Poblano Tamales in Parchment

Prep 30 min


Cook 30 min


Ready in 60 min

These slightly spicy, tender tamales are quickly "steamed" in the microwave.


  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2   poblano peppers, sliced into 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups)
  • 6 ounces (175 g) queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
    Masa Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 mL) masa harina (instant corn masa mix)
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 mL) water
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn kernels, thawed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
  •  Roasted Tomato Salsa (optional, see below)
  •  Additional queso fresco (optional)


  1. For filling, heat oil in Stir-Fry Skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook and stir onion and peppers 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender; cool slightly. Crumble in cheese; set aside.

  2. For masa dough, combine masa harina, water, corn, oil and salt in medium bowl. Cut twelve 7 x 15-inch rectangles of Parchment Paper. Assemble tamales (see below).

  3. Place tamales in Deep Dish Baker. Microwave on HIGH 9-10 minutes or until masa is firm and fully cooked. Let stand 5 minutes; unwrap tamales. Serve with Roasted Tomato Salsa and additional queso fresco, if desired.


  • 12  servings of 3 tamales

Nutrients per serving:

Tamales:  Calories 390, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Carbohydrate 58 g, Protein 12 g, Sodium 350 mg, Fiber 6 g

Roasted Tomato Salsa:  Calories 120, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 8 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 590 mg, Fiber 2 g


U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

Tamales:  3 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 fat (3 1/2 carb)

Roasted Tomato Salsa:  1 vegertable, 2 fat (0 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Using Small Spreader, spread masa dough evenly into a 3-inch square in the middle of each sheet of Parchment Paper. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in a lengthwise strip down center of masa. Bring one long side of paper over filling to match with opposite side, completely enclosing filling within masa layer. Fold matched edges of paper over top of tamale to form a long tube. Fold long ends of tube to overlap in center, forming a rectangular packet. If desired, tie a piece of kitchen twine around center of each packet.

Poblano chile peppers are large, dark green peppers tapering from top to bottom in a triangular shape. They can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets. Wear plastic gloves when working with poblano peppers. The juice from the peppers can create a burning sensation on the skin.

Roasted Tomato Salsa:  Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line Large Bar Pan with Parchment Paper.  Cut 12 plum tomatoes in half; remove seeds.  Place tomatoes on bar pan; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss gently to coat.  Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in pan.  bake 45 minutes or until tomatoes are slightly shriveled; cool.  Place tomatoes, 1/4 cup water, 1 1 /2 tespoons Toasted Chili Oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 garlic cloves into blender.  Cover and blend until smooth.

Toasted Chili Oil:  Wearing plastic gloves, break 16 dried arbol chiles into pieces, discarding seeds.  Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in (1.5-qt.) Saucepan on medium heat until hot.  Add chiles; reduce heat to low.  Cook until chiles begin to look crisp.  Remove from heat; cool completely.  Store at room temperature, covered up to 1 month.  If desired, 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes can be substituted for the arbool chiles.

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