Revive Your Tamales: A Guide on How to Reheat Cooked Tamales

How to Reheat Cooked Tamales: A Step-by-Step Guide


Tamales are a delicious Mexican dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Whether you have some leftover tamales from last night’s dinner or you simply want to reheat frozen tamales, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of reheating cooked tamales to ensure they maintain their mouthwatering flavors and ideal texture.

Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

Before diving into reheating your beloved tamales, it’s essential to gather all the necessary ingredients and tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Cooked Tamales: Regardless of whether they are homemade or store-bought, make sure your tamales are already fully cooked.
2. Pot with Lid: A pot with a tight-fitting lid is ideal for steaming or boiling methods.
3. Steamer Basket (Optional): If steaming method is preferred, a steamer basket can elevate your results.
4. Microwave-Safe Plate and Damp Paper Towel (Microwave Method).
5. Oven or Toaster Oven (Oven Method).

Now that everything is ready let’s move on to various reheating methods!

The Steaming Method

Steaming is one of the best ways to reheat tamales as it helps retain moisture while ensuring an even distribution of heat throughout each tamale.

1) Fill a pot with about 1-2 inches of water – enough so it doesn’t touch the bottom rack when placed inside.

2) If using a steamer basket:
– Place the basket inside the pot.
– Arrange the tamales upright in the basket without overcrowding them.


– If not using a steamer basket, you can stack the tamales directly in the pot. Just ensure they remain upright and are not squeezed too tightly.

3) Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat.

4) Steam the tamales for approximately 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ensure that steam doesn’t escape by keeping the lid tightly sealed throughout.

5) Carefully remove the tamales from the pot using tongs or oven mitts.

6) Let them cool for a few minutes before unwrapping and enjoying their deliciousness!

The Microwave Method

When you’re short on time, reheating tamales in the microwave is an excellent option. Follow these simple steps:

1) Place one or two cooked tamales on a microwave-safe plate, leaving enough space between each tamale for even heating.

2) Dampen a paper towel slightly without soaking it completely.

3) Cover your plate of tamales with this damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out during reheating.

4) Set your microwave to medium power (around 50%) and microwave for 1-2 minutes per tamale. Adjust time according to your preference or until adequately heated through.

5) Remove carefully as they may be hot, allow them to rest briefly before indulging in their flavorsome goodness!

The Oven Method

If you prefer crispy edges while ensuring evenly reheated interiors, utilizing an oven or toaster oven will do wonders:

1) Preheat your oven/toaster oven at around 325°F (165°C).

2) Wrap each tamale individually in aluminum foil to seal in moisture while preventing drying out.

3a) If refrigerated leftovers: Place wrapped tamales directly on an oven rack or baking sheet if preferred.

3b) If reheating frozen tamales: Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before wrapping in foil and placing on a baking sheet.

4) Heat for approximately 20-25 minutes until they’re heated thoroughly.

5) Once done, carefully remove from the oven, unwrap, and let them cool off a bit before savoring their delightful taste!


Reheating cooked tamales is a breeze if you follow these step-by-step methods. Whether you choose steaming, microwaving or using an oven, each technique will ensure your tamales are brought back to life with their original flavors intact. Experiment with different methods to find your favorite way of enjoying these delectable treats without compromising quality or taste. So go ahead and dig into those leftovers or stock up on frozen ones — warm and tasty tamales await you!

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