Tomatillo Green Chile Tamales

Organic Geen Chile Tamales Recipe

Tomatillo Green Chile Tamales

It’s prime green chile season! If you live in the western United States, then you know all about green chile peppers. If you are one of the few who does not let me give you a little insight.

Pueblo Native Americans have cultivated chile peppers for centuries, but the modern renditions of the peppers we eat today began with one man. Dr. Fabián Garciá is considered a pioneer horticulturist, and we can thank him for the development of New Mexican chile pepper we eat in our green chile today. According to New Mexico State University, where Garciá attended college (formerly New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts), the pioneer changed the face of New Mexico’s agriculture in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

All New Mexican-type chile peppers grown today owe their genetic base to Garcia’s New Mexico No. 9 cultivar; his first advancement in pepper technology. The recipes used by our neighbors to the south have since migrated to our kitchens here in Colorado.

Total Time: 2 hours  Makes: about 26 tamales   

What you need:


1 tsp oil (coconut, sunflower, or non-virgin olive)
1  large zucchini, diced (unpeeled)
1 3/4 cups tomatillos, diced (husks removed and washed)
4 tbsp (1⁄4 cup) non-hydrogenated margarine (or coconut oil if you’re soy-free) 
8 oz. green chile peppers, peeled, roasted, and chopped (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1⁄2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
4 scallions (green onions), trimmed and chopped (use both green and white parts)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tbsp nutritional yeast powder

1⁄2 cup (packed) fresh cilantro, chopped



1⁄2 cup (packed) fresh cilantro, chopped

2 3⁄4 cups dry corn maseca (instant corn masa mix)

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp sea salt

2 cups plus two tablespoons water

26 corn husks



sour cream (nondairy or regular)


hot sauce

optional garnishes: cilantro and scallions (green onions) to taste 

Prep & Cook:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. In a medium-large skillet set to medium-high heat, cook the oil, zucchini, and tomatillos. Sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is light brown. 
  3. Stir in the margarine, green chile, corn, and scallions. Stir until the margarine is melted. 
  4. Add the lime juice, oregano, nutritional yeast, and cilantro to the pan. Stir well and remove from heat. 
  5. In a large bowl, mix the corn maseca, baking soda, and salt very well with a wire whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir in the water until evenly mixed. 
  6. Add the vegetable combination to the corn mixture. Scrape all of the goodness out of the pan and into the corn mixture using a rubber spatula. Stir everything together very well. Very well, my dear. 
  7. Place the corn husks in a large bowl and cover them with warm or hot water. Allow them to soak for several minutes, or until they become soft. When they’re ready to use, drain the excess water off. 
  8. Place a vegetable steamer insert inside a four-quart pot with a lid. Pour enough water into the pot so that it comes up to the bottom of the steamer. 
  9. To roll the tamales: Place a corn husk on a clean countertop in such a way that the longest sides are horizontal in front of you (rather than placing the husk in a way that it is vertically tall).
  10. Place about 1⁄4 cup of the filling in the center of the husk. Bring the top and bottom of the corn husk up and around the mixture, pressing them firmly against the filling. It’s important to compact the filling so that it becomes dense and firm when steamed. 
  11. Fold the husks around the filling so that it’s enclosed. Keeping the shells wrapped around the filling in this way, take the right end of the husk and twist it to close, tucking it underneath the tamale. Repeat with the left side of the husk. 
  12. Place the tamale, tucked ends down, in the steamer insert. Repeat this step with the other corn husks until all of the fillings are gone. 
  13. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and allow the tamales to steam for an hour. 
  14. This next tip is essential: Double check that there is some water in the pot the entire time the tamales are steaming. There is nothing worse than a pot of tamales that taste like a burned pan! 
  15. When the tamales are finished, the filling should be firm (the filling continues to firm for about an hour). Remove the husks from the tamales and serve them with your choice of toppings. They will store in the refrigerator for nearly a week in an airtight container. 

They also freeze—- if they last that long!! 

author avatar
Kesy Curtis
Growing Spaces has given me a different perspective on my life, my health, and has exponentially increased my quality of life.

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