You'll love our genius way to use leftover stuffing, turkey, or sweet potato casserole by turning it into the starchy outer layer of tamales.

Recipe by Southern Living November 2014


Credit: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe Summary

2 hrs 20 mins
45 mins
Makes 2 dozen


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak corn husks in warm water to cover 1 hour or until softened. Drain and pat dry.

  • Press 2 Tbsp. dressing into a 3- x 5-inch rectangle along 1 long side of 1 husk, leaving borders along other 3 sides of husks. Place 1 cheese stick in center of dressing. Roll up dressing, starting with long side and using husk as a guide. Press dressing edges together to form a seal, enclosing filling. Fold long side of husk over tamale to enclose.

  • Fold ends toward center to seal. Repeat procedure using remaining husks, dressing, and cheese.

  • Place 6 tamales side by side on work surface, with seam sides inward; tie tamales together with kitchen string, securing bundles at both ends. Repeat procedure to make a total of 4 bundles.

  • Stand tamale bundles on end in a steamer basket; place basket over boiling water in a large Dutch oven. Cover and steam 35 minutes or until dressing is set, adding more boiling water as needed. Serve hot with Spicy Cranberry Salsa.

  • Turkey Tamales: Omit cheese. Prepare recipe as directed, spooning 1 Tbsp. chopped cooked turkey down center of dressing before rolling in Step

  • Sweet Potato Tamales: Omit pepper Jack cheese. Prepare recipe as directed, spooning 1 Tbsp. leftover sweet potato casserole down center of dressing before rolling in Step