance of cooking with love, care, and precision. In this section, I will provide you with some tips to ensure your Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe comes out perfect every time.

1. Invest in fresh ingredients

The quality of your ingredients makes all the difference when it comes to cooking. The fresher your ingredients are, the more flavorful your dish will be. Fresh corn kernels, ripe avocados, and vibrant tomatillos will elevate the taste of your tamales and give them a delicious texture.

2. Use low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

By using low sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead of regular broth, you can control the amount of salt that goes into your dish. Additionally, it keeps the flavors clean and delicate rather than overpowering.

3. Experiment with different cheese blends

While sharp cheddar cheese is a classic choice for tamales, don’t be afraid to experiment with different blends. Goat cheese or queso fresco add a unique tanginess that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the corn.

4. Follow the recipe for tamale dough

Tamale dough can be tricky to master, but sticking to the recipe will ensure a smooth consistency that will make wrapping the tamales much easier. Don’t be tempted to add extra water if your dough seems dry; just keep mixing until it becomes smoother.

5. Keep an eye on cooking time

Cooking time varies depending on the size of your tamales and whether they’re steamed or baked. Make sure to check on them regularly so they don’t overcook and become dry or undercooked, making them difficult to peel.

By following these tips and taking the time to perfect your techniques, you’ll create the most delicious Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa. There is no better feeling than achieving a perfect outcome for your recipe, try out new combinations and enjoy the process of cooking!


Now that you know how to make these delicious Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa, it’s time to address some of the most frequently asked questions. Below you will find answers to some common issues that people face when making tamales, as well as helpful tips and tricks for perfecting this recipe. So whether you’re an experienced tamale maker or a beginner, be sure to read on!

Is tomatillo salsa hot?

The spice level in this salsa can be described as moderate, which is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their salsa and hot sauce. The arbol chiles provide a slow and lasting burn, while allowing the other flavors of the chiles and tomatillos to shine through. However, if you prefer a milder salsa, it can easily be adjusted to your liking.

What is tomatillo red salsa?

Looking for a versatile sauce that can be used as a dip, topping, or condiment with your favorite Mexican foods? Try out this fantastic tomatillo red chili salsa recipe! Made with roasted tomatillos and arbol chiles, this spicy and flavorful sauce is sure to become a favorite. So ditch the store-bought hot sauce and spice up your meals with this homemade salsa that’ll leave you asking for more!

Bottom Line

As I wrap up this recipe article, let me just say that if you’re looking for a dish that is rich in bold flavors and textures, then you can never go wrong with Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa. Trust me, the mixture of sweet corn and sharp cheddar cheese with the punch of chili pepper and tomatillo-avocado salsa will definitely leave you with a memorable culinary experience.

This recipe is perfect for any food enthusiast who wants to explore the magical fusion of Brazilian and American cuisine. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or a meat-lover, there’s always a way to tweak the recipe to your fancy.

Try this recipe at home and let your creativity run wild. A little bit of salsa here, some ground black pepper there – this dish welcomes innovations as much as it does tradition.

In conclusion, Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe is a must-try for anyone seeking an amazing explosion of taste. So what are you waiting for? Hit the kitchen now and enjoy this flavorful dish with family and friends!

Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe

My favoite Tamales . . . and worth every minute of the time it takes to prepare! Recipes comes for September 2001 issue of Cooking Light. Prep time includes soaking time.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 18 tamales
Calories 262.8 kcal


Tomatillo-Avocado Sala

  • 12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed well
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 -3 serrano chilies, stemmed
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • 1 (6 ounce) package dried corn husks (20-30 husks)
  • 1 lb large poblano chile
  • 2 cups masa harina (corn tortilla mix)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup canned low sodium chicken broth or 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 cups baby frozen white corn, thawed (about 25 ounces)
  • 3 cups packed coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Salsa:
  • Cook tomatillos, onion, garlic and chilies in heavy large skilllet over high heat until charred in spots but still firm, turning occsionally, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to food processor or blender.
  • Using on/off setting, chop coarsely.
  • Add all remaining ingredients.
  • Blend to course puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and Chill (can be made up to 24 hours ahead).
  • Tamales:
  • Selecting 18-20 large clean husks, place in large bowl and fill with warm water.
  • Weight husks down with saucer and soak until soft, separating occasionally, about 2 hours.
  • Form 36 ties by tearing several husks into 1/2 in wide strips.
  • Char chilies directly over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides.
  • Place in medium bowls, cover tightly with plastic.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Peel, seed and chop chilies, set aside.
  • To make dough, blend Masa Harina, butter, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in processor until coarse meal forms.
  • Add broth and blend in (mixture will be crumbly).
  • Transfer masa mixture to large bowl.
  • In food processor blend 2 1/2 cups corn, 1 cup cheese, baking powder, pepper and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt until coarse puree forms.
  • Stir puree into masa mixture until blended.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups corn to masa mixture.
  • For each tamale, open 1 large softened husk. Place 1/3 cup tamale dough in center of husk.
  • Make depression in center of dough and fill with 1 tablespoon chilies and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese.
  • Using moistened fingertips, press dough over filling to cover and shape into 3 inch long log placed parallel to long edge of husk.
  • Fold 1 long side of husk over filling and roll up to enclose.
  • Tie ends of filled husks tightly with husk strips.
  • Add water to large pot containing steamer insert to reach bottom of insert.
  • Layer tamales in steamer insert.
  • Bring water to boil and cover pot.
  • Steam until tamales are firm (about 1 hour).
  • Be sure to maintain water level in pot, adding adding boiling water to pot as needed.
  • Remove steamer insert when adding water to pot.
  • May be made 1 day in advance, cooling slightly before refrigerating.
  • Before serving resteam for approximately 45 minutes to heat thoroughly).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 3888gCalories: 262.8kcalCarbohydrates: 28.2gProtein: 8.7gFat: 14.5gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 29.9mgSodium: 404.2mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 4.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Mexican
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.