Helena Tamales

We call for using an entire package of corn husks in this recipe because some of them will be torn or split.

Yield: Makes 18 tamales
Recipe from Southern Living

More From Southern Living

Recipe Time

Cook Time:
Prep Time:
Soak: 1 Hour


  • 1 (6-ounce) package dried corn husks
  • Cornmeal Dough
  • Chicken Filling
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 quarts water


  1. Soak corn husks in hot water to cover 1 hour or until softened. Drain husks, and pat dry.
  2. Spread 2 tablespoons Cornmeal Dough into a 3- x 5-inch rectangle on one side of 1 husk, leaving a 2-inch border at bottom narrow edge and a 1/2-inch border at one long side.
  3. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons Chicken Filling down center of cornmeal dough rectangle, creating a 1-inch-wide strip. Roll husk up, starting at the long side with 1/2-inch border, enclosing meat filling with the first turn. Fold bottom end with 2-inch border over, and secure with kitchen string or narrow strip of softened corn husk. Repeat procedure using remaining Cornmeal Dough and Chicken Filling.
  4. Bundle together 6 filled corn husks, seam sides inward and open ends facing same direction, and secure with kitchen string. Repeat procedure with remaining filled corn husks, making 2 more bundles of 6 filled corn husks each.
  5. Stand all 3 corn husk bundles, open ends up, in a large 12-quart stockpot. (If the bundles won't stand upright in the stockpot, place a 2-cup glass measuring cup upside down in the stockpot for the corn husk bundles to rest upon.)
  6. Stir together tomato sauce, chili powder, and cumin. Pour tomato sauce mixture and 2 1/2 quarts water around corn husk bundles in stockpot. (Do not pour directly over corn husks.) Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, 3 hours. Remove tamales, discarding tomato sauce mixture.
My Notes

Only you will be able to view, print, and edit this note.

Add Note

Helena Tamales Recipe at a Glance

More Recipes Like This

  1. Enter at least one ingredient

Find out what we've got cooking...

Weekly Specials
Get our Free Weekly Specials Newsletter filled with our favorite recipes, seasonal menus, and special features.
We Respect Your Privacy. Privacy Policy