Everyone has seen those tamales you get in the frozen section of the supermarket. They’re small, dense and heavily covered with sugar. But what about the ones that are actually made using the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker?

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that’s very popular right now. The way it works is you limit your carbs to 20-50g per day and eat very fatty foods. There’s a variety of keto diet diets, but the most popular is the Keto Diet. The Keto Diet has you start by using a diet to kickstart your body into ketosis. Once this happens, your body starts burning through your fat stores and you start losing weight. The process of losing weight on keto is known as ketosis.

After many tests, we are happy to present you the keto-tamales!

I know, you probably think I’m crazy for talking about tamales in the context of the keto diet, but I’ve tested this recipe a few times and sent it to our test kitchen for testing. It was worth it. I can tell you that it really tastes like a traditional tamale!

What is a tamale?

A traditional tamale is made of a corn-based dough (masa) stuffed with various meats or vegetables, such as. B. Chicken, pork, beef or jalapenos. It is then cooked in corn leaves, which are removed before use. Tamales are usually served with salsa, guacamole or my favorite sour cream!

Tamales can be time consuming, but we cut that time in half by using the Instant Pot. You get melt-in-your-mouth meat cooked under high pressure, without the long hours that traditional tamales take to cook. You’ve already saved five hours with this instant pot method!

Let’s talk about Masa!

Masa is the magic ingredient that holds it all together, but it usually contains a lot of carbs that we all try to avoid on the keto diet. I replaced the flour with almond flour and used beef fat, but for masa any fat is good. I was surprised at how easy it was to make and how similar the flavor was to a traditional dish.

Some tips on how to make the best keto tamales

    • I cheated a little by not making my own red sauce. To save time, I bought Herdez ketone-friendly salsa and Herdez red enchilada sauce. You can use your favorite brands for these parts if you have a preference.
    • Cooking meat in the Instant Pot saves a lot of time. I even cooked the meat the night before so everything would be ready faster when it was time to cook!
    • Soak the corn husks ahead of time to make them softer and easier to work with.
    • Scoop the masa with a large spoon and form it into a ball. I spread all the masa out first, then wrap it in corn husks to dose the process.
    • Corn husks can be found in most grocery stores. Walmart sells them in the spice section, or buy them on Amazon.
    • Reheating tamales for lunch the next day? Wrap them in a damp towel and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Very simple!


Keto Tamales with Beef

.. : 20 SERIES

Preparation time: 40 MINUTES

Cooking time: 3 HOURS

Total time : 3 HOURS AND 40 MINUTES

This beef tamales recipe is a low-carb version of the classic Mexican dish, with almond flour and other ketone-friendly substitutions!


Prepare the beef stuffing:

Put all the ingredients for the beef filling in the Instant Pot and cover.


Press the MANUAL button, select HIGH and set the time to 40 minutes. Make sure the steam release button is in the locked position. Once the meat is cooked, release the natural pressure before opening the lid.


Remove the meat from the Instant Pot and keep the liquid in it. Put the meat in a large bowl and grate it with two forks or a hand blender. Put 1 cup of liquid in a bowl and make sure the meat is completely covered with the sauce, but it shouldn’t be too runny.


Drain the remaining liquid and the chopped onions.


Preparation of the corn leaves :

Soak the corn leaves in a pan of hot water. Place a plate or bowl over the shells to keep them submerged for 1 hour or until tender.


Preparation of masa keto:

Place the grated cheese and cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until cheese is completely melted.


Add the remaining masa ingredients to the melted cheese and stir. You can do it with your hands or use a spatula. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed. You get a dough that looks like a thick ball of peanut butter. Roll into balls of about 2 sizes and set aside.


Tamale assembly:

To make the process easier, I have set up a station for you to prepare and organize the bowls, masa and beef.

Place the corn husks shiny side down on the counter or table. Add a ball of masa keto dough and place it in the center of the corn husk. Smooth the masa keto with the back of a spoon or spatula. Smooth it into a round, flat disk.


Place the meat filling in a row in the middle of the masa.


Take one side of the corn husk and use it to guide the masa over the beef filling. Remove the corn husk and repeat on the other side, making sure the beef mixture is completely coated. Next, fold one side of the corn sheet over the beef filling and continue to roll it up to the other edge of the sheet. Fold the bottom down, leaving the top open. Set aside and repeat until all tamales are cooked.


Steam Tamales :

Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place a steamer on the bottom and place a few corn husks on top. Fold the tamales upright and bend the bottom down so the open ends are facing up. Bake on MANUAL for 20 minutes. Let the Instant Pot stand for 10 minutes and then quickly unscrew the valve.


Remove the tamales from the Instant Pot and serve. Remove the corn husks before using. Have fun!

Yield: 20, serving size: 2 Tamales
Amount per serving:
799.5 calories | 66.7 g fat | 14.9 g total carbohydrates | 6.2 g fiber | 3.2 g sugar | 35.9 g protein | 8.6 g net carbs

Provided for you by

New favorite dish!

These tamales take longer to prepare than our typical easy keto dinner recipes….. But they’re worth it. Tamales are one of my favorite dishes, and I’m glad I now have a low-carb option when I get hungry.

Next time, I’ll make a big batch and freeze them so I can pop a few in the microwave or fryer to reheat when I need a quick lunch or dinner.

Try this recipe and tell me what you think!

Here’s what my teammate Jenna had to say after making these keto tamales:

I’ve never made tamales before and always found it a bit intimidating. I really like tamales and buy them by the dozen at the farmers market in the spring. I must say I feel much more confident now! No one in the house even asked if it was keto, no one knew or cared, they are *so* delicious!

Make these delicious keto chimichangas too!

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