Make Your Taste Buds Sing with Our Authentic Tamale Recipe

As I sit here putting pen to paper, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite traditional Mexican dishes – tamales. The combination of flavors and textures in every bite never fails to transport me to the vibrant streets of Mexico City.

Today, I present to you the recipe for Tamales with Cheese, Olives and Chilies – a dish that is sure to impress both fans of Mexican cuisine and newcomers alike. This recipe is full of satisfying ingredients that will leave your taste buds singing – from Spanish olives to green chilies, from Monterey Jack cheese to fresh corn masa.

But perhaps what makes this dish truly special is its versatility. With options for substitutions and variations, you can easily adjust this recipe to suit your tastes – whether you prefer a vegetarian option or want to add ground beef or pork for a heartier meal.

So let us delve into the world of tamales with this recipe – I promise it will not disappoint.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Tamales With Cheese, Olives and Chilies
Tamales With Cheese, Olives and Chilies

Picture this: a steaming hot plate of tamales, fresh out of the oven, filled with gooey melted cheese, Spanish olives, and spicy green chilies. That’s what you’ll get with this recipe for Tamales with Cheese, Olives, and Chilies – a mouth-watering traditional Mexican dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds!

Not only are these tamales easy to prepare, but they’re also a vegetarian option that can be made with either chicken broth or vegetable broth. The combination of fresh corn masa, aromatic garlic powder, and zesty lime juice makes these tamales the best Mexican cheese tamales recipes you’ll ever taste.

The versatility of this recipe is one of the reasons why it’s so great. Whether you’re looking for an easy tamale casserole or traditional Mexican dish, this recipe has got you covered. You can substitute the cheese roasted chiles for jalapeno cheese if you want a spicier kick or use pork tamales in place of the chicken cheese tamales.

One of the best things about these tamales is that they can be stored and reheated easily without losing their flavor or texture. Simply wrap them in foil and reheat them in the oven for perfect results every time!

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a delicious Mexican dish that’s easy to make and full of flavor, then this Tamales with Cheese, Olives, and Chilies recipe is an excellent choice. Give it a try today and experience why it’s one of Pati Jinich’s best Mexican cheese tamales recipes!

Ingredient List

 A colorful and flavorful feast: Tamales with Cheese, Olives, and Chilies!
A colorful and flavorful feast: Tamales with Cheese, Olives, and Chilies!

Let me introduce you to the star players of this tamales with cheese, olives and chilies recipe. This Mexican dish is all about the flavors that come from its ingredients, bringing a savory combination of spices and cheese that will make you feel like you are in the middle of an authentic Mexican feast. Here are the essential ingredients for this recipe:

Fresh Corn

Start by getting 2 cups of fresh corn; it is essential to use fresh ones for optimum flavor.


I choose Monterey Jack cheese, but you can use your favorite Mexican cheese like Queso Fresco, Cheddar Cheese, Mexican Cheese, or Jalapeno Cheese.

Green Chile

Use diced green chiles or green chile sauce if you want to add some heat.


Spanish olives bring a rich flavor to the tamales.

Masa Harina

Masa Harina is a flour commonly used in making tortillas and tamales dough.

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening will be used to make the dough.

Chicken Broth/Vegetable Broth

Both chicken broth and vegetable broth may be used as the base for the tamales sauce.

Along with other recipe ingredients, these components alone bring complexity to the tamales recipe. Get them all together before starting.

The Recipe How-To

 Satisfy your cravings with a cheesy and spicy treat.
Satisfy your cravings with a cheesy and spicy treat.

Preparing the Corn Husks

Before we start preparing the tamales, we need to soak the corn husks in warm water for at least an hour. These husks will help keep our tamales fresh and moist as they cook. Leave them to soak while you prepare the filling and masa.

Making the Filling

To create a delicious filling, we’ll combine roasted chilies, Spanish olives, and Monterey jack cheese with either cooked chicken or ground beef. If you’re going for a vegetarian option, diced fresh corn, jalapeno cheese, and diced green chilies are a tasty combination. Make sure to chop everything perfectly so that it can be easily folded into your tamale later.

Creating the Masa Dough

Next, we’ll make the tamale dough by combining corn masa, vegetable shortening, and either chicken broth or vegetable broth until the mixture is smooth and pliable. Add some salt and garlic powder to give it extra flavor.

Assembling and Cooking Tamales

To assemble a tamale, spread some masa dough onto a soaked corn husk, leaving a border around the edges. Add some of your chosen filling mixture on top of the dough, then roll up the husk tightly around it. Tie each end of the husk with kitchen twine or leave it open like a tamale pie casserole.

Steam your tamales for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked. You can use a steamer basket over boiling water or a slow cooker on high heat to cook them to perfection.

Enjoying Your Tamales

Your tamales are ready to serve! They can be enjoyed hot with a squeeze of lime juice or paired with guacamole or salsa for added flavor. Tamales are best served fresh, but if you want to make them ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator or freezer and reheat them when you’re ready to eat.

With this recipe, you can make traditional Mexican tamales but also add your own twist with different fillings and variations. Get creative and enjoy the flavorful taste of homemade tamales in your own kitchen!

Substitutions and Variations

 These tamales are comfort food at its finest.
These tamales are comfort food at its finest.

In this recipe, there are plenty of opportunities to get creative and make substitutions or variations based on your preferences. Here are a few ideas to try:

– Vegetarian Tamales: If you’re looking for a meatless option, simply swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and skip the meat. You could even add some extra veggies like diced bell peppers or mushrooms to the filling.

– Different Cheeses: While Monterey Jack cheese is traditionally used in this recipe, you could experiment with other types of cheese as well. Try using cheddar cheese for a sharper flavor, or Mexican cheese blend for an extra kick.

– Vary the Chilies: If you like things spicy, use diced jalapenos or serranos instead of green chiles. Or, if you prefer something milder, skip the chilies altogether and just use cheese and olives in the filling.

– Tamale Pie: Instead of making individual tamales, you could turn this recipe into a tamale pie. Simply spread the masa mixture in the bottom of a baking dish, layer on the filling ingredients (such as ground beef or rajas con queso), and bake until golden brown and bubbly.

– Stuffed Roasted Chiles: For a fun twist on traditional tamales, try stuffing roasted chiles with the masa mixture and filling ingredients before baking. This gives the tamales a smoky flavor and a unique presentation.

No matter how you choose to customize this recipe, the end result will be a delicious and flavorful meal that’s sure to impress. So go ahead and get creative in your kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to taste the perfect combination of salty and spicy.
Get ready to taste the perfect combination of salty and spicy.

When I think of serving and pairing options for these cheese, olive and chili tamales, my mouth waters with the possibilities. These tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that goes well with a variety of sides and drinks.

I recommend serving these tamales with a side of black beans or rice, along with some fresh pico de gallo or guacamole. The spiciness of the tamales pairs perfectly with the freshness and coolness of these sides.

When it comes to drinks, a refreshing margarita or a cold beer would be great options to sip on while enjoying these cheesy tamales. Don’t forget the lime wedge to squeeze into your drink!

If you want to take things up a notch, you can even turn these tamales into a flavorful tamale pie by layering them in a casserole dish with some black beans, corn, diced green chilies and shredded cheese roasted chile peppers. Just open up some cans, layer out the ingredients and bake – easy as that! This tamale pie makes for a perfect potluck or weeknight dinner option.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair these tamales, they are sure to impress your family and friends at any gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Have you ever had a tamale with olives and chilies? Now's your chance!
Have you ever had a tamale with olives and chilies? Now’s your chance!

As with any traditional Mexican dish, tamales are a labor of love. You must dedicate time and attention to achieving the desired result. Therefore, if you plan on making this tasty “Tamales With Cheese, Olives and Chilies Recipe,” it’s best to prepare them in advance, or be ready to invest a considerable amount of time.

To make things easier for you, you can make these cheese tamales in advance and store them until ready to serve. Firstly, let the tamales cool down and then place them in an airtight container or sealable plastic bags. They will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days.

When it’s time to reheat your tamales, prepare some chicken or vegetable broth in a pot on medium heat. Then insert a steamer into the pot and place the tamales inside it. Steam the cheese roasted chile tamales at medium heat for 15-20 minutes until hot and serve.

If you prefer to freeze your tamales de rajas con queso, don’t steam them first. Instead, wrap them individually in foil or plastic wrap before placing them in freezer bags. Seal tightly before storing them in the freezer for up to three months.

When you want to eat your frozen tamale pie recipe, take them out of the freezer and transfer them to the refrigerator one day ahead of reheating. Once thawed, steam them using the instructions above or microwave them individually for 2-3 minutes each.

In summary, with good planning and careful storage techniques, you can easily enjoy these cheesy vegetarian tamales any day of the week!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Wrap your taste buds around this delicious dish.
Wrap your taste buds around this delicious dish.

When it comes to making tamales, achieving the perfect texture and flavor can be a bit tricky. But fear not, my friend, for I have some tips that will ensure your cheese, olives and chilies tamales come out perfect every time.

First of all, it is important to soak your corn husks in hot water for at least 30 minutes before using them. This will make them pliable and easy to work with. And don’t worry if they tear a little bit, you can always overlap them to make sure the filling stays inside.

When making the masa, use chicken or vegetable broth as the liquid instead of water. This will give your tamales extra flavor and richness. Also, make sure to mix the masa really well until it is smooth and lump-free.

For the filling, I recommend using a combination of monterey jack cheese, Spanish olives, and diced green chilies. This creates a balanced and flavorful filling that pairs perfectly with the corn masa.

When assembling the tamales, make sure to spread the masa evenly over the corn husk and leave enough room on the sides so you can fold them over without any gaps. And don’t forget to tie them with a little strip of corn husk to keep them secure.

When steaming the tamales, make sure to place them standing up in a steamer basket with the open end facing up. This will allow the steam to circulate evenly around each tamale and ensure they cook through properly.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different fillings and variations. You can try adding diced jalapenos for an extra kick or swap out the olives for black beans or ground beef. The possibilities are endless!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make delicious cheese, olives and chilies tamales that would impress even Pati Jinich herself. Buen provecho!


Now that we have covered every aspect of this tantalizing recipe, you may be left with some lingering questions or doubts. No need to worry, as I am here to clarify all your concerns and provide helpful recommendations that will make your cooking experience an enjoyable and tasty one. So, let’s dive straight into the most frequently asked questions about these scrumptious Tamales with Cheese, Olives, and Chilies!

What cheese to use for chile and cheese tamales?

When it comes to making tamale fillings, cheese selection is key. A range of cheeses can be used to create mouthwatering flavors, but I personally adore using Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack as they add a distinctive and scrumptious taste to each bite. If you’re looking for classic options, you can never go wrong with Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheese!

Is it normal to put olives in tamales?

Tamales can be made even more flavorful by adding an unexpected ingredient to the filling: green olives. These olives bring a distinct taste to the traditionally corn-based dish, mixing saltiness with a touch of sweetness. Green olives are a staple in many Mexican recipes and are a natural partner for the dough and other ingredients used in making tamales.

What is the secret to moist tamales?

A crucial factor for delicious and succulent tamales is the generous use of fat. In Mexican cuisine, lard is the customary choice. If you prefer not to use lard, an option is to use shortening or softened butter, making it a vegetarian alternative.

What kind of olives are used in tamales?

Manzanilla olives, also called Perdigons, are a classic ingredient that can be found in many traditional dishes, especially tamales. These olives are left whole with the pit still inside, adding a unique flavor to any dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, tamales with cheese, olives, and chilies is a dish that promises to tantalize your taste buds. As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I highly recommend this traditional Mexican dish that can be made with a variety of fillings to suit your preferences.

With simple instructions, fresh ingredients, and flavorful spices, you can create the perfect tamales every time. Whether you make them as an appetizer or as the main course, tamales are a great addition to any gathering or dinner table.

So, why not impress your loved ones with your culinary skills and prepare them these amazing tamales today? Trust me; they won’t be disappointed. With different substitutions and variations available, there is something for everyone’s liking.

Lastly, I hope this recipe article inspires you to try out different flavors and make this mouth-watering delicacy at home. Remember to experiment with various fillings until you find your personal favorite combination. Receive compliments for your exceptional cooking skills like never before!

Tamales With Cheese, Olives and Chilies

Tamales With Cheese, Olives and Chilies Recipe

I was looking for a recipe for cheese tamales. I found this recipe on the ehow website. I havent tried it yet
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 tamales
Calories 702.6 kcal


  • 1/2 lb corn husk
  • 16 ounces Spanish olives or 16 ounces garlic stuffed olives
  • 1/3 lb vegetable shortening
  • 1 lb fresh corn, masa or 1 1/2 cups dried masa harina, de maiz
  • 1 lb monterey jack cheese, cut into 2 inch long and 1/4 inch thick strips
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth or 1 cup vegetable broth


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then turn off the heat, Add the corn husks to the pot and weight them down with a plate to completely submerge them. Let them soak for 1 hours.
  • If using fresh, store bought "masa", cream the shortening and salt in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add "masa" and 1/3-1/2 c water gradually to the mixer until all the "masa" is used. Whip until fairly light and fluffy. Test the masa by taking a small ball and placing it in a glass or water, if it floats it is ready. If necessary add water in small increments.
  • ----if using dried masa harina, cream the shortening and salt, Add the masa harina and broth slowly. Whip until masa is light and fluffy. Test in a glass of water to make sure it is ready.
  • Drain the corn husks and pick 12 of the nicest, largest ones. Stread a husk in a cutting board with the large end facing the top of the board.
  • Pat the husk dry with a paper towel and place one heaping tablespoon of masa right in the center. Using your fingers or the back of a spook spread the masa almost all the way to the sides of the husk and near the top.
  • Leave most of the lower half of the husk uncovered. Place a couple of the cheese slices, chili strips and 2 or 3 olives in a vertical line down the center of the masa.
  • Fold the sides of the husk toward each other and over lap them. Fold the empty half of the husk up against the rest of the filled roll.
  • Pinch the open top of the husk close and lay the tamale flap side down in a steamer basket. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and make sure the tops of the tamales are pointed upward.
  • Steam the tamales for 20-30 minutes or until the masa is fairly firm inside the husk.
  • Tip:
  • To Roast chilies, either set them directly on top of a gas burner, turning them frequently, until the chilies are black or cut them in half and broil them for 5-7 minutes or until black. Place the chiles in a paper bag to steam for 15-20 minutes then peel the chilies. The black skin should come off easily.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 300gCalories: 702.6kcalCarbohydrates: 20.9gProtein: 23.3gFat: 61.3gSaturated Fat: 23.5gCholesterol: 67.5mgSodium: 1917.7mgFiber: 5.8gSugar: 3.3g
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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.