Reviving the Flavor: Learn How to Reheat Refrigerated Tamales for an Irresistible Meal

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

The Art of Reheating Tamales Without Losing Flavor and Texture

Tamales, with their delicious fillings wrapped in a delicate corn husk, are a Mexican delicacy loved by many. However, if you have leftovers sitting in your refrigerator, you might be wondering how to reheat them without losing their original flavor and texture. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of reheating refrigerated tamales while ensuring they taste just as good as when they were first made.

Gather Your Ingredients and Equipment

Before starting the reheating process, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients and equipment:

1. Refrigerated tamales
2. Microwave-safe plate or steamer basket
3. Damp paper towel or clean kitchen cloth

Reheating Methods for Tamales:

There are two popular methods for reheating tamales – microwave and steaming – each offering slightly different results. Choose the method that suits your preference.

Microwave Method:

1. Arrange your desired number of tamales on a microwave-safe plate.
2. Place a damp paper towel or clean kitchen cloth over the top of the tamales.
– The moisture will prevent them from drying out during heating.
– Alternatively, you can drizzle some water over the towel/cloth before placing it on top.

4. Heat on high power for 1-2 minutes per tamale (timing may vary depending on your microwave’s wattage).
– If reheating multiple tamales at once, rotate halfway through to ensure even heating.
5. Use oven mitts or silicone gloves to carefully remove the plate from the microwave, as it will be hot.
6. Let the tamales sit for a minute or two before serving to allow for even heat distribution.

Steaming Method:

1. Fill a pot with 1-2 inches of water and bring it to a boil.
2. While waiting for the water to boil, stack your tamales upright in a steamer basket or place them on a heatproof dish inside the pot.
– If using a dish, make sure it is elevated above the boiling water level (using a rack or overturned bowl) to prevent direct contact with moisture.

3. Cover the pot with its lid and reduce heat to medium-low once steam starts escaping from under the lid.
4. Steam for approximately 15 minutes if reheating thawed tamales or 20-25 minutes if frozen.
5. Use oven mitts or silicone gloves when removing the lid after steaming to prevent burns from escaping steam.

Serving Suggestions

Once you have successfully reheated your refrigerated tamales, it’s time to enjoy them! Here are some serving suggestions:

1. Serve as is: Tamales can be enjoyed by themselves, allowing their authentic flavors to shine through.
2. Pair with salsa: Add an extra kick of flavor by serving your reheated tamales with your favorite salsa – whether mild and tangy or spicy and smoky!
3. Create sides: Complement your reheated tamales with traditional Mexican sides like refried beans, Spanish rice, guacamole, or sour cream.

Reheating Leftover Tamales Responsibly

It’s important always to reheat leftover food safely while minimizing any potential health risks associated with improper handling/storage:

1. Refrigerate promptly: If you plan on having leftovers of freshly made tamales, refrigerate them within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
2. Consume within 3-4 days: Tamales can be safely refrigerated for up to four days and should be reheated during this period.
3. Discard if in doubt: If you notice any unusual odor, mold growth, or sliminess on your tamales, it’s best not to risk consuming them and discard them immediately.


Reheating refrigerated tamales is a straightforward process that can be done using either the microwave or steaming method. By following these step-by-step instructions and choosing a suitable method for your preferences, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly reheated tamales without compromising their flavor and texture. Remember to handle leftovers responsibly, ensuring they are stored correctly and consumed within the recommended timeframe. Now go ahead, reheat those delicious tamales waiting in your refrigerator!

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