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Instant Pot Chicken Tamales

Instant Pot Chicken Tamales made from scratch and ready in no time. Stuffed with a savory and delicious filling and wrapped in corn husks. Served with salsa verde. Perfect for any special occasion.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 16
Calories: 218kcal


For the Chicken:

For the Salsa Verde:

  • 2 lbs tomatillos husks removed
  • 4 serrano peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 onion rough chopped
  • 4 cups water enough to cover the tomatillos
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Tamales:

  • 16-24 Corn Husks pre-soaked in hot water
  • 2 1/2 cups prepared masa (or more, depending on size of corn husks)
  • 1 cup Water


  • For the Chicken:
  • Add the chicken, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and water to a large stock pot.
  • Cook for 45 minutes.
  • Discard the onion, garlic, and bay leaf.
  • Store the chicken broth for another recipe.
  • Once cool enough, shred the chicken.
  • Set aside until ready to use.

For the Salsa Verde:

  • Rinse the tomatillos and place in a large stock pot.
  • Add serranos, garlic, and onion to the pot.
  • Cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 7 minutes.
  • Discard water.
  • Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and serranos to a blender.
  • Add cilantro and salt to the blender.
  • Blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  • How to Assemble Tamales:
  • Soak the corn husks in a warm water for 20 minutes.
  • Drain water. Shake off any excess water.
  • Smear a thin layer of prepared masa on each corn husk.
  • To the middle of the masa layer, add a tablespoon of the chicken.
  • Add a spoonful of salsa verde over the chicken.
  • Fold one side of the corn husk in and over the chicken.
  • Fold the other side in.
  • Fold the pointy top to the center of the tamale.
  • Stand upright and set aside.
  • Repeat until there are no more corn husks left.
  • Place the steam rack crate on the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Add 1 cup of water.
  • Place all the uncooked tamales on the rack.
  • Open side up.
  • Lock the lid in place.
  • Turn the valve to "SEALING."
  • Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook at high pressure 35 minutes.
  • When done, turn the valve to "venting."
  • It will release any leftover steam.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid very carefully.
  • The tamales are ready when they peel away from the corn husk easily.



I own an 8-quart instant pot. I was only able to fit 16 large tamales. You might be able to squeeze in more, depending on the size. 
Tamales are ready when the tamal peels away from the corn husks easily
It's VERY IMPORTANT to let the tamales rest inside the instant pot for 10 minutes before testing a tamal. OR, the tamales will be mushy. 
If the tamales are not fully done, return them to the instant pot, add more water, and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 more minutes and full release.


Serving: 128g | Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg