Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales

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Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales plated on a black plate

I can’t even begin to tell you how flabbergasted I am. I have heard the urban legend of making tamales in an Instant Pot, but didn’t want to believe the tale. Let me just tell you, it’s true!

Did you know you can sear in an Instant Pot?

No need to pull out another pan to sear meat, and sauté the onions. Not only does this appliance help with time, but also cuts on dirty dishes.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile filling for Tamales

How easy is it making tamales in an Instant Pot?

Making classic tamales can be an all-day project and lots of dirty dishes, but with the magic of an Instant Pot, you can make a little over a dozen tamales whenever the craving hits — in under two hours from start to finish.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile

How to assemble tamales?

Spread Masa:

Place the wide end of the husk on the palm of your hand, narrow end is at the top. Starting at the middle of the husk spread 2 tablespoons of the masa with the back of a spoon in a rectangle or oval shape, using a downward motion towards the wide-bottom edge. Do not spread the masa to the ends; leave about a 2-inch border on the left and right sides of the husk.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile spread masa to make tamales

Fill Corn Husks:

Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of filling down the center of the masa.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales fill corn husks

Fold both sides to the center; finish off by bringing the pointed end of the husk toward the filled end.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales assemble tamales

Make sure it’s a snug closure so the tamal will not open during steaming.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales how to assemble step by step

Secure by tying a thin strip of corn husk around the tamal. This will keep the tamal from unwrapping during the steaming process, especially if the husk is too thick and will not stay folded.

steaming tamales in an Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales

Do I have to add water to the Instant Pot to steam tamales?

Yes, pour one cup of water into the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack. I arrange a few corn husks on the bottom of the rack. Place the tamales on the corn cusks, standing them upright. Lock the lid in place and steam.

how to steam tamales in an Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales

How many tamales fit in an Instant Pot?

I own a 6-quart Instant Pot and 16 tamales fit perfect. I would say one to two dozen tamales will fit in an Instant Pot depending on the size of your tamales and Instant Pot.

Yvette Marquez muy bueno food blogger instant pot tamales

How long does it take for tamales to cook in an Instant Pot?

The pork green chile filling for these tamales cooked in one hour and then I steamed the tamales for 38 minutes in the same pot. Traditionally, I cook filling for tamales in a slow cooker, which can take up to 8 to 10 hours, and then the steaming process is another two to three hours.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales with Chile on top on black plate

How to serve tamales?

I love adding a dollop of roasted green chile over these Pork Green Chile Tamales, for added spice. My favorite time to enjoy tamales is in the morning, served with an over easy egg for breakfast and with a hot cup of café de olla.

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales for breakfast    

Instant Pot Pork and Roasted Green Chile Tamales

Making classic tamales can be an all-day project and lots of dirty dishes, but with the magic of an Instant Pot, you can make a little over a dozen tamales whenever the craving hits -- in under two hours from start to finish.
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4.41 from 10 votes
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Ingredients

Instant Pot Pork Green Chile

  • 3 to 4 pounds pork shoulder boneless
  • kosher salt
  • pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 6 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced 

Masa:

Instructions

Instant Pot Pork Green Chile

  • Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Select Sauté on the Instant Pot and warm the oil. In batches, sear the pork until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes a side. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate. 
  • Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in garlic for 1 minute, return the pork to the pot, add the broth and chile, and give everything a good stir. 
  • Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. 
  • Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 1 hour at high pressure.  
  • Let the steam release naturally for about 10 minutes, then turn the valve to Venting to release any residual steam. 
  • Carefully remove the lid and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork mixture to a bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the pork. 
  • Season with salt and pepper if needed, stir well and let cool to room temperature. Using pot holders, lift out the inner pot, rinse well, and return the inner pot to the Instant Pot housing.

Prepare Ojas (Corn Husks):

  • Soak corn husks in water for an hour before using, rinse well with running water to take off any dust or corn husk fibers. To keep corn husks pliable and easy to work with, keep in water while filling tamales. Place a handful of wet corn husks in a colander to drain before using.

Masa:

  • Combine lard, salt, and baking powder using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until well whipped, about 1 minute.
  • Add one-fourth of the masa at a time to the lard, beating between additions until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Slowly add chicken stock and continue beating until dough is light and has a soft and spreadable hummus-like texture. If it’s too dry, mix in a little more broth; if your dough is too loose, add more masa harina until you get the desired texture. 
  • Cover the masa and set aside.

Spread Masa:

  • Place the wide end of the husk on the palm of your hand, narrow end is at the top. Starting at the middle of the husk spread 2 tablespoons of the masa with the back of a spoon in a rectangle or oval shape, using a downward motion towards the wide-bottom edge. Do not spread the masa to the ends; leave about a 2-inch border on the left and right sides of the husk. 

Fill Corn Husks:

  • Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of filling down the center of the masa. Fold both sides to the center; finish off by bringing the pointed end of the husk toward the filled end. Make sure it’s a snug closure so the tamal will not open during steaming. Secure by tying a thin strip of corn husk around the tamal. This will keep the tamal from unwrapping during the steaming process, especially if the husk is too thick and will not stay folded. 

Steam Tamales in an Instant Pot:

  • Pour 1 cup water into the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack.  
  • Arrange a few corn husks on the bottom of the rack. 
  • Place the tamales on the corn cusks, standing them upright. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing.
  • Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 38 minutes at high pressure. Let the steam release naturally for about 10 minutes, then turn the valve to Venting to release any residual steam. 
  • Carefully remove the lid and transfer the tamales to a plate. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to set up before serving.

Serve:

  • Drizzle tamales with diced roasted green chile.

Notes

  • Masa harina is readily available in the Hispanic aisle of your grocery store and online.

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 331mg, Potassium: 344mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 103IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 2mg

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

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This recipe is inspired by this pork green chile tamales recipe on the Instant Pot website.

Photography by Jenna Sparks