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Instant Pot Pork Tamales stacked and ready to cook. Surrounded by cilantro and decorative Mexican kitchenware.
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5 from 18 votes

Instant Pot Pork Tamales

Instant Pot Pork Tamales are incredibly tasty and perfect for your next fiesta. This authentic Mexican recipe is ready in almost half the time. Serve your favorite salsa and enjoy!
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Additional Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Pork
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 36
Calories: 247kcal



  • In a large stock pot, add the pork pieces.
  • Add the garlic, onion, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. 
  • Cover with water.
  • Leave about 2 inches above all the contents in the stock pot. 
  • Place a lid on the pot and cook on low for 2 hours. 
  • (Note: You can also do this in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours).
  • Soak the corn husks in warm water for at least 20 minutes. Overnight is best.
  • Place an object on top of the corn husks that’s heavy enough so they can soak completely. 
  • Once the pork is fully cooked, remove the meat and let cool. 
  • Reserve all the liquid from the stock pot. 
  • For the Red Chile Sauce: 
  • Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles. 
  • If they are dusty, wipe them with a damp paper towel.
  • Place the chiles in a pot and cover with water. 
  • Bring the pot to a boil. 
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Let the chiles soak for 5 minutes, or until pliable. 
  • To a blender, add the rehydrated chiles, ½ tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 cups pork broth. 
  • Blend until smooth. 
  • Using a mesh strainer, strain the chile sauce. 
  • Help push the sauce through the strainer using the back of a cooking spoon.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the red chile sauce for the masa, and set aside. 
  • Once the pork is cool enough, shred the pork meat using two forks. 
  • Add the shredded pork meat to a large stock pot. 
  • Pour the remaining red chile sauce to the pork and 1 cup of the pork broth.
  • (For a saucier filling, add 2 cups of pork broth instead).
  • Coat the meat with the sauce.
  • Cook for 20 minutes. 
  • (If you are making a saucier meat, cook for an additional 10 minutes).
  • Let the meat cool slightly before assembling the tamales. 
  • For the Masa: 
  • Add ½ cup of the reserved red chile sauce to the masa. 
  • Mix well until the chile sauce.
  • The masa will take on an orange color.  
  • To Assemble the Tamales: 
  • Drain the water from the container with the corn husks.
  • Shake off any excess water from the corn husk. 
  • Place the husk in the palm of your hand. 
  • Spread about 1 large tablespoon of masa on the corn husk.
  • (You might need more or less masa depending on how big the husk is).
  • Only spread the masa on the bottom and halfway to the top. 
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the pork filling to the center of the masa on the corn husk. 
  • Fold one side of the husk in. 
  • Fold the other side in. 
  • Fold the pointy top over to the middle of the corn husk. 
  • Set aside. 
  • Continue assembling tamales until you run out of corn husks or filling.
  • (Remember to leave a few corn husks for the pot). 
  • Place the metal crate for the Instant Pot.
  • Add 1 cup of water.
  • Arrange as many tamales as you can open-side up.
  • (I was able to fit 18 large and 2 small tamales).
  • Close the lid.
  • Move the valve to Sealing.
  • Press Pressure Cook.
  • For Frozen Tamales: Press the + button for 45 minutes.
  • For Fresh Tamales: Press the + button for 35 minutes.
  • Full Release.
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • Open the lid.
  • Serve with your favorite salsa.



I cooked the 36 tamales in batches. 20 were cooked first, then the remaining 16.
To make assembling tamales faster, have the filling ready to go.


Serving: 142g | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 0.7g