Tamalito Pies with Queso Fresco and Chorizo Mexicano

We’re renewing the traditional tamal with this easy, delicious, and fun recipe. These mini-pie tamales with Queso Fresco and Chorizo Mexicano are a great appetizer and will impress your guests.


For the filling:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups masa harina (Maseca)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup pork lard
    (or vegetable shortening like Crisco, melted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp salt


Preparation of the tamal dough:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the lard by hand or with an electric mixer until it is soft. Add the baking powder, the masa harina, and gradually the stock or water until the dough is very light. Add the salt and rest of the spices. Continue to beat until the dough is well combined and smooth.

Preparation of the pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and the garlic. Cook until translucent. Add the Chorizo Mexicano and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has rendered out. Set aside for later use.
  3. Grease muffin tins with the butter using your finger. Roll the masa into golf-ball sized balls. Place one ball inside each of the muffin cups. Using your fingers, press the masa ball to cover the inside of the mold – making a cup.
  4. Fill each masa shell with the meat mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Allow the tamales cups to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the tins. To remove, use a small knife to lift one side, then gently lift them out with your fingers.
  6. Serve two tamalito pies on a plate, drizzle Crema Mexicana on top of each and garnish with crumbled Queso Fresco Mexicano and chopped cilantro as desired.

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