Guatemalan Tamalitos de Chipilin

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 50m
Ready In

"Simple and delicious, these tamalitos are prepared from corn dough and cheese. You can either leave the ends of the corn husks open or completely enclose the packets and tie them with string. These are traditionally served with Kak"ik (Turkey Leg Soup)."

Original recipe yields 20 servings
  • If you don't have a Hispanic store near you, you can use Jack cheese


  • Serving Size: 1 (49.5 g)
  • Calories 125.6
  • Total Fat - 7.8 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 12.3 mg
  • Sodium - 290 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 11.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.9 g
  • Sugars - 0.6 g
  • Protein - 3 g
  • Calcium - 68.6 mg
  • Iron - 1.1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

Soak the dried cornhusks in hot water until they are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes. Drain them well and set aside.

Step 2

In a large bowl or a food processor, combine the masa harina, lard, and salt. Add the broth a little at a time while mixing to form smooth dough. Stir in the cheese.

Step 3

Open one of the husks so that it lies flat. If the husks are too small, overlap two (heads to tails) to make up the dimensions. Spread 1/4 cup of the dough in the center of the husk. Fold over the lengthwise edges. Fold up one of the open ends.

You can also tie the tops of the tamales. Just take one of the husks, rip it into strips along the grain, and use the strips to tie.

Step 4

Set a rack into a steamer or Dutch oven and fill with enough water to just below rack level. Arrange the tamales, open ends up, on the rack. Cover and set over medium-low heat. Steam for 1 hour, adding water as needed.

Note: tamales freeze well in a ziploc. To reheat, just pop them into the microwave or you can thaw and steam them.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



Good recipe & instructions for cheese tamalitos but is no chipilin in this. Quite hard to find chipilin in the US, though. I am not able to visit Guatemala in so long.

review by:
(7 Dec 2020)