Delicious and Easy Shrimp and Poblano Tamales Recipe

Greetings fellow food enthusiasts! I am thrilled to share with you my recipe for Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales. This scrumptious dish is a combination of traditional Mexican flavors with a touch of American influence from my own culinary background.

Tamales have been enjoyed for centuries, but this recipe takes it to the next level by incorporating succulent shrimp and roasted poblano chiles. The flavors come together in perfect harmony to create a dish that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

Although tamales may seem intimidating, the process is straightforward, and I am excited to guide you step-by-step through each stage. Not only are these tamales delicious, but they are also a fun activity to do with family or friends in the kitchen.

So why not invite some loved ones over and try something new? Trust me; they will not be disappointed with this super satisfying seafood twist on tamales. Get ready to dig into some Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales
Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales

Are you looking for a flavorful and satisfying meal that’s easy to make? Look no further than my Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales recipe. This dish combines the best of both worlds, featuring succulent shrimp and spicy poblano chilies in a traditional corn masa tamale.

But what sets this recipe apart from others is its versatility. You can customize it to your liking by using different types of cheese or even substituting the shrimp with other seafood, like crab or scallops. This means you can enjoy the same delicious tamale with endless possibilities for variation.

Furthermore, tamales are a staple of both Brazilian and American cuisine, making this dish a delightful fusion of flavors that will satisfy any craving for Latin American influence in your meals. Whether you’re entertaining guests or just cooking for yourself, this recipe is sure to impress and satisfy everyone at the table.

Additionally, tamales are perfect for meal prep since they can be made ahead of time and frozen for future use. They’re also a great portable snack that can be eaten on the go or packed easily into your lunch bag.

So what are you waiting for? Try out my Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales recipe and experience the mouth-watering complexity of flavors unique to this dish.

Ingredient List

Get ready for a savory treat with shrimp and poblano chile tamales!
Get ready for a savory treat with shrimp and poblano chile tamales!

Let’s dive into the ingredient list for this crave-worthy shrimp and poblano chile tamales recipe. Here’s what you need:

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 poblano chiles, roasted and diced

For the Masa:

  • 1 cup of masa harina
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of fresh milk

For the Crema:

  • 3 poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or feta cheese

For serving:

  • Corn husks

The Recipe How-To

These tamales are the perfect bite-sized snack for your weekend gatherings.
These tamales are the perfect bite-sized snack for your weekend gatherings.

Now that we have listed all the ingredients you need to make these mouth-watering shrimp and poblano chile tamales, it’s time for the step-by-step guide on how to prepare them.

  1. Soak the corn husks in warm water to soften them for about an hour or until they become pliable enough to work with.

  2. Begin preparing the filling by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and chopped onions, mixing them until they are fragrant before incorporating chopped red bell pepper, roasted poblano chiles and cooking them for around 5 minutes.

  3. Fold in cleaned and deveined shrimps (you can also use substitutes like crab meat or oaxacan cheese). Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.

Tip: Take care not to overcook the shrimp or other seafood substitutions, as it can cause it to become tough and rubbery. Check for your preferred texture before proceeding with the recipe.

  1. For the masa, blend 2 cups of masa harina flour together with 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, 3/4 cups of melted shortening/butter, and stir all these ingredients until a soft dough forms.

  3. Add salt, pepper and stir until spices are fully incorporated.

  4. Once done, spread some masa dough onto each softened corn husk by using a spoon or a spreader nicely; Leave enough space around the sides and bottom edges to fold up when needed.

  5. Take some tablespoons of filling mixture onto the centerline of spread masa onto each corn husk.

  6. Roll each tamale starting from one side position over until the end is totally covered by masa without any gaps, or air pockets are trapped inside. Then, you can either choose to tie the ends with extra strips of corn husk and set aside or place in a steamer.

Tip: Make sure to wrap each tamale with plastic wrap before striking steam to keep everything in place and tied well.

  1. Cook them for around 45 minutes over medium heat until the tamales are cooked through and tender, and the masa dough is firm.

Once they are done cooking, wait a few more minutes before removing the tamales from the steamer. Serve them warm with your desired toppings such as freshly cut cilantro, queso fresco or sprinkle some feta cheese on top. Enjoy your delicious shrimp and poblano chile tamale!

Substitutions and Variations

The aroma of the masa and filling cooking together will make your mouth water.
The aroma of the masa and filling cooking together will make your mouth water.

One of the best things about cooking is being able to experiment with different ingredients and techniques to make a dish your own. With this shrimp and poblano chile tamales recipe, there are plenty of opportunities to exercise your creativity and tailor the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations:

– Cheese: While the recipe calls for a combination of queso fresco, feta cheese, chihuahua cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and Muenster cheese, feel free to mix and match with other cheeses you enjoy. Oaxacan cheese would be a great substitute for chihuahua cheese if you can find it. You could also try using spicy pepper jack or sharp cheddar for added flavor.

– Protein: If you’re not a fan of shrimp, try substituting another type of seafood, like crab meat or cooked lobster. For a vegetarian option, you could omit the shrimp altogether and add more vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini.

– Corn: Want to take this recipe in a different direction? Try substituting the corn masa with black bean or sweet potato masa for an interesting twist on traditional tamales.

– Heat level: If you want to turn up the heat in this recipe, consider swapping out some of the poblano chiles for spicier fresh chiles like jalapeños or serranos. Or add some hot sauce to the crema sauce for extra kick.

– Sauce: While I love the roasted poblano crema that’s included in this recipe, you could also try serving these tamales with a different sauce. A classic red enchilada sauce would be delicious here as well.

Remember that cooking is all about having fun and making something delicious that you enjoy. So don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients and create your own unique version of this shrimp and poblano chile tamales recipe!

Serving and Pairing

Each tamale is packed with juicy shrimp, gooey cheese, and diced poblano chiles.
Each tamale is packed with juicy shrimp, gooey cheese, and diced poblano chiles.

Of course, what’s the point of cooking up a delectable batch of shrimp and poblano chile tamales if you don’t know how to enjoy it properly? Fear not, my friends, for I have some ideas on how to serve and pair these scrumptious tamales.

Firstly, I suggest serving these shrimp and poblano chile tamales alongside some fresh salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. The rich flavors and spices of the tamales pair well with the refreshing acidity of a salsa or crema. You can also add a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese on top for added creaminess.

If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, serve these tamales with a side salad or rice dish. The salad will add a crunch that complements the texture of the tamales while a flavorful rice dish provides an additional layer of taste experience to your palate.

Speaking of flavor layers and umami sensations, beer is an excellent pairing beverage option for this recipe. Try serving these shrimp and poblano chile tamales with a cold bottle of your favorite beer- you’ll be in for a taste adventure like no other.

Overall, the possibilities for serving and pairing shrimp and poblano chile tamales are endless. The choice is ultimately yours to make based on your preferences – but I assure you every bite will be memorable regardless!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Baking the tamales in corn husks not only adds flavor, but also creates a beautiful presentation.
Baking the tamales in corn husks not only adds flavor, but also creates a beautiful presentation.

The beauty of tamales is that they can be made ahead of time, frozen, and reheated to perfection when you’re ready to serve them. It’s like having a delicious meal waiting for you without any hassle or stress.

To make-ahead: After steaming the tamales, let them cool completely in their husks. Once they’ve cooled down, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to two days. Alternatively, tamales can be frozen for up to two months. Place them in a freezer-safe container, and make sure to label them with the date.

To reheat: To reheat tamales, there are a few ways you can go about it. One of the simplest ways is to microwave them on high for about 2-3 minutes per tamale. You can also reheat them in the oven by wrapping them in aluminum foil and heating at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Another option is to steam them again by placing them in a steamer basket over simmering water for 10-15 minutes.

It’s important to note that reheating too many tamales at once can result in uneven heating – so take care not to overcrowd your steamer or microwave.

When it comes to leftovers, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Tamales can also be frozen after being cooked – just make sure they are completely cooled before placing them in the freezer.

Overall, making tamales ahead of time is a great way to save time and stress when entertaining or planning meals for the week. And with these easy reheating methods, you’ll have perfect tamales every time – whether served fresh or from the freezer!

Tips for Perfect Results

You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less chiles to the filling.
You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less chiles to the filling.

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients and are ready to start making these delicious shrimp and poblano chile tamales, let me share with you some tips that will help ensure your tamales turn out just right.

Firstly, it’s important to prepare your corn husks properly before assembling your tamales. Soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes to make them pliable.

When making the filling, be sure to cook the shrimp thoroughly and remove any excess liquid before adding them to the mixture. This will prevent the filling from becoming too wet and ruining the texture of your tamales.

To enhance the flavor, I recommend roasting the poblano chiles before adding them to the filling. This will bring out their smoky taste and give your tamales an extra depth of flavor.

When mixing the masa harina, make sure it has the right consistency. It should be soft but not sticky. You can test this by taking a small ball of dough and placing it in a glass of cold water. If it floats, then it’s perfect. If it sinks, then add more masa harina until it floats.

For even cooking, place your tamales upright in a steamer or large pot with a steaming basket. Make sure there is enough space between each tamale so they don’t touch each other.

Once cooked, allow your tamales to cool before eating. This will give them time to set and prevent them from falling apart when unwrapped.

Finally, if you want to take these tamales up a notch, try serving them with some crema and queso fresco on top. The tanginess of the crema and saltiness of the cheese pair perfectly with the flavors in this dish.

Follow these tips for perfect results every time and enjoy these delicious shrimp and poblano chile tamales with family and friends!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these shrimp and poblano chile tamales are a unique and flavorful addition to any meal or gathering. With the combination of masa harina, red bell pepper, garlic, onion, and chicken broth, this dish is bursting with robust flavors. Not to mention the succulent shrimp and roasted poblano chiles that add a satisfying texture and depth of flavor.

One of the things that I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can easily substitute the cheese with different types such as queso fresco, feta cheese, chihuahua cheese, monterey jack cheese or muenster cheese depending on your taste preference. Additionally, you can swap out the shrimp with crab meat or even chicken for a different twist on this classic dish.

Overall, these shrimp and poblano chile tamales are a must-try for anyone who loves seafood or Mexican-inspired cuisine. Don’t be intimidated by the process of making tamales – it can be time-consuming but not difficult. Once you try these tamales fresh out of the steamer, you will not regret taking the time to make them.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try at your next dinner party or family gathering. Your guests will be impressed with the unique flavors and textures of this dish. And if you have any leftovers, they can be easily stored in the freezer or consumed as leftovers over the next few days.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these delicious shrimp and poblano chile tamales just as much as I do!

Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales

Shrimp and Poblano Chile Tamales Recipe

From Our shrimp and poblano-chile tamales are wonderful party fare because they freeze so well. Plus, we added Mexican Chihuahua cheese, a buttery semisoft cheese that melts beautifully, to the filling. Dried corn husks are the traditional wrapping, but you can also wrap the tamales in foil. Prep time: 1 hour. Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes. Degree of difficulty: moderate. Low-calorie.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 28 tamales
Calories 107 kcal


  • 28 dried corn husks or 14 9 inch pieces aluminum foil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup canned cream-style corn
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 3 medium poblano chiles
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 lb peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp, chopped
  • 1/2 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1 cup muenster cheese or 1 cup monterey jack cheese (see note)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated queso fresco or 1/2 cup crumbled mild feta cheese (see note)
  • guacamole, optional


  • Note: Chihuahua cheese available in most Hispanic markets, Queso Fresco available from Mozzarella Company 800-798-2954.
  • Cover corn husks with hot tap water in a shallow baking dish.
  • Bring chicken broth, creamed corn and milk just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Gradually add broth mixture to masa harina in a medium bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon, until well blended; cool.
  • Heat broiler.
  • Line a broiler pan with foil.
  • Arrange poblanos and bell pepper on prepared pan and broil 4 inches from heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning until skins are evenly charred.
  • Wrap in foil and let stand 15 minutes.
  • Peel, seed and dice chile and bell pepper; transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute more.
  • Cool, then combine with chile, bell pepper and uncooked shrimp.
  • Beat lard, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large mixer bowl, until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in masa harina mixture by spoonfuls, beating well after each addition.
  • Continue to beat 5 to 8 minutes more, until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Stir in shrimp mixture and cheese (mixture will be stiff).
  • Drain and rinse corn husks; keep covered with a damp towel (or follow foil directions below).
  • Flatten one husk on work surface (overlapping two husks if small).
  • Spoon 1/4 cup filling in center of husk.
  • Spread into a 3-inch long log.
  • Roll up lengthwise.
  • Secure each end with string.
  • Repeat with remaining husks and filling.
  • To prepare tamales with foil: Cut each foil piece in half to make two 6x9-inch rectangles.
  • Spread 1/4 cup filling in center of each rectangle.
  • Fold all sides in to form 2x3-1/2-inch packets.
  • (Can be made ahead. Place tamales in resealable plastic storage bags and freeze up to 1 month.) Place steamer rack in Dutch oven over 1 inch of water.
  • Arrange tamales (unthawed if frozen) in rack.
  • Cover; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and steam 30 minutes.
  • Serve with Guacamole, if desired.
  • Makes 28 tamales.
  • (Nutrition facts are based on 1 tamale per serving.) yMasa Harina: A variety of flour made from specially processed corn.
  • Used in tamales or to thicken sauces.
  • Can be found in the baking section of most supermarkets.
  • yyChile Poblano: Mild to medium-hot fresh chile.
  • Popular for stuffing; usually roasted.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1706gCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 9.4gProtein: 4.1gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 24.6mgSodium: 155.3mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 1.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, 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.