How to Reheat Tamales

How to Reheat Tamales - 3 Best Methods to Use
Guide to Reheating Tamales

So you might have a couple of tamales left over or you got a couple from your local store and you want to get them piping hot so you can enjoy the wrapped up awesomeoness; how do you go about that?

Below I will highly some simple steps you can take when it comes to reheating tamales.

Best Way to Reheat Tamales – 3 Best Methods to Use

Best Way to Reheat Tamales
Image by Marten Holdway from Pixabay

Whether you get your tamales homemade or buy them from the store, you pretty much know that this Mexican food is going to be something special.

I personally have to eat a chicken or jalapeno/cheese like once a week and I often store some in the freezer to ensure I get my fix.

There comes a point where you are probably going to need to reheat leftover tamales that may have been stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

There are four methods that we recommend:

  • Steaming the tamales
  • Microwaving the tamales
  • Reheating in the oven

Each method has its pros and cons and the method you choose will depend on how quickly you will want your tamales reheated.

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Reheat Tamales by Steaming Them

Tamales in a plate
Image by Víctor González from Pixabay

Tamales are cooked by steaming them, so when it comes to reheating, you can do it the same way.


  1. Fill your steamer with water
  2. Place tamales in the steamer
  3. Turn on the burners till the water starts to boil
  4. If you have refrigerated tamales, allow them to steam for 15-20 minutes
  5. If you have frozen tamales, steam them for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Once reheated, remove from the steamer, let sit and cool before serving.

Pretty quick and they will be perfectly heated up and ready to be annihilated!

You can check out the video below to get 1st hand look at how you can steam your tamales. It also gives insight as to what to do if you do not have a steamer.

Reheat Tamales in the Microwave

Image Credit: lucianvenutian w/CC License

While everyone might not have a steamer on hand, the microwave is another good option to use when it comes to reheating tamales.

It can get the job done quickly and they would be just as good as if you had it in the steamer.


  1. Take the tamales and cover with plastic wrap and place in a microwave safe container or plate.
  2. Microwave them for 2-5 minutes (depending on the amount you have and how cold it is)
  3. Once heated up you can take out and enjoy.
  4. If the tamales are frozen, they should be defrosted before they are heated. This can be done in the microwave using the defrosting option.
  5. Once done, reheated tamales should be allowed to cool before serving.

Reheat Tamales in the Oven/Toaster Oven

While all the methods above are pretty quick and will get the tamales done right, you could also do them in oven, if you do not have a steamer or microwave.

This is going to take a bit longer and you will not have the same results. Tamales are steamed and with the oven, you are essentially baking them. The tamales will still get reheated, but the exterior might be a crunchy if left in the oven for too long.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Take the tamales out of the husks.
  3. Place them in the Pyrex dish or baking sheet.
  4. Place the tamales in the oven and allow them to reheat for 10-20 minutes (depends on if they were refrigerated or frozen.).
  5. Once they have heated up properly and the outside has started to crisp a little, then they should be ready to eat.

There are Also Other Options to Try

If you are looking for other interesting reheating methods such as using the stove top or a deep fryer, then the website has some pretty detailed instructions. You can get some more options to try and some of them actually make the tamales a bit more flavorful and different.

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