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Northern Style Bean Tamales (Tamales de Frijol Norteños) in a white serving container.
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4 from 1 vote

Northern Style Bean Tamales (Tamales de Frijol Norteños)

Northern Style Bean Tamales (Tamales de Frijol Norteños) are perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. Delicious, savory, and so yummy!
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 3 dozen
Calories: 892kcal



  • Sort the husks and remove any debris.
  • Place them in a large container and add warm water.
  • Submerge the husks under water by covering them with a heavy lid.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • For the Chile Ancho Sauce:
  • Place the chiles in a pot of water. Add enough water to cover them.
  • Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Turn heat off.
  • Let sit in hot water for 5 more minutes.
  • Reserve 1 cup of water used to cook the chiles and drain the rest.
  • Add softened chiles into the blender, 1 cup reserved water, garlic, cumin, and salt.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Strain.
  • Reserve 3 tablespoons for the masa.
  • Set everything aside.
  • For the Ancho Beans:
  • Heat oil in a large pan.
  • Add the cooked beans and ancho chile sauce (except for 3 tablespoons).
  • Mash until smooth.
  • Taste and add salt as needed.
  • Cook for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly.
  • The beans are done when the consistency is like a thick paste.
  • Set aside and let cool.
  • For the masa:
  • Prepare the masa.
  • Add the reserved 3 tablespoons of the chile ancho sauce and mix well.
  • Set aside until ready to use.
  • To Assemble the Tamales:
  • Drain the husks.
  • Add a few of the smaller husks to the bottom of the steamer or pot.
  • To each corn husk, add a thin layer of the masa.
  • To the center of the masa, add a tablespoon of the beans.
  • Fold one side in.
  • Fold the other side in.
  • Fold the pointy top inward.
  • Place inside the pot.
  • Repeat with each corn husk until there are none left, and the pot is full.
  • Add about 2 cups of water to the pot.
  • Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  • Check for water. If it needs more, add more water.
  • Cover again and cook for an additional 1 hour.
  • The tamales are ready when the masa comes away easily from the corn husks.
  • Enjoy!


You will need to make your own masa in order to guarantee that your Northern Style Bean Tamales, or Tamales de Frijol Norteños, are vegan.
Cook for 2 hours. Check for water after 1 hour. Add more water if needed.


Calories: 892kcal | Carbohydrates: 165g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 921mg | Potassium: 1282mg | Fiber: 29g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 12810IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 16mg