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Cook pre made tamales or reheat cooked tamales in a pan


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 chicken tamale on a plate next to some rice and beans says it all, and tamales are also great to have for breakfast!

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!

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. 

best way to reheat tamales at home. Perfect for leftover tamales. - - #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 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 frying a tamale. You’ll love it!


Pattie Cordova is founder of Cordova Media Group, LLC, a boutique social media consulting firm that develops and creates social media strategies for businesses. She manages In her spare time (what little there is LOL) she enjoys working out, hanging out with her family (two chiclets and a Hubster) and traveling.



  1. Nolita

    March 13, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you so much for this!

    I have 2.5 bags of Del Real chicken tamales in the fridge. I just needed confirmation that they can be pan fried because I don’t want to waste perfectly good tamales. I just really don’t like how long it takes to reheat with steam + the microwave just isn’t as good as steamed to me.

    Thanks again 🙂

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  3. Marti

    December 23, 2016 at 8:58 am

    made tamales and they came out very dry. What can i do to soften them?

    • Pattie Cordova

      December 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      I don’t know how to soften them. If I were you, I’d just put a lot of salsa and cream on them.

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    • Joe

      June 27, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Can you kindly clarify if this recipe is for frozen or thawed tamales and how long, on each side, should they be cooked?

      • Pattie Cordova

        June 28, 2017 at 7:24 am

        These would be for thawed tamales. And maybe a few minutes on each side? It just has to be slightly browned.

  5. Lita Waston

    June 6, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Wow, so that tamale can be topped by with Mexican crema and salsa!? I never ever heard about it before. I have to try it right now. Thank for giving a great offer, Pattie Cordova!

  6. silvia

    December 14, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Would warming them up slowly in the oven work too? Avoids adding more fat to the tamales.

    • Pattie Cordova

      December 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I’m sure it’ll work too (or the microwave)… but they just taste SO much better like this. LOL

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