These tamales take some time, but are well worth the effort. They are a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey. These are also healthier than many traditional tamale recipes which are made with lard. These freeze well and can later be either microwaved or re-steamed. Serve with lime wedges as garnish.

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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Tamale Dough:
Turkey Filling:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Soak corn husks in a bowl of warm water until softened, about 1 hour; drain.

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  • Mix masa, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Stir corn oil into masa mixture. Measure 1/2 cup turkey broth and set aside. Add remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, to masa mixture until dough is smooth and the consistency of thick peanut butter.

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion and garlic until softened and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add turkey, 1 teaspoon paprika, oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir reserved 1/2 cup turkey broth into filling until moistened.

  • Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon dough in the center of each corn husk. Top filling with 1 heaping tablespoon filling. Roll husk around dough and filling, tucking bottom of husk into tamale. Tie a corn husk strip or string around each tamale to secure.

  • Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Stand tamales upright in steamer, cover, and steam until cooked through, about 1 hour. Add more water as needed.

Nutrition Facts

441.8 calories; protein 19.3g 39% DV; carbohydrates 30.8g 10% DV; fat 27.6g 43% DV; cholesterol 37.2mg 12% DV; sodium 655.7mg 26% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (14)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2016
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! The masa is wonderfully flavored and it was such a great way to use up leftover turkey. We had smoked our Thanksgiving turkey so it was extra flavorful. I think I'm hooked- now I can't wait to try other fillings. There is absolutely nothing intimidating about making tamales anymore! We looked online just to make sure we were making the masa the right consistency and were wrapping them correctly, it's really an easy process. These freeze beautifully too- just steam them to reheat. We served with a red sauce and queso fresco. Read More
(4)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
11/29/2017
I made this recipe with my leftover turkey. I was very disappointed. I didn't like the spices used in the masa. The chili powder was overwhelming and there was no heat. Read More
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2014
Delicious way to use leftover thanksgiving turkey. I used chicken broth instead of turkey broth and the taste was still great. One of the best tamal recipes I have tried. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2016
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! The masa is wonderfully flavored and it was such a great way to use up leftover turkey. We had smoked our Thanksgiving turkey so it was extra flavorful. I think I'm hooked- now I can't wait to try other fillings. There is absolutely nothing intimidating about making tamales anymore! We looked online just to make sure we were making the masa the right consistency and were wrapping them correctly, it's really an easy process. These freeze beautifully too- just steam them to reheat. We served with a red sauce and queso fresco. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/27/2016
I had a ton of turkey left over so I thought I would give this a try to my surprise it was great. My finicky family even loved it they all agreed it was the best use of leftover turkey. The dough had great flavor I think it would work well with other meats. A keeper. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2016
I wanted to try this recipe because of all the seasoning in the masa. I made the masa with the spices but used coconut oil instead of corn oil. Very good! My son asked me to make them more often. This is a very good basic masa recipe to fill with whatever meat you choose. I am definitely keeping this one. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/12/2017
our first attempt at tamales and this recipe was yummy and easy Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2017
We ran out of corn husks. My wife suggested aluminum foil which worked well. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2016
These were delicious! I didn't have corn oil so I used vegetable oil and they were moist and the flavor was great! Definitely a great way to use up all that leftover turkey. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
04/21/2017
Turned out great!!! It was time consuming but easy to make. I used vegetable oil and chicken broth as I didn't have corn oil or turkey broth. I doubled it I had a lot of turkey. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2016
We've made tamales filled with a variety of Thanksgiving leftovers--green bean and sweet potato are delicious too. The masa dough works well with all kinds of fillings. Read More
(1)
Rating: 2 stars
11/29/2017
I made this recipe with my leftover turkey. I was very disappointed. I didn't like the spices used in the masa. The chili powder was overwhelming and there was no heat. Read More