Food ingredients

How to Reheat Tamales in less than 15 minutes

First things first, what are tamales? Tamales are basically a mixture of corn dough and fillings wrapped in corn husks.

The fillings could be seasoned chicken or pork. Some people add some vegetables like carrots and peppers to give the tamales an extra kick.

You can make your own tamales from scratch or buy them from your local grocer. Whichever the case, you need to learn how to reheat tamales in less than 15 minutes. The most important thing is mastering the art of reheating them without drying them out.

Tamales always taste amazing when they are moist on the inside. If they dry out, they will not taste as good as they should.


There are four ways to reheat tamales in less than 15 minutes. For the best results, you can steam them or reheat them in the oven. Alternatively, you can microwave them or deep fry them.

However, you need to keep in mind that using a microwave and deep frying will alter the texture of the tamales.

The good news is that they will still taste amazing like they did before.


Two of the methods mentioned above require that you thaw your tamales before reheating them. The best way to thaw tamales is to place them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Other than reheating, you also need to know how to properly store your leftover tamales. If you do not freeze them properly, they will get spoilt.

Here is how to properly reheat your tamales in less than 15 minutes without them drying out.

Click below to check out more reheating tips.

Microwave them

The microwave has always been an essential kitchen appliance when it comes to reheating food. You can use your microwave to reheat tamales. This method takes the shortest time compared to all other reheating methods.

So if you are in a rush or you just don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen, this is definitely the method you should use. Your tamales may not be as moist as they were before but the flavor does not change.


Here is how to reheat your tamales in the microwave.

What you will need

  • Microwave
  • Microwave safe dish
  • Damp paper towels
  • Damp kitchen towel


  1. Wrap the tamales in damp paper towels. Doing this will help them retain their moisture while reheating in the microwave.
  2. Arrange the tamales in your microwave safe dish and make sure they don’t touch one another.
  3. Cover the microwave safe dish with a damp kitchen towel.
  4. Place the tamales in the microwave and heat them for 30 seconds.
  5. Flip them over and heat for another 40 seconds.
  6. Let the tamales rest in the microwave for about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the dish from the microwave and remove the tamales from the paper towels.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Throw them in the oven


The oven is a great option for reheating leftovers. You can use your oven to reheat your tamales. My favorite thing about reheating tamales in the oven is that the tamales always retain their texture and amazing flavor.

You can also use the oven to reheat frozen tamales. There is no need for you to worry about thawing them in the refrigerator or the kitchen countertop before reheating them.

What you’ll need

  • Oven
  • Aluminum foil
  • Oven-safe dish
  • Meat thermometer


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Wrap each tamale with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil. Do not wrap it with one layer because the tamales may dry out as you are reheating them.
  3. Make sure that there is no air inside the aluminum foil. Squeeze lightly to remove any trapped air.
  4. Arrange the tamales in an oven-safe dish. Make sure that the tamales do not touch each other. Leave enough space between each tamale.
  5. Place the tamales in your pre-heated oven. Let them heat for seven minutes.
  6. Flip them over and let them heat for another 8 minutes. If the tamales were frozen, let them heat for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Before removing the tamales from the oven, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of one of the tamales. The temperature should be between 160 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is not, let the tamales heat for a little bit longer.
  8. Remove the tamales from the oven and serve.

Deep-fried foods always taste better


As weird as it sounds, you can actually reheat your tamales by deep frying. Deep-fried food always tastes better, right? You’ll end up with crispy, yummy tamales that are soft and moist on the inside.

However, you need to be careful not to overheat the tamales.

What you will need

  • Frying pan
  • Cooking oil
  • Paper towels
  • Tongs


  1. Pour cooking oil on to your frying pan. Make sure that the oil is enough to submerge the tamales.
  2. Heat the cooking oil on medium heat.
  3. Remove the corn husks from the tamales.
  4. Once the oil is heated, slowly place the tamales in the oil, one after another. Make sure that you don’t crowd the pan or else the tamales won’t heat properly.
  5. Heat the tamales for approximately two minutes and then flip them over to the other side. Fry them until each side turns golden brown.
  6. Once each side has turned golden brown, turn of the heat and let the tamales continue heating in the oil for two minutes.
  7. Use tongs to remove the tamales from the oil and drain the oil.
  8. Place the tamales on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
  9. Serve and enjoy!


  • Never deep fry frozen tamales. Make sure they have thawed completely before placing them in oil. Frozen tamales will cause the oil to splatter all over.
  • Use a spatter shield to drain excess oil from the tamales before using paper towels.
  • Always use tongs because deep fried tamales are too hot to touch
  • Do not overheat the oil before placing the tamales. This will make the tamales brown before they reheat on the inside.

Steam them


Steaming is arguably the best way of reheating tamales. Using this method will ensure that your tamales remain as moist as they were when you first cooked them. The texture and flavor of the tamales will also remain the same.

In order to steam the tamales, you need to have a steamer. There are many different brands of steamers in the market, so you can choose one that is within your budget. Here is how you can reheat your tamales in a steamer.

What you’ll need

  • Steamer
  • Water
  • Tamales (can be frozen or thawed)


  1. Pour water into the steamer until it reaches halfway.
  2. Turn on your steamer and set it to high so that the water gets heated quickly.
  3. Without removing the corn husks, wrap the tamales in aluminum foil.
  4. Place the tamales in the steamer rack in an upright position with the open sides facing up.
  5. When the water starts boiling, place the double boiler on the steam.
  6. Cover the steamer with its lid and do not open it until the tamales are ready.
  7. Steam the tamales on high for approximately 15 minutes. If the tamales were frozen, steam them for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Open the lid and use tongs to remove the tamales from the steamer rack.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!


Which of the four is the best method of reheating tamales?

I always recommend steaming the tamales. Steaming does not alter the texture or flavor of the tamales. The tamales won’t dry out and they will remain moist on the inside. Steaming also does not take up much of your time.

All you need is 15 minutes. Any time I want to reheat my tamales without changing their flavor or texture I always use my steamer.

How to Properly Store Leftover Tamales


Leftover tamales always come in handy when you need a quick fix. For this reason, you need to store them properly so that they last for longer. Tamales are best stored in the freezer, that way, they last for much longer.

Here is how to properly freeze your Leftover Tamales.

  1. Make sure the tamales have cooled down completely at room temperature.
  2. Use aluminum foil to wrap each tamale. Wrap them with two or three layers and make sure that no air is trapped inside the aluminum foil.
  3. Place the wrapped tamales in freezer bags or alternatively place them in a plastic airtight container.
  4. Place the freezer bags or airtight containers inside the freezer.

Frozen tamales can stay fresh for up to six months. If they stay in the freezer for longer than six months they will no longer be safe to eat.

Also, click to check out: How to tell if Chicken is done cooking.

How to thaw Tamales

The best way is to let them thaw inside the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. If for some reason you forget to thaw them, you can just reheat the frozen tamales in your oven.

All you have to do is add ten to fifteen minutes to the original reheating time.

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