Best Way To Reheat Tamales | 5 Easy Methods

best ways to reheat leftover tamales

There is no such thing as leftover tamales, right?

In the unlikely event that you are left with some, we’re going to tell you the best way to reheat tamales.

5 Best Methods to Reheat Tamales

Not all reheating methods are the same.

Sometimes though, you have to work with what you have. As a result, we’re giving you 4 different ways to reheat your leftover tamales:

  • Steamer
  • Instant Pot
  • Oven
  • Frying Pan
  • Microwave

Reheating Tamales In a Steamer

Traditionally, tamales are cooked by steam for 30 minutes.

So why not re-steam your leftover tamales?

Steaming is our best way to reheat tamales as it works to retain the tamales’ original flavor.

Tamales are easy to reheat using a steamer:

  • Fill steamer with water
  • Turn heat to medium
  • Steam for 15 minutes

Some experts recommend a steaming time of 20 minutes. We’ve found 15 minutes to work best for refrigerated tamales. Frozen tamales likely will need 20 minutes or more.

Start with 15 minutes and check on your tamales to see if they need additional time to fully reheat.

how to warmup leftover tamales

Using an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker to Reheat Tamales

Instant Pots are more popular than ever. Another great use of theirs is to reheat tamales.

While maybe sacrificing some (only a very, very little) flavor, you save some time by reheating tamales in a pressure cooker.

First, begin by dampening your tamales to keep them moist.

Then, turn your Instant Pot or pressure cooker to high.

Space your tamales out as much as possible and leave in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes.

It’s as easy as that.

Reheat Tamales in the Oven

Old faithful. Quick and efficient, your oven is a great option for reheating tamales – particularly for a large quantity.

Just follow these steps:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Remove tamale husks and place on buttered or Pam sprayed pan
  • Cook for 20 minutes – flipping at halfway point
  • Check to see if outside has browned

Try Using the Frying Pan to Reheat Tamales

An underrated method to reheat tamales is by using a frying pan.

It’s quick and easy.

Add a light covering of oil to your frying pan, remove the tamales’ husks, and heat on a medium-high setting until each side is browned.

The frying pan is betting suited to reheating refrigerated tamales. Frozen tamales tend to cook too much on the outside while the inside remains cold.

While we prefer using steam or the oven to reheat leftover tamales, the frying pan is a great method for heating up precooked, store bought tamales.

Reheat Tamales in the Microwave

Do you need your tamales reheated now? We’ve had that craving before and know the struggle.

While you risk your tamales drying out in the microwave, it is the quickest reheating method.

Quick Tip: Don’t microwave frozen tamales. Make sure to thaw them out first by leaving them in the refrigerator or defrosting.

Follow these steps to retain as much flavor as possible when microwaving tamales:

  • Cover thawed tamales with damp paper towel
  • Space out tamales on microwave safe plate
  • Heat on high for 45-60 seconds
  • Reassess need for more time

Depending on how many tamales you are reheating, you can have your tamales ready to eat in as little as 45 seconds.

While it’s not the best method to reheat tamales, the microwave is the fastest.

Enjoy Your Leftover Tamales

We hope that we’ve helped you learn the best ways to reheat tamales.

Tamales take a lot work and love to make. Even leftover tamales deserve to be properly enjoyed.

What To Serve With Tamales

Tamales are versatile and can be served with a host of tasty side dishes.

Our favorite, and one of the easiest to make – rice and beans.

Looking for something else a little less healthy?

Mac and cheese goes great with tamales. Check out this great recipe.

If you have any questions on how to warm up leftover tamales or other foods in your fridge, feel free to drop us a line at We’d love to hear from you.

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