Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
1 Hour 45 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours
Serves 12 (serving size: 2 tamales and 1/4 cup sauce)

How to Make It

Step 1

Place corn husks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 3

To prepare filling, pierce potato with a fork; wrap in foil. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Peel potato; mash. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and cinnamon; sauté 30 seconds. Add beans and green chiles; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine potato, bean mixture, cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Step 4

Increase oven temperature to 450°.

Step 5

To prepare masa dough, combine 2 cups broth and corn in a blender; process until smooth.

Step 6

Lightly spoon masa harina into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Add broth mixture and butter to masa mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Cover.

Step 7

To prepare sauce, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onion, jalapeño, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add tomatillos and next 5 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Cool slightly.

Step 8

Place tomatillo mixture and cilantro leaves in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to prevent splatters). Blend until smooth.

Step 9

To assemble, working with 1 husk at a time, place 3 tablespoons masa dough in center of husk about 1/2 inch from top, and press dough into a 4 x 3-inch rectangle. Spoon 2 tablespoons bean mixture down 1 side of dough. Fold husk over tamale, being sure to cover the filling with dough; fold over 1 more time. Fold bottom end of husk under. Place the tamale, seam side down, on the rack of a broiler pan lined with a damp towel. Repeat the procedure with remaining husks, dough, and bean mixture. Cover filled tamales with another damp towel. Pour 2 cups hot water in the bottom of a broiler pan; top with prepared rack.

Step 10

Steam at 450° for 1 hour, adding water as necessary to maintain a depth of about 1/2 inch. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve with sauce.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

anglhart's Review

August 24, 2013

0danielle0's Review

November 24, 2012

cookieamity's Review

November 02, 2011
I thought these turned out pretty good! Especially with the tomatillo salsa, yum! My husband didn't like the sweet potatoes because they're a similar consistency as the masa dough... but I thought they tasted great.

detailaddict's Review

December 19, 2011
For a first stab at tamales, I thought this was a lot of work, but I am intrigued enough to try again. The dough was on the bland side so I would add some more salt next time, and I ended up with leftover filling as 2T was too much to fit in 3T masa. The folding instructions also left a bit to be desired ("Fold over one more time"...huh?), and I had to watch a You Tube video to see how it was done. I also had to wonder if there isn't a more efficient way to cook these. But given enough lead time these would make a good party "take-with", and I imagine the filling possibilities are endless.