👉 Tamales


One of the most representative dishes of Mexican gastronomy and that are usually found in all regions of Mexico, are the famous Tamales.

And one of the reasons why it is a very popular food in Mexico, is because its base of preparation is corn dough.

One of the most representative dishes of Mexican gastronomy and that are usually found in all regions of Mexico, are the famous Tamales.


And one of the reasons why it is a very popular food in Mexico, is because its base of preparation is corn dough.

It is also the only Mexican dish with the greatest variety, as there are chicken tamales, beef tamales, chipilin tamales, pork tamales, sweet tamales, strained tamales, baked tamales and an endless number of other names. And this is exactly what this post is about, we will talk about tamales, their types and their preparation.


As we mentioned above, tamales are a representation of Mexican food, but they are not mainly originated in Mexico.

In fact, tamales are a food of Mesoamerican origin and appeared between 800 and 600 BC.

That means that they are a very ancient dish that still survives in almost all the American continent, but in Mexico is where thousands of ethnic groups adopted them as a popular food.

These groups, such as the Mayans, were in charge of making the recipe last with the passing of time and also adding different fillings, which has given today more than 100 different types of tamales.


How tamales are prepared

Now that we know a little about the history of tamales, let’s get to know the simple way to prepare them.


  • Dough
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Corn husk
  • Salt
  • tomato
  • garlic
  • onion
  • Complement


The first thing we do is to soak the corn dough in water and start stirring until it becomes a paste.

Once the dough is like a paste, it will be necessary to add the butter and salt, and then stir again.

For the sauce, add the water in a pot and put it on medium heat, add the tomatoes, garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and grind them in the blender perfectly.

Let the dough rest for a moment and what we do next is to clean the corn husks and cut them in a rectangle shape, because with this we will “wrap” the tamale.

Once we have our leaves cut, the next thing to do is to start making dough balls and place them on top of the corn husks, trying to cover almost the entire leaf.

What we do next is to add some of the sauce previously made covering all the dough of the leaf and add its complement which can be chicken, beef, pork, chipilin, hard boiled egg or even none at all.

What we will do next is to wrap the tamale, as if it were a gift and then place one by one in a steamer.

Finally, place it on a low flame and wait for 4 to 5 hours, so that once it is finished, all we have left to do is to enjoy it.

It should be noted that this is only one way to prepare the dough, because depending on the type of tamale and style may or may not carry the sauce or a complement such as meat.

Classification of tamales

Beyond the type of tamale that we will see a little further down it is also necessary to understand that there are classifications of tamales and now we will talk about them.

Colados Tamales

This is the most common type of tamale that we can find in Mexico and can be chicken, beef, jumiles, among other ingredients. The reason why it is known as “colado” is because they are heated in a steamer.

tamales colados

Baked Tamales

The preparation of this tamale is similar to that of the tamale colado, but there is a difference, because the first one is “cooked” over low heat and in a steamer.

The baked tamale is not, this one as its name says is “Horneda” which leaves the dough with a hard and crunchy texture.

tamales horneados

Sweet Tamales

As its name suggests, this type of tamale has a sweet flavor and a very soft texture and we mainly find corn tamales, strawberry tamales and even mango tamales.

tamales dulces

Types of Tamales

Now that we know the above, it’s time to know the types of tamales and let’s see how many you really know.


Uchepos are a type of tamale that is made by mixing corn dough with corn kernels and results in a tender, sweet and soft tamale that is complemented with green or red sauce with cotija cheese and originates from the gastronomy of Michoacán.

Uchepos comida michoacan

Chicken Tamales

As its name suggests, this type of tamale is filled with chicken and can be a strained tamale or baked tamale.

tipos de tamal de pollo

Pork Tamales

as above can be either strained or baked, but instead of using chicken meat, it uses pork meat.

Tamales de ChipliĂ­n

The chipilĂ­n is a very popular plant in Latin America and is used for different typical and traditional dishes. Among this classification are the chipilĂ­n tamales.

These tamales consist of “stirring the dough” with the “chipilĂ­n” plant and then making the tamale, which is filled with nothing more than the pure dough. By the way, this type of tamale is very famous in the gastronomy of Tabasco.

Tamales de ChipilĂ­n

Bean tamales

Not much needs to be said about this type of tamale because it is filled with beans, but it only exists as a strained tamale.

Sonoran Tamales

This is more a style of preparation than a tamale, as it is said that part of the gastronomy of Sonora derives mostly from the dough and that is why they are excellent at preparing this type of dish.

Oaxacan Tamale

In many parts of the Mexican Republic this term is used to designate almost any tamale that is wrapped in banana leaves and can be filled with chicken, pork and red or green sauce.

Tamal Oaxaqueño

Chiapanecan Tamales

The chiapaneco tamale is more a term and style of preparing a tamale, let’s say it is a way to differentiate it from the rest of Mexico.

This type of tamale is rectangular and is made with a thin corn dough, filled with some type of meat and a pumpkin seed stew or mole.

Fish Tamale

This type of tamale is part of the gastronomy of Morelos, and it is a fish wrapped in banana leaves, perfectly prepared and accompanied with a sauce of ancho and guajillo chiles, with epazote, garlic, onion and no dough like a traditional tamale.

Veracruz Tamales

One of the things that differentiates this tamale from the others is the way in which the dough is made, as it is made with corn kernels ground with milk and mixed with melted lard.

Tamale in green or red sauce

The green sauce tamale is prepared with corn dough and filled with pork or chicken and tomato sauce with green chile, while the red sauce tamale has a similar way of preparation with the only difference that it uses guajillo chile for its sauce.

Tamal en salsa verde o roja

Tamal Zacahuil

This is a traditional tamale from the indigenous regions of the country and it is a large tamale, which can serve up to 50 people.

This type of tamale is prepared with martajada corn dough, lard and a sauce of chile chino, chile cascabel and spices; it is filled with pork and chicken.

It is wrapped in several layers of banana leaves, before being cooked in a wood oven. It is usually accompanied by pickled green chiles.


Pulacles Tamale

The Tamal de Pulacles is another type of tamale that is only found in the region of Veracruz, since it is not popular in other states and is prepared like any other type of tamale, with the difference that its filling consists of cooked and finely chopped vegetables, stewed in a tomato sauce, ground sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, jalapeño peppers and chiltepín.

Tamal de Pulacles

Tamale corundas

This is a representative tamale from the state of Michoacán and is originally from the Purépechas ethnic group and is prepared using white corn dough beaten with lard, milk or water.

And what characterizes this tamale from the others is its triangular shape, which is achieved by placing a little dough at one end of a corn cane leaf, and rolling it up to get a corunda with six sides and five tips.

Tamal corundas

Jumil Tamales

Jumil tamales are part of the gastronomy of Guerrero and are made by filling the tamale with insects that are known as homonym, also known as xomitl, xotlinilli or jumiles.

Tamales GĂĽemes

This name is very elegant and refers to a type of tamale originally from Baja California and this type of tamale is wrapped in banana leaf and made with pork and chicken, olives and raisins.

Tamales GĂĽemes tipos de tamales

Hard boiled egg tamales

Another type of tamale that is very common in the country is the hard-boiled egg tamale and as its name suggests, this tamale is filled with hard-boiled eggs.

Chuchito Tamale

This is a type of tamale originally from Guatemala, but it makes its presence felt in Mexico and it is a corn and tomato tamale, with a firmer consistency. They are usually filled with pork, beef or chicken and accompanied with tomato sauce and Zacapa hard cheese.

Canarian Tamales

This is a sweet tamale that also comes from the state of Michoacán, but its flavor was such a success that today it can be found in several states of the Republic.

Tamales canarios

Chaya Tamales

The chaya or espinada is another very popular plant in Latin America and can also be used in different food recipes.

Mole Tamales

As its name suggests, this type of tamale is filled with mole, although it is mere hypothesis, because it is really a chicken tamale with mole.

That is to say that the chicken is prepared and combined with mole, and then the chicken meat is dipped in mole to fill the tamale.

Tamales de Mole

Stone Tamales

This type of tamale is part of Guanajuato’s gastronomy and are made with corn dough, black beans, filled with cheese and bathed with capone sauce.

Tamales de Piedra

Coconut Pineapple Tamales

This type of tamale falls into the sweet classification and is a combination of pineapple and coconut, which is mixed with the dough to give us a rich sweet coconut pineapple tamale.

Corn Tamales

The corn tamale belongs to the lands of Michoacán and this tamale is prepared with ground corn, that is to say: The dough is mixed with the ground corn grains and then the tamale is made with this dough.

Tamales de elote

Mucbil chicken

The mubbil pollo falls into the category of tamale, because that’s really what it is, a huge circular tamale, although it can also be rectangular and is very popular in the month of November.

That is, during the feast of All Saints or Day of the Dead and is prepared with corn dough, lard and beef broth. As a peculiar fact this type of tamale is known as PIB and it is because the mold in which it is put to bake is an earth oven called pib.

Mucbil pollo

Choyero Tamales

This tamale can be prepared with port, beef or chicken, but whichever type of meat is used, it is accompanied with olives, chiles, sweet potato, onion, salsa, cream and cheese.  And in case you are wondering, this tamale is common in the state of Baja California Norte.

Chanchamitos Tamales

These tamales can be found in almost every region of Mexico, but what very few know is that they are one of the beautiful things that the state of Campeche has left us.

Although my question here is how did we not realize it? Well, if it is a ball-shaped tamale wrapped in corn husk and if you want to know more about the city, we invite you to read our post about Campeche tourist attractions.

Red chili tamales

For chili lovers, the state of Chihuahua has listened to us with this tamale delicacy, where a pork head is used as filling and it is seasoned with a guajillo chili and oregano sauce.

Tamales de chile colorado

Green tamale guajolota

Something that characterizes the chilangos (The inhabitants of Mexico City), is their inseparable love for the bolillos and so much has been that love that there is even the… torta…de….tamal…..

Guajolota de tamal verde

Finger Tamales

In case you thought that our huge list of tamales from Mexico was over there, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not and with that I’m talking about the delicacy from Coahuila, the tamales de dedo (finger tamales).

But wait, before you get upset and think we use fingers for these tamales, let me tell you that you are mistaken. The reason they are called finger tamales is because they are very thin.

Tamales de dedo

Pata de mula tamales

The creativity we have to name things is incredible and proof of this is the name we give to this type of tamale.

This is another tamale of considerable dimensions, the pata de mula is made in banana leaf and filled with ground black beans. Larger pata de mula tamales can be served in slices.

Pork tamales with puya

Durango gives us the famous tamal de cerco con puya and since we don’t know what puya is and possibly you don’t either, here we tell you (because we did some research).

The puya is a variety of chile that is used in the preparation of these tamales. They are filled with pork and as with other northern tamales, they have very little dough.

Tamales de cerdo con puya


This is just a little bit of information about tamales, because soon we will be updating to have a bigger list of the types of tamales in Mexico.