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Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales

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Who is looking forward to Cinco de Mayo? I am!! I think it is time to start getting our taste buds ready for everyone’s favorite Mexican recipes. One of my new favorites is tamales made in an Instant Pot. This time around, I decided to create Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales and they are delicious!! You seriously need to give them a try.

For even more delicious pressure cooker recipes, check out the Instant Pot Recipes page.

Two Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales drizzled with salsa on a white plate with sliced avocado and tomato in the background.

They can be a bit time consuming, but none of the steps are hard to do! As with anything, practice makes perfect. You will get into a groove and dinner will be ready before you know it.

Ingredients needed to make this recipe:

  • Corn Husks
  • Masa Harina
  • Water
  • Lard
  • Baking Powder
  • Chicken Stock
  • Salsa Verde
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Cumin
  • Cilantro
Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales stacked on a silver platter with a bowl of salsa verde and a cut avocado in the background.

Are you drooling? Yes, you should be!!

How to make Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales

To make Instant Pot Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken:

Place chicken breasts inside Instant Pot liner. Pour the salsa verde over the chicken.

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken pan cookingwithcurls.com

Secure lid, select “Manual” and set timer for 25 minutes.

Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew manual high pressure 25 minutes COPYRIGHT © 2017 COOKING WITH CURLS

When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before opening. If the pressure has not dropped completely, turn the pressure release valve to release the remaining steam.

Shred chicken with two forks and place in a mixing bowl. The chicken was falling apart in the pot and didn’t make it to the plate in one piece.

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken done cookingwithcurls.com

Add the cumin and chopped cilantro, stir to combine. Add approximately 1/2 cup of additional salsa verde to the shredded chicken, stir to thoroughly coat the chicken.

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken mix cookingwithcurls.com

Set aside until ready to use. I make mine the day before and refrigerate until ready to make the tamales.

To make the Tamales:

Place husks in a large bowl or pot, cover with hot water and let them soak for until pliable, about 30 minutes.

Corn husks submerged in a pan of warm water to soften © COOKING WITH CURLS

Stir the masa (corn flour) and warm water together in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer until thoroughly mixed and it form a ball.

Masa and water mixed together in a stand mixer.

Add the lard, baking powder, salt, and stock. Blend on medium speed for 5 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. The mixture should be the consistency of hummus.

Masa mixture blended with chicken stock in a stand mixer.

If you do not have enough moisture, your tamales will be dry and crumbly. Place a scoop of masa into a bowl of warm water.

Masa mixture floating in a water.

If it floats, you’re good to go. If it sinks, you need to add more liquid. Set your finished dough aside until ready to use.

Remove the corn husks from the water and lightly dry them to remove excess moisture.

Lay corn husks on dish towel to remove excess water © COOKING WITH CURLS

Place a 1/4 cup of dough in the center of each corn husk. (yes, these are a mixture of images)

A scoop of masa mixture in the center of a corn husk.

Spread the dough out into about a 4-inch square, about a 1/2-inch thick in the center of the husk.

Masa mixture spread onto a corn husk in a 4 inch square.

Place 2 Tablespoons of salsa verde chicken in the center of the masa.

Salsa Verde Chicken in the center of the masa square on the corn husk.

Fold the husk over, starting with the side closest to you. 

Roll the corn husk around the tamale mixture.

Roll into a tight log/tube and fold up the long end towards the center.

Bottom of the rolled tamale folded up to secure.

Tie a thin strip of husk around the center to secure, if desired.

Wrap the corn husk around the masa and meat, fold up the end and tie with a thin strip of husk to hold it together © COOKING WITH CURLS

Repeat the process until you have used up all of your husks and masa.

Place 2 cups of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then insert a steamer basket. {I used this one – affiliate link}.

Add the wrapped tamales with the open ends facing up.

Place wrapped tamales into the Instant Pot with a steamer basket © COOKING WITH CURLS

***Make sure the tamales are not sticking up too high over the edge of the Instant Pot liner or your pressure cooker will not be able to build pressure, it will keep the lid from sealing properly***

Secure the lid, make sure the pressure knob is in the “Sealing” position, and set press the Manual button, High Pressure and use the = and – buttons to set the timer for 20 minutes.

Instant Pot set for 20 minutes at High Pressure on Manual cookingwithcurls.com

When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then manually release any remaining steam. Very carefully remove the lid at an angle to keep the moisture from dropping down onto the tamales.

Cooked Red Chile Tamales in the Instant Pot © COOKING WITH CURLS

Allow your tamales to rest for 20 to 30 minutes to set and begin to firm up.

Serve with Mexican crema, sour cream, crumbled Queso Fresco, salsa verde, or sauce of your choice, avocado, tomato slices.

Two salsa verde chicken tamales on a white plate garnished with sliced avocado and tomatoes.

Who needs a Mexican restaurant? You can make these delicious tamales at home and look like a hero to your family!

Recipe Notes:

  • You want to keep your masa at least 1/2-inch away from the sides to make it easier to roll. I got better at it after a few tried, but didn’t take any new photos.
  • Yes, this is a time consuming process. If you have little helper to form an assembly line, it will go much faster.
  • I prepared my Salsa Verde Chicken one day, and prepared the tamales the next.
  • Rip a few husks into 1/2-inch strips and soak with the full-sized husks to use as your ties.
  • Corn husks are all different sizes, just adapt your fillings to the smaller husks and you will be fine.
  • You read correctly, I did say 2 cups of water. I ran out of water during my first batch, so I added more for the second and it didn’t dry up!

More delicious Mexican recipes:

Enjoy!!

Two Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales drizzled with salsa on a white plate with sliced avocado and tomato in the background.

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales

These Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales are steamed to perfection in half the time with an Instant Pot! Your family will love them!!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: recipe, corn, masa, chicken. dalsa, verde, instant, pot, pressure, cooker
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pressure Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 25 Tamales
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

Salsa Verde Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts skinless, boneless
  • 19 ounces salsa verde divided – I used Herdez
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

Instant Pot Tamales

  • 8 ounce package corn husks at least 25 husks
  • 3 ½ cups masa harina I used the fine version
  • 2 ¼ cups warm water
  • 10 ounces lard substitute vegetable shortening if you must
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock

Instructions

Salsa Verde Chicken

  • Place chicken breasts inside Instant Pot liner. Pour the salsa verde over the chicken.
  • Secure lid, select “Manual” and set timer for 25 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before opening. If the pressure has not dropped completely, turn the pressure release valve to release the remaining steam.
  • Shred chicken with two forks and place in a mixing bowl. The chicken was falling apart in the pot and didn’t make it to the plate in one piece.
  • Add the cumin and chopped cilantro, stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of additional salsa verde to the shredded chicken, stir to thoroughly coat the chicken.
  • Set aside until ready to use. I make mine the day before and refrigerate until ready to make the tamales.

To make the Tamales

  • Place husks in a large bowl or pot, cover with hot water and let them soak for until pliable, about 30 minutes.
  • Stir the masa (corn flour) and warm water together in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer until thoroughly mixed and it form a ball.
  • Add the lard, baking powder, salt, and stock. Blend on medium speed for 5 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. The mixture should be the consistency of hummus.
  • If you do not have enough moisture, your tamales will be dry and crumbly. Place a scoop of masa into a bowl of warm water.
  • If it floats, you’re good to go. If it sinks, you need to add more liquid. Set your finished dough aside until ready to use.
  • Remove the corn husks from the water and lightly dry them to remove excess moisture.
  • Place a 1/4 cup of dough in the center of each corn husk.
  • Spread the dough out into about a 4-inch square, about a 1/2-inch thick in the center of the husk.
  • Place 2 Tablespoons of salsa verde chicken in the center of the masa.
  • Fold the husk over, starting with the side closest to you. Roll into a tight log/tube and fold up the long end towards the center.
  • Tie a thin strip of husk around the center to secure, if desired. Repeat the process until you have used up all of your husks and masa.
  • Place 2 cups of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then insert a steamer basket. {I used this one – affiliate link}.
  • ***Make sure the tamales are not sticking up too high over the edge of the Instant Pot liner or your pressure cooker will not be able to build pressure, it will keep the lid from sealing properly***
  • Secure the lid, make sure the pressure knob is in the “Sealing” position, and set press the Manual button, High Pressure and use the = and – buttons to set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then manually release any remaining steam. Very carefully remove the lid at an angle to keep the moisture from dropping down onto the tamales.
  • Allow your tamales to rest for 20 to 30 minutes to set and begin to firm up. Serve with Mexican crema, sour cream, crumbled Queso Fresco, salsa verde, or sauce of your choice, avocado, tomato slices.

Notes

  • You want to keep your masa at least 1/2-inch away from the sides to make it easier to roll. I got better at it after a few tried, but didn’t take any new photos.
  • Yes, this is a time consuming process. If you have little helper to form an assembly line, it will go much faster.
  • I prepared my Salsa Verde Chicken one day, and prepared the tamales the next.
  • Rip a few husks into 1/2-inch strips and soak with the full-sized husks to use as your ties.
  • Corn husks are all different sizes, just adapt your fillings to the smaller husks and you will be fine.
  • You read correctly, I did say 2 cups of water. I ran out of water during my first batch, so I added more for the second and it didn’t dry up!

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg


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