Make Authentic Keto Tamales Using Your Instant Pot!
Hip2Keto may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
After rounds of testing, we’re excited to introduce keto tamales!
I know, I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy even talking about tamales in relation to the keto diet, but I’ve tested this recipe a few times and sent it through to our test kitchen for reassurance. It was so, so worth it. I can say it really does taste like a traditional tamale!
What is a tamale?
A traditional tamale is made with a corn base dough (masa) that is filled with different types of meats or vegetables, such as chicken, pork, beef, or jalapeños. It is then cooked in a corn husk that is removed before eating. Tamales are usually served with salsa, guacamole, or my favorite, sour cream!
Tamales can be labor-intensive for sure but we cut the time in half by using the Instant Pot. You get the melt in your mouth meat from the high-pressure cooking minus the long hours of cooking the tamales the traditional way. I’ve already saved you five hours off the bat with this Instant Pot method! 🙌
Let’s talk masa!
Masa is the magic component that holds it all together, but it’s usually packed with carbs that we all try to avoid on keto. I replaced the flour with almond flour and I used beef tallow but any lard will do when making your masa. I was actually surprised by how simple it was to make and how close in flavor it was to the traditional favorite.
A few tips for making the best keto tamales:
- Cooking your meat in the Instant Pot saves so much time. I even made my meat the day before for faster assembling when it was time to cook!
- Make sure to soak corn husks first to soften them up so they are easy to work with.
- Scoop out masa with a large spoon and roll up into a ball shape. I roll all my masa first then roll them all out in the corn husks to batch the process.
- Reheating tamales the next day for lunch? Wrap them in a damp towel and place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Super easy!
Keto Tamales with Beef
yield: 20 SERVINGS
prep time: 40 MINUTES
cook time: 3 HOURS
total time: 3 HOURS 40 MINUTES
This beef tamale recipe is a low carb take on the classic Mexican favorite using almond flour and other keto-friendly swaps!
- 2 pounds beef shoulder roast
- 16 oz. jar salsa (I used Herdez brand)
- 2 cups enchilada red sauce (I used Herdez brand)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
A new dinner favorite!
These keto tamales do take more time to make than our typical easy keto dinner recipes… but they are so worth it. Tamales are one of my favorites and I’m so excited to now have a low carb option when the craving strikes.
Next time I’m going to make a big batch and freeze them so I can pop a few in the microwave or air fryer to heat up when I need a quick lunch or dinner option.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what ya think!
Here’s what my teammate Jenna had to say after making these keto tamales:
“I’ve never made tamales before and have always considered it to be a little intimidating. I absolutely love tamales and buy them by the dozen at the local farmer’s market in the spring. I have to say, I feel a lot more confident about it now! No one in the house even asked if it was keto, no one knew or cared, they are *that* good!”