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Cook pre made tamales or reheat cooked tamales in a pan

There are some things that we can always count on come the holidays, one of them is the abundance of tamales and having to reheat tamales. A homemade chicken tamale on a plate next to some rice and beans says it all, and pan fried tamales are also great to have for breakfast! Nothing says recalentado like frying leftover tamale and eggs.

Tamales are made in large batch so we tend to have a lot of tamales left over for the following days. Luckily, we’ve also perfected the art of reheating tamales in a way that won’t make them mushy, but also gives them a different texture. It’s also super easy to do on the stove top to make crispy tamales!

How to cook pre made tamales

Pan frying tamales is our favorite way to cook pre made tamales. It’s so easy to do, gives it a great crust and you don’t need a steamer. This is also an alternative way to cook tamales.

best way to reheat tamales at home. Perfect for leftover tamales. - livingmividaloca.com - #tamales #mexicanfood #reheattamales #reheatfoods


Start with some cooked tamales. Whether they’re homemade or store bought, try to stick with an authentic recipe. During the year, we either order from someone who makes them at their home, or we buy Del Real Foods tamales from the refrigerated section at our local supermarket. They’re available in chicken, pork, sweet corn and cheese & green chile.


Round up the rest of the ingredients. Oil, salsa de molcajete (red or green) and Mexican crema. Mexican sour cream is a bit saltier than sour cream and stays true to the authentic taste. Look for it at Mexican markets, or try adding salt to regular sour cream.



  1. Add oil to the pan. Enough so that it coats the bottom of the pan and comes up just a bit.
  2. Remove the husks and add the tamales to the hot pan. Fry on until browned on each side.
  3. Finish off your fried tamale plate by topping them with Mexican crema and salsa.



Pan frying tamales is my favorite way to enjoy a tamale, on any day of the year. It’s also the best way to enjoy leftover tamales because it doesn’t make them mushy. So forget the microwave and try making fried tamales. You’ll love it!


Originally published on May 5, 2015. Last Updated on January 11, 2022 by Pattie Cordova



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