How To Cook Frozen Tamales Perfectly In 5 Super Tips

How To Cook Frozen Tamales Perfectly In 5 Super Tips

Do you love this traditional Mesoamerican dish? Do you want to learn new ways of cooking it? Feel at home, we’ll give you all the details on how to cook frozen tamales.

Tamale is a cornmeal dough that is rolled with ground and seasoned beans or meat. The dish is then completed by wrapping the rolled dough in banana leaves or corn husks and steaming it. Most people prepare this dish annually or biannually, then keep store it in a freezer for up to 6 months. This article is compiled to help you learn how to warm up tamales, just in case you have frozen some.

Ways Of Cooking Frozen Tamales

You do not have to necessarily defrost tamales just before heating them. If the tamales are thawed, just keep a keen eye on the time because they take more time to heat.

Helpful tip: when reheating the tamales keep them wrapped in cornhusk, this will help trap moisture and keep the tamales moist. But if you want them uncovered no problem if you modify your heating method.

Method 1: How to Heat Tamales In An Oven

How To Cook Frozen Tamales Perfectly In 5 Super Tips 1

You can heat frozen tamales in an oven, and help bring out the great flavors they possess. Since the tamales were precooked, you do not have to reach the secure internal temperatures. As long as you are able to get them appetizingly hot, then they will be good for consumption.


  1. ​Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Add water to a roasting pan (about 1 inch), and put a rack and ensure the legs of this rack are long enough to maintain it out of the water.
  3. Lay a single layer of tamales on the rack. Cover the pan with an aluminum foil and put it into the oven until they are all heated through or for 20-25 minutes.


  1. ​Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Remove the corn husks cover from the tamales.
  3. Grease you’re a roasting pan with butter and lay the tamales on the pan.
  4. Heat in the oven, they will be ready when crispy and dark brown. The length of time it will take to heat the tamales will depend on the number tamales placed in the pan. A dozen will be ready in 30-45 minutes.

Method 2: How to Heat Frozen Tamale In A Microwave

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This is the easiest and the fastest method of warming up tamales of all the techniques detailed here. The only downside of this method is that it won’t give you dark brown tamales.


1. Defrost the tamales in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes.

2. Place a good (desired) number of the defrosted tamales in the microwave-safe container or a plastic bag.

3. Using a plastic wrap or a lid to cover the container loosely. Set the microwave on high and heat the tamales in the microwave. It will take about 2-5 minutes for them to be ready.


When removing the plastic wrap or the lid of the container, do it carefully so that if there is any steam trapped inside it won’t hurt you.

Method 3: How to Cook Frozen Tamales On Stove Top

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1. Put the pan on the stove, let it heat over medium heat.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, remove the corn husks and put the uncovered tamale in the frying pan. Arrange the tamales until the surface of the pan is cover, avoid overcrowding them.

3. Keep flipping the tamales after every 3 minutes or until the surface of the tamales turn crispy.

Method 4: How to Reheat Tamale In A Deep Fryer

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Yes, you read it right. Frozen tamales can be deep fried and still taste great. However, this method adds extra calories to the tamales.


1. Add oil to the deep fryer and set it to medium heat.

2. In this method, you will need to defrost the already frozen tamales for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.

3. Remove the corn husk and drop the tamales in the preheat deep fryer. Cook one tamale at a time for about 2-3 minutes.

4. When the whole surface of the tamale is crispy remove them from the deep fryer. It will take you about 10-12 minutes to bake a dozen of tamales.

Method 5: How to Cook Frozen Tamale By Steaming

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This is another easy and inexpensive method of heating your frozen tamales. It is the best in terms of bringing out the full flavor of the tamales. If you want tamales with great taste, go for this method.

Tips: when steaming the tamales

Avoid overcrowding the steamer. If you have many tamales to heat you can either divide them into two batches or use a bigger pot.

The steamer insert should be placed perfectly in the pot to ensure the tamales are not in contact with the water.


1. Fill of the steamer with water, set it to medium heat.

2. Arrange your frozen tamales around steamer edges with their open ends up. Steam for 20-30 minutes or until the tamales are ready.

Alternatively, if you do not have a cooking steamer you can steam the tamales on stove top. To heat tamales on a stove top you require a steamer pot and a vegetable steamer insert.

1. Put water in the steamer pot, about one inch of water. Let it simmer.

2. Place the tamales in the vegetable steamer insert, place the steamer insert in the pot with water. Let the tamales steam for about 25 minutes, remove them from the pot.


The methods describe above are simple and easy to follow, we hope they will be of great help next time you are cooking your frozen tamale. We came up with the article as a guide after realizing people are never getting enough information over the internet. We have compiled it after extensive research and the article is inclusive of different methods.

Kindly share the article with your friends who are willing to learn how to cook frozen tamales. They will enjoy it just like you have.

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I’m Kanisha, my love and passion is writing about everything food related! I am a food enthusiast who loves so much more than just the basics; I’m always looking at new ways to look at the ins and outs of everything in the kitchen!

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