Chicken and Vegetables Tamales Recipe

Tamales de pollo con verduras4a
If you have leftover cooked turkey or chicken, making chicken/turkey vegetables tamales is a good idea. I grew up with the mentality that nothing could go to waste, and for me, this is an excellent use of leftovers.
Tamales come in different sizes from the tiny ones made in the Northern parts of the States of Nuevo Leon
and Tamaulipas, to the large Mucbipollos served at Day of the Dead festivities in Yucatan to the huge Zacahuil in the Huasteca region formed of the States of Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Hidalgo. The tamales also had a great variety of filling like chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, pumpkin, beans, vegetables, well the sky is the limit about the diversity you could find when talking about tamales.

This recipe filling is made of a mix of vegetables, chicken and a red sauce.


For the filling:
  • 1/2 pound cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup green peas (canned is ok)
  • 1/3 cup of already cooked carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup of already cook potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2  cup of salsa roja recipe* HERE
  • salt & pepper to taste
For the Dough:
  • 3 cups of Masa Harina for Tortillas
  • 1 1/3 cup of Lard
  • 2 1/2 cups of the chicken.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 16 Large Corn husk to wrap the tamales
_You can use Masa Harina for making tortillas or the special one for making tamales. If you live in an area where Fresh Masa is available, use about 3 1/2 cups of fresh masa.
_ For a detail explanation to from the tamales check HERE
DIRECTIONS:Tamales de pollo con verduras11. Place the corn husk in a large pot and cover with enough hot water to cover them. Place a metal lid or heatproof dish on top of husks to keep them submerged. Soak for about 45 minutes. Remove, drain and set aside. This step will soften the husks and make them pliable-easy to fold.
2. In a large bowl mix filling ingredients, shredded chicken, carrots, peas, potatoes, salsa and garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Mixture has to be cool when assembling the tamales. Set aside while preparing the Masa Harina Dough.
3.  In large bowl, beat the lard by hand or with an electric mixer until it is light. Add salt and the masa harina and gradually the stock  until dough is very light. If your dough looks dry add more broth or water. Continue to beat until dough is well combined, light and smooth. To make sure your dough is light enough place a small amount in a glass with water. It will float when it’s ready.
4. Preparing the steamer. Usually tamales are steamed in a large pot designed for this purpose, if you have one add boiling water up to the marking sign. If you do not have one of this pot, use a steamer basket, metal colander o a metal lid place it inside a pot, cover with corn husks and add boiling water, just enough to steam the tamales.
5. To assemble the tamales. Place a small amount of the dough in the center of a corn husk. Using the back of a spoon spread the dough and top it with 1 1/2 tablespoon of the meat filling. Fold the sides of the husks. Bend bottom toward the center.  And place tamales standing up in your already prepared tamal steamer cover with a layer of corn husks and a dish towel,  cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add more water to the steamer if needed during that step.Tamales de pollo con verduras3a6.To check for doneness remove one of the tamales and if the husk can easily be removed from the dough they are ready.  But if the dough stick to the husk place back into the pot and cook for 15 more minutes.
Tamales de pollo con verduras2a
Serve warm and enjoy.

¡Buen provecho!
If you have any questions please let me know in the comments section.
I hope you make them... If you do, please come back to let me know your experience.


  1. Mely que ricos se ven amiga, me encantan los tamalitos con un atole calentito, lindo fin de semana.

  2. Hi Mely, I made tamales de Pavo for thanksgiving dinner. They were good but yours look better! Of course, leftovers are always the best! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. This is a great way to use leftover turkey or chicken. Delicious! Thanks for sharing the idea with us.

  4. Wonderful, I'm hungry.:) I always make tamales for Christmas and at least once or twice during the year to keep in practice.:) this year I'm making mild, hot, and very hot tamales chili wise.:) Take care, Happy Holidays and hope your THX was wonderful.

  5. these look so good and love that its a tasty way to use up leftovers

  6. Mely los tamales de pollo con verduritas son mis favoritos en hoja de maíz. La receta de mi abuelita incluye zanahoria, chícharos y aquí viene el secreto: Ella le ponía chile poblano en cubitos (crudo) al guiso. No le ponía papa.

  7. we dont get masa harina here, is there anything that I can substitute?

    1. Nammi, there are some made out of rice flour. Usually we eat them sweet, but since awhile ago I had been thinking in making savory tamales with that flour.

  8. Qué ricos se ven Mely!!!!

    Un abrazo desde Monterrey!

  9. I haven't made tamales yet this year. I can't wait to try this version, it looks and sounds terrific.

  10. I am glad you are letting everyone know tamales can be made from anything you enjoy. We really enjoy making and eating tamales.

  11. Ms. Mely, Thank you for being so kind and sharing your recipes. I love the way you describe in detail your recipes but especially the brief description at the begining of tbe recipe. I'm not close to my mother and I can honestly tell you because of you I have learned to cook. Thank you.

    1. Hello Lupe,

      Thanks for visiting the blog, and for your nice comment. I hope you enjoy the recipes and keep coming back.

      Happy cooking!


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