Spice Up Your Life with Delicious Hot Tamales

Are you tired of the same-old, same-old recipes? Do you enjoy experimenting with different flavors and cuisines? Well, I’ve got a recipe that will get you out of your cooking rut and take your taste buds on a journey to the southern United States – hot tamales!

Now, don’t let the name fool you. These delicious little parcels are no ordinary tamale. This is a Mississippi Delta hot tamale, with roots stretching back to the bustling city of New Orleans. This recipe has been taught for generations and perfected over time, resulting in a unique blend of spicy goodness that will make your mouth water.

So if you’re ready for a culinary adventure, let’s gather our ingredients and dive into this hot tamale recipe that is sure to impress your taste buds and your dinner guests.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hot Tamales
Hot Tamales

Fellow food enthusiasts, this hot tamale recipe is the ultimate star of any dinner party or family gathering. You’ll fall in love with this recipe because it takes you on a journey through the streets of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta, where hot tamales became a renowned delicacy.

This recipe demands simple ingredients, yet delivers complex, bold flavors that will excite your palette. The combination of ground beef, pork and chili powder provides a meaty and smoky taste, amplified with cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper – a fiery kick that will electrify your taste buds.

Besides the delicious flavors that will make your mouth water, making tamales is a fun and interactive culinary adventure. You’ll need corn husks to wrap-up the filling mix into individual packages – an excellent way to engage your friends or family members in the cooking process.

Trust me, these hot tamales will be your new favorite dish, perfect for any gathering or rainy night when you crave something comforting and hearty. And if you can’t make it to the Tamale Festival in Mississippi Delta, this recipe will transport you there in spirit.

Ingredient List

“Spice up your life with these hot tamales”

Required Ingredients to Make Hot Tamales

Making hot tamales is a worthwhile endeavor if you are looking for a delicious, spicy, and hearty treat. To make these tamales, you will need several ingredients that bring together the rich flavor of this Louisiana-style recipe.


  • 3 lbs ground beef, divided

  • 1 lb ground pork


  • 4 medium sweet yellow onions, quartered

  • 2 cans (10-oz) Rotel tomatoes and green chilies


  • 8 cups water (divided)

  • 2 cups tomato juice

  • 2 cups tomato sauce

Spices and Seasonings

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3 teaspoons black pepper

  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 6 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

Corn husks

You will also need corn husks to wrap the tamales. You can buy them in specialty grocery stores or online. Once the ingredients are gathered, it’s time to start making hot tamales!

The Recipe How-To

“Get ready to unwrap a flavor explosion”

Now, let’s get started on making these Hot Tamales! Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water for about 30 minutes before using them.

  2. In a large pot, combine 3 lbs of ground beef, 2 onions (quartered) and enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

  3. Remove the ground beef and onions from the pot and let it cool. Reserve 8 cups of the cooking liquid and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups of yellow cornmeal, 3 teaspoons of salt, and 4 teaspoons of baking powder.

  5. Add 2 cups of tomato sauce, 2 cans of ROTEL tomatoes green chilies, and 1 can of tomato juice. Mix until blended.

  6. Add the reserved cooking liquid gradually, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth mixture with the consistency of mashed potatoes.

  7. In a separate pan, sauté one chopped onion until soft and add to the mixture along with 4 teaspoons of chili powder, 4 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

  8. Stir well before mixing in cooked ground beef and onions.

  9. Drain soaked corn husks. Spoon about 1/3 cup (75 mL) filling onto centre; fold bottom edge over filling then fold in sides tightly so filling cannot escape; fold top edge down tightly over husk tucking pointed end under; tie each end snugly with string or strips of corn husk or secure with cooking twine or kitchen string.

  10. Place tamales in a steamer basket over boiling water, seam-side down on greased steamer rack or in tamales pot wrapping each tamale in a strip of waxed paper or parchment paper to keep them from sticking to each other.

  11. Cover and steam for about 1 hour or until husks easily pull away from tamales.

  12. Let tamale cool slightly before unwrapping else, it might break. Enjoy your Louisiana or New Orleans-style hot tamales with your favorite sauce, like a fiery-hot salsa or cheese dip.

I hope you find these steps easy to follow! With these ingredients and steps, you can now make your very own beef tamales at home that are every bit as good as the ones you’d find in the Mississippi Delta or at a New Orleans-style tamale festival.

Substitutions and Variations

“These tamales will make your taste buds dance”

If you want to put your own spin on this Hot Tamales recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to suit your taste buds. Here are a few ideas:

– Pork: For a twist on the classic beef tamales recipe, try using ground pork or shredded pork instead. The flavor will be slightly different, but just as delicious.

– Tomatoes: Instead of using only tomato sauce and juice, you can also add 2 cups of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned) or 1 can of Rotel tomatoes for some extra zing.

– Spice up your life: If you really love heat, feel free to add more cayenne pepper or use a hotter variety of chili powder. On the other hand, if you prefer milder flavors, cut back on the black and cayenne pepper.

– Corn Husks: You can swap out the corn husks for banana leaves, parchment paper or even plastic wrap. Just keep in mind that different materials may affect the look or flavor of your tamales.

– Vegetarian twist: For vegetarians, you can easily swap out the ground beef with textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy crumbles, or extra firm tofu. Add in some bell peppers, mushrooms and spinach or any vegetables of choice to make it even more nutritious.

These are just a few suggestions, but don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients to find your own best tamales recipe.

Serving and Pairing

“A dish that’s hot in every sense of the word”

Once your hot tamales are ready, they are best served hot right out of the pot. Place them on a large platter and let your guests dig in!

When it comes to pairing your hot tamales, the dish itself is already rich and full of flavor, so I recommend keeping the sides simple. A side of creamy coleslaw, black beans and rice or warm cornbread all work well with this dish. You can even add a dollop of sour cream or guacamole for extra zing.

If you’re looking to elevate your hot tamale game even further, try serving them with a chilled glass of crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a refreshing margarita on the rocks. The acidity and citrus flavors in these beverages balance out the richness of the dish beautifully.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair them, these hot tamales are sure to impress anyone who tries them. So go ahead, invite some friends over and share this delicious Louisiana specialty with those you love.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Savor the taste of authentic South American cuisine”

When it comes to hot tamales, making them in advance can be a lifesaver. These little bundles of joy can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later enjoyment.

To store your hot tamales in the refrigerator, allow them to cool fully before wrapping each tamale tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Place the wrapped tamales in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag and refrigerate for up to two days. When you’re ready to reheat them, simply unwrap them and steam them again for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

If you want to freeze your hot tamales, let them cool completely before wrapping and storing them. To do this, wrap each tamale individually in plastic wrap or foil, then place them all in a large freezer zipper-lock bag or an airtight container. Freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen hot tamales, take them out of the freezer and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Once they are thawed, you can steam them for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

If you have leftover hot tamales, store them wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or foil and keep it in the fridge for up to several days. You can reheat leftovers by unwrapping them and steaming them again for five minutes or microwaving them until they heat through.

Overall, making hot tamales is a great way to feed a crowd, and now that you know how to make this authentic Louisiana-style recipe ahead of time, you can relax and enjoy more quality time with family and friends come mealtime!

Tips for Perfect Results

“A Mexican classic with a twist of extra heat”

To make the perfect Hot Tamales, follow the recipe instructions carefully and pay attention to these tips that will take your dish to the next level.

First of all, use high-quality ingredients. Freshly ground beef will add depth of flavor to your Hot Tamales, and using authentic Louisiana-style or New Orleans-style Hot Tamales recipe ingredients such as cayenne pepper, black pepper, and ground cumin, will give them an original and distinct taste.

When seasoning the meat mixture, adjust the amount of chili powder, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, according to your personal preference. Taste the mixture as you go along until you reach the desired level of spiciness.

To ensure even cooking and uniform size for each tamale, spread the corn dough evenly on the corn husks. Then, use a large spoon or spatula to apply an even layer of beef filling down the center before rolling them up tightly.

Another tip is to use a pressure cooker for faster cooking time while retaining flavors of each ingredient. However, if you don’t have one, use a steamer pot for a slow-cooked version that produces delectably tender tamales.

Once they are cooked through, let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from their corn-cased wrapping. Serve with tomato sauce or tomato juice mixed with water on top for a tangy finish.

Lastly, have patience! Making Hot Tamales can be time-consuming but it is worth it in spades. The more practice you get and following these tips would make this recipe easier every time to prepare. After learning the process of making hot tamales that get compliments every time you serve it will make you feel like a chef at a Mississippi Delta Tamale Festival!


Now that you know all the details of this fantastic hot tamales recipe, you might still have some questions left. Don’t worry; in this section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about this dish. So stick around and get ready to clear up any doubts you may have!

What are the ingredients of hot tamales?

The ingredients listed in this product include sugar, corn syrup, modified food starch, artificial flavors, dextrin, confectioners glaze, artificial colors, medium chain triglycerides, carnauba wax, sodium citrate, pectin, citric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, and various food dyes including Red #40, Yellow #5 (tartrazine), Yellow #6, Red #3, and Blue #1.

What’s the difference between a tamale and a hot tamale?

If you’re looking for a unique twist on traditional tamales, I recommend trying out the Mississippi hot tamale recipe. These tamales are smaller in size and rounder in shape and are made with cornmeal instead of masa, resulting in a distinctively coarser texture. Traditionally, they are filled with either pork or turkey, boiled rather than steamed, and served drenched in the savory and spicy liquid from the boil.

What is the secret to moist tamales?

One important factor in making delicious tamales is to incorporate enough fat into the recipe. In Mexican cooking, lard is the traditional choice. However, if you prefer to avoid animal products, you can substitute shortening or softened butter for a vegetarian-friendly option.

What is the spice in hot tamales?

Just Born, a US-based company, introduced Hot Tamales candy in 1950. Bob Born, the inventor, created this candy by modifying the Mike & Ike Candy recipe. Hot Tamales are cinnamon-flavored and got their name from the tangy taste of tamales. They became the most popular cinnamon candy brand in 1999.

How to make jail house tamales?

In a recent article on Soapbox, Bryce Caron shared a unique recipe he learned from David Posey – the “prison tamale.” Caron explained that the dish involves mixing ramen noodles with crushed Doritos, adding hot water, rolling the mixture into a cylinder shape, and letting it sit for a few minutes.

What are the side effects of hot tamales candy?

The use of synthetic colorings in mass-produced sweets, such as Hot Tamales, has been associated with several health problems, including cancer, asthma, allergies, hyperactivity, ADHD, and hypersensitivity.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this hot tamales recipe is a wonderful fusion of flavors from the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans, making it a must-try for any lover of spicy and hearty dishes. With its carefully selected blend of spices and ground beef, this recipe delivers a depth of flavor that is unlike any other.

Moreover, this recipe is versatile and can be adjusted to fit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. You can easily switch out ingredients or adjust the spice levels to make it milder or hotter. Additionally, the make-ahead and storage options provide convenience for busy individuals who want to enjoy a delicious meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen.

Overall, it’s no surprise that hot tamales are a beloved dish in the South, with several festivals dedicated entirely to this savory delight. And now with this recipe, you too can experience the authentic taste of Mississippi Delta and New Orleans-style hot tamales from the comfort of your own home.

So why not satisfy your taste buds by preparing these delicious hot tamales? I guarantee that your family and friends will be impressed by your cooking skills, and you’ll have a feast that’s simply unforgettable!

Hot Tamales

Hot Tamales Recipe

These are so good with their spices and sauce. I like to serve them with corn bread.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 332.8 kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Combine the first 8 ingredients together, gradually adding in water.
  • In a large pot, bring the tomato juice, sauce, water, sugar and salt to a boil.
  • Form the tamale mixture into walnut-size balls and drop into boiling juice.
  • Boil softly for 30 minutes.
  • NOTE: The longer this cooks the more flavorful it becomes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 391gCalories: 332.8kcalCarbohydrates: 32.9gProtein: 20.2gFat: 14.2gSaturated Fat: 5.2gCholesterol: 57.8mgSodium: 1766.3mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 8.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Meat
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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.