Instant Pot Chicken Tamales


Chicken any cut, or whole chicken Salt Ground pepper Onion Garlic Bay leaf Water Tomatillos Serrano peppers Cilantro Corn Husks  Prepared masa

If you have time, make your own salsa verde. Tangy and delicious. Or, buy it online (Affiliate) and save time. You'll be using it in the next steps.

Salsa Verde

Cook the chicken


Add raw chicken, salt, pepper, bay leaf, onion, and garlic to a large stock pot. Cover with water and cook. Let cool before shredding.

Make the salsa verde


Add tomatillos, serranos, garlic, and onion to the pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook. Then, place the tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, serranos, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the corn husks


Separate the dry corn husks and remove any debris like hairs. Soak them for 20 minutes in hot water.

Use your prepared masa


There’s no shame in buying pre-made masa dough. You can also make it yourself, just have it ready to start making tamales.



Spread a thin layer of masa. Add cooked chicken to the center of the masa, then spoon over salsa verde. Fold both sides in and over the chicken filling. Fold the pointy top inward. Set aside and repeat.

Add the tamales to the pot


Insert a trivet, or crate, to the bottom of the instant pot. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom. Assemble the tamales on top of the trivet, open end facing upward.

Set timer, cook, and let sit


Place lid. Set the valve to SEALING. Adjust the cook time settings, and set timer. Once the cycle is complete, move valve to venting, or steam release, for a quick release. Let the tamales sit in the steamer pot for 10 minutes. DO NOT open the lid!

Serve and enjoy!


I like to add a big spoonful of salsa verde on top of the tamales. Some people will add sour cream. And you can’t forget the Champurrado!

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